Friday, March 2, 2012

TV Review: Spaced

Spaced (1999-2001)
2 Series

"Tim Bisley (Simon Pegg) and Daisy Steiner (Jessica Stevensonn) are two London twenty-somethings who meet by chance in a café while both are flat-hunting. Despite barely knowing each other, they conspire to pose as a young professional couple in order to meet the requisites of an advertisement for a relatively cheap flat in the distinctive building at 23 Meteor Street, Tufnell Park, which is owned by and also houses the landlady, Marsha Klein (Julia Deakin). Also in the building is Brian Topp (Mark Heap), an eccentric conceptual artist who lives and works on his various pieces in the ground floor flat. Frequent visitors are Daisy's best friend, Twist Morgan (Katy Carmichael) and Tim's best friend, Mike Watt (Nick Frost).
The series largely concerns the colourful and surrealistic adventures of Tim and Daisy as they navigate through life, decide on what they want to do with their lives, come to terms with affairs of the heart, and try to figure out new and largely unproductive ways of killing time." (Source)

TV Show Tags: British TV Shows, TV Comedy, British TV Comedy, Sitcoms, Quirky, Witty

I've heard about this series for the longest time, from friends and other generally nerdy related things. I decided to finally sit down and watch it, and I loved it!

The way I describe this show is; it's like The IT Crowd but no one works in the tech industry, if that makes any sense. Now if you haven't seen, or even heard of, The IT Crowd -- disregard that.

This show is littered with quirky, witty, pop culture filled references and jokes, in a good way! Each character is very well rounded, even in their flaws. I found it almost hard to hate some of them.. almost. It was written by, created by, and starred Simon Pegg and Jessica Stevenson. The series it's self is known for many things such as it's; "rapid-fire editing, frequent pop culture references and jokes, eclectic music, and occasional displays of surrealism and non-sequitur humour".

If you don't get some of that, I shall explain because it really should be noticed. The editing for the show was actually done to cut down as much empty space between scenes and dialogue as possible. To get everything as clean and close as possible and it really shows! It's very interesting to watch, I'm not sure if I've seen that style of editing before.
The references are a bit dated, but if you're over the age of 20 (or even a bit younger) you should still get them. Many of the jokes or scenes are still funny even without references and merely a nerdy set up, such as a great paintball scene from the second season.

The humour is off the wall. Very cleanly and brilliantly done, never going for the cheap laugh.
The way I like to explain it, most of the time there's a build up you don't see coming then *BAM* joke right there. You're left asking yourself how you didn't see it until it's there. Perfectly executed!

I have to give a great example for this that comes right from the first episode.

*BAM* Joke.

Daisy goes into Tim's room, he finds her and asks what she's doing. 
Daisy: I heard a noise, was just just investigating.
Tim: Playing Scooby-Doo?
Daisy: *laughs* Yeah I was always Daphne when I was little, who were you?
Tim: Freddy obviously.
Daisy: Freddy yeah. Now Look at us.

I will admit that at first I didn't enjoy either of the two characters by themselves or together. Overtime you warm up to them after seeing how they function. Daisy has the annoying traits of not being able to focus (sit down and do some work!) or being alone. Both of which drive Tim insane. Tim is very, single minded. He's the typical guy personality. Doesn't worry about too much, doesn't understand women, plays lots of video games and loses himself in those worlds. Over time the all the characters grow and begin to become more independent but still closely relying on each other.

Now I can imagine that many people have seen this or it would simply attracted fans of the Pegg and Frost combo and while I don't disagree it's appealing factor, it might not be quote what you're expecting. It's slightly different from what they are known for (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, etc) although still in the same general genre; quirky, witty, etc. If that's the only reason you plan to see it, it makes me more than a little sad. Their characters friendship is one to remember but I hope it's not the only thing.

This series as a whole is very short, which is upsetting. 14 episodes total split between two series (UK talk for "seasons"), 7 episodes a piece.

This series is definitely worth taking the time to see.

Recommended: If you love semi-nerdy, quirky, wittiness. Enjoying British humour is a plus.

Official Site | IMDb | Wikipedia

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