Favorite TV Scene Theater: Spaced (1999)
Although I was well aware of this British series that launched Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg into SHAUN OF THE DEAD (2004), I’d never got around to viddying it until recently. And better late than never, because SPACED is brilliant, quite brilliant. The humor flips from reality to surreality in a way that most shows can only copy without the theme or feeling or cleverness of Pegg, Wright and co-star and co-creator Jessica Hynes. The cultural tone of the series is slacker geek chic late 90’s Euro-style, which just adds to my affection for the show. And it knows how to get its Geek Chic On.
Wright shows a lot of mad directorial skillz while Pegg is as perfect a comedic TV lead as one could want. Jessica Hynes is charming incarnate (love her Tekken argument win) and their masculin/feminin contrast is nicely played along with the de rigeur set of wacky friends and neighbors (including wild man Nick Frost). There’s even a fantastic soundtrack. Announced to be remade without the consent of the show’s creators, SPACED is a show that Americans couldn’t or shouldn’t duplicate, as there’s a subtlty that can’t be transposed, such as the truthful, casual references to drugs. Here’s my favorite bit from the series (among many), one that captures the 90’s house-rave cultural aspect to the era, but with a satirical, hilarious eye — yes, you have to click on youtube to watch: