For a while I was writing reviews on movies, book and albums. Some of it was just a writing exercise and some of it was to put media that I consumed into a better perspective. Reading back through I found a few mistakes, but also a few memories that gave me that warm and fuzzy feeling, so I thought I’d share at least one of these. So, without further ado, one of the greatest television shows of all time:
Spaced starring Simon Pegg as Tim, Jessica Hynes as Daisy, Katy Carmichael as Twist, Mark Heap as Brian, Julia Deakin as Marsha and Nick Frost as Mike.
Where to start… I guess the easiest place to start is by saying this is one the best television series of all time. That’s right. Of. All. Time. It’s quirky and funny and quite British, but we American fans don’t hold that against them. Spaced originally aired on the BBC and is only two seasons long equaling fourteen episodes, yet is still one of my favorite all time television shows. Why, you may ask. Well, let’s start.
I think one of the biggest draws for me about Spaced is that it’s a show that would never get aired on American television because it is too good. Executives wouldn’t see the underlying intelligence and humor in the show, only that it would be hard to market. Maybe HBO. That, in itself, is reason to take a peek. They also say fuck, tits and twat (which really only sounds good with an English accent) and reference marijuana, speed and ecstasy. At the time you could really get away with that on American TV beyond late night Comedy Central shows.
Part of the charm is that Spaced is based on two regular twenty-somethings, eking their way through their 20’s and their interactions with their strange friends and flat neighbors. Now, to be honest, season one is good, but not knock your balls off good. That’s expected for a show considering there are characters, sexual tensions and plot lines to develop. That’s not to say it’s not worth watching because there are some very good episodes. My favorites are Battles, Chaos and Epiphanies which is probably my favorite of the season.
Now season two is where it truly takes off. There are spoofs of The Matrix, Fight Club and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Tim’s discontent with George Lucas and the all important final two episodes where everything is on the brink of destruction. My personal favorite is an episode called Gone. I think what I enjoy about this episode the most is how guys act around each other demonstrated by fake gun fight stand offs. It is a remarkably funny and true episode.
The DVD series also comes with a fantastic documentary about the series with an interesting little twist at the very end. If you enjoy the show, especially if you really, really love the show it is something you definitely need to watch. It gives a quality wrap up to a show that seemed to stop before it’s time.
This brings me to my next point. The documentary talks a lot about why the show didn’t continue and how much fans wanted to see more. As a fan I can buzz through the two seasons quickly and feel like I need more. As much as I would love to see more I think one the most endearing parts of Spaced is that it leaves you wanting more. What more could you ask of a television show?
Whether it’s the avant garde sensitive artist Brian, the drunken landlady Marsha, the best friend military freak Mike or the shallow quick to quip Twist, there is plenty to like about the characters. That doesn’t even include the lovable Tim and Daisy as the main characters. All of the eccentricities, the acting performances and the dialogue make a great group and some great episodes.
This is already getting too long, but, as you can tell, I really love Spaced. There’s really not much more to say other than go watch it already to you sodding bummer.