Television: Spaced

So having watched Black Books, I followed up with Spaced, as per Netflix's advice. It didn't seem like a bad idea anyway, seeing as Hot Fuzz is one of my favorite movies. (I'm less a fan of other Simon Pegg movies, though I do still intend to see The World's End.)

Anyway, Spaced stars Pegg and Jessica Hynes (aka Jessica Stevenson) as Tim and Daisy, two nigh strangers who decide to pretend to be married in order to get a flat that the owner wants to rent only to a couple. I actually tried watching this show a couple years ago and only found it mildly funny, therefore I only made it about four episodes in. Just goes to show, however, that frame of mind is everything; upon a second attempt at watching it, I liked it much better and watched both series (seasons). While somewhere in the middle they foundered a bit, on the whole it was quite fun.

There are only 14 episodes anyway, seven per series. The first series aired in 1999, the second in 2001, and so they are necessarily dated as they rely in large part on pop culture references like The Phantom Menace and Robot Wars. Still, for nerds these things are timeless, so the right kind of viewer can follow the humor without any trouble. And the use of homage is done incredibly well (I loved the Jurassic Park moment at the end of "Gone"). It's the kind of show that prompts a game of Name That Movie/Program/What-Have-You. Biggest nerd wins.

Also, while Pegg and Hynes hold their own as the central characters, there are strong supporting characters as well that add value to the stories being told. Nick Frost is there, of course, as Tim's militant friend Mike. But I especially got a kick out of Mark Heap as troubled artist Brian Topp.

On the whole, then, I can recommend Spaced to friends of a certain stripe: nerds, Simon Pegg fans (usually a subset of my nerd friends, or vice versa) . . . And my artist friend whose name is also Brian. Though, come to think of it, I'm not sure how he'd take the comparison.

Now it's on to The IT Crowd, Netflix's latest recommendation for me. I'll let you know how it goes.

No comments: