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:

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9 Responses to “Favorite TV Scene Theater: Spaced (1999)”

  1. I loves me some free streaming TV shows. I’ve been watching Rockford.

    Ok that’s a tangent, I know, but I haven’t watched Spaced yet.

    Rockford owns.

  2. christian Says:

    Hulu is culo except for the choppy streaming.

  3. The choppy streaming bugs me..ameliorated somewhat if you pause it and let the buffer fill up.

    Watched the first Ep of Spaced. It’s no Rockford but it was pretty good.

  4. christian Says:

    Stick with it and you’ll be hooked. But true, no beach trailer.

  5. Spaced gets better as you get to know and love the characters. I used to spend the evenings coming home on the train from Chicago watching a couple of episodes. Season two has a different feel, like moving from junior to senior year in high school. All of your friends are still there, but there is something different and cooler.

  6. christian Says:

    Totally agree. I’m just sad there’s so few episodes, but they did it the right way. Start and finish on top.

  7. US TV could learn a lot from the Brit model of having shows of limited duration. This business of a show not being profitable unless it has 100 episodes can be bad for good TV.

    Imagine how much something like Lost would’ve sucked if they said from the very start: “Ok, you’ve got 2 guaranteed seasons. Get in, tell your story and get back out then move on to something else”

    The budget would’ve been less, but imagine what they could’ve done narratively?

    Same thing for Twin Peaks.

    I have this fantasy of networks hiring amazing directors to run a season-long show with a set number of episodes. Maybe they’re linked somehow form season to season, but each season it’s new directors, new stories and new characters.

    They’re budgeted similar to a single big movie and the time comittment for everyone would be similar, but they’re mostly free to do what they want and they have 12-20 hours to tell one story and then they’re done.

  8. christian Says:

    You and me both. I’m working on it.

  9. One of my sentences somehow says the opposite of what I meant it to.
    It should say “Imagine how much Lost would’ve rocked…”

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