Friday, August 22, 2008

Get Spaced

There's just no other way to put it: if you haven't seen Spaced, the British sitcom starring and written by Simon Pegg and Jessica Stevenson, and directed by Edgar Wright, you should. Right now.

Like many Britcoms, it only lasted a "relatively" few episodes (compared to traditional US sitcoms which can easily run a hundred or more), but I would stack this 14 episode series up against some of the greats of all time for sheer quality. In fact, after plowing through all the DVDs last weekend, I would put it just behind Arrested Development, and right there with Seinfeld, Cheers, Frasier, 30 Rock, The Office, Soap, SportsNight and NewsRadio as one of my favorites.

Basically, it's about two twenty-something slackers who pretend to be a couple in order to rent a nice flat. But rather than lots of Three's Company shenanigans about the ruse, it's more about the geeky central characters and their circle of friends, replete with an avalanche of pop-culture references and homages, whip-smart dialogue, surrealistic vignettes and sitcom on acid direction by Wright.

At the behest of regular TNRLM reader and commenter Jen, I watched a couple of eps on a BBCA marathon a few weeks ago, and instantly went to Amazon and bought the recently released Complete Series (which you can find here, and should order). If you enjoyed Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz, you know the kind of smart, character-driven pop-culture insanity you have in store. If you haven't seen those, first, you should, and second, Spaced stands on its own as a funny and terrific sitcom achievement. Highly Recommended.

Bonus: here's an AICN interview with Simon, Jessica and Edgar. Money quote to put the show in context: "A TV reviewer in the UK once said it was like Friends directed by Sam Raimi, which we all took as a high compliment."


  1. Glad you enjoyed it... Black Books is also worth checking out, though it's an acquired taste. If you like surly, drunken, constantly smoking book store owners, who regularly abuses his assistant and customers, then this is the show for you. It's worth noting that Dylan Moran was in Shaun of the Dead as well.

    Here's a scene from the first episode:

  2. With that description, I think it sounds like a "must." (are whole eps on BBCA? Online? or a DVD thing?)

  3. Sadly no. You should be able to stream it from here:

    I can guarantee the quality of the stream, but you can get an idea. Also, youtube has some episodes broken up.