Spaced – Definitive Collectors’ Edition [DVD]

May 4, 2018 - Comment

Spaced is a sitcom like no other. The premise is simple enough: Daisy (Jessica Stevenson) and Tim (Simon Pegg) are out of luck and love, so pretend to be a couple in order to rent a flat together. Downstairs neighbour and eccentric painter Brian suspects someone’s fibbing, and almost blows their cover with their lecherous

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(as of May 23, 2018 11:03 pm UTC - Details)

Spaced is a sitcom like no other. The premise is simple enough: Daisy (Jessica Stevenson) and Tim (Simon Pegg) are out of luck and love, so pretend to be a couple in order to rent a flat together. Downstairs neighbour and eccentric painter Brian suspects someone’s fibbing, and almost blows their cover with their lecherous lush of a landlady, Marsha. Fortunately he soon falls for Daisy’s health-freak friend Twist, while Daisy herself goes ga-ga for pet dog Colin. Tim remains happily platonic with lifemate Mike; a sweet-at-heart guns ‘n’ ammo obsessive. The series is chock-full of pop culture references. In fact, each episode is themed after at least one movie, with nods to The Shining and Close Encounters of the Third Kind proving especially hilarious. Hardly five minutes goes by without a Star Wars reference, and every second of screen time from Bill Bailey as owner of the comic shop where Tim works is comedic gold. The look of the series is its other outstanding element, with slam-zooms, dizzying montages, and inspired lighting effects (often paying homage to the Evil Dead movies). It’s an affectionate fantasy on the life of the twenty-something that’s uncomfortably close to the truth.

The second series finds the gang at 23 Meteor Street a little older, but definitely none the wiser. Tim’s career is hampered by severe hang-ups over The Phantom Menace. Daisy’s career is just plain non-existent. There is still a spark of sexual tension between them, but it’s overshadowed by Brian and Twist getting it on. Propelling the seven-episode series arc is the threat of Marsha discovering that none of the relationships are what they seem, Mike’s increasing jealousy and a new love interest for Tim. That’s the basis for a never-ending stream of in-jokes and references that easily match the quality of the first series. Tim has a Return of the Jedi flashback, then déjà vu in reliving the end of The Empire Strikes Back. There are spoofs of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Robocop, The Sixth Sense and comedy rival The Royle Family. There are guest spots from Bill Bailey, Peter (voice of Darth Maul) Serafinowicz and The League of Gentlemen’s Mark Gatiss and Reece Shearsmith. Every episode is packed with highlights, but this series’ guaranteed geek pant-wetting moments have to be the mock gun battles, slagging off Babylon 5 and learning that “The second rule of Robot Club is: no smoking.” Jessica Stevenson won a British Comedy Award for this year. It deserved a whole lot more. –Paul Tonks

Comments

ratmonkey says:

Issues As a massive fan of the show (and even after reading the negative reviews about the packaging) it’s tough to get collectors editions for a decent price so I bit my tongue and bought it anyway. The discs obviously work fine but the packing is truly horrendous. Like other reviewers, the horrible yellow coloured glue that barely holds together the plastic insides are exposed and do not look professional or appealing. The box was equally sloppily made with no proper glue to hold the entire thing…

Anonymous says:

This is the epitome of the late 90s, early millenium comedy. The Office was just around the corner and the sitcom had evolved, via Black Books by way of I’m Alan Partridge, into a self-effacing, postmodern, self-referential medium of pretension and cheeky asides. But it was, at heart, still the same beast as Fawlty Towers, Only Fools and Horses and Porridge (all the decent sitcoms)just brushed off a bit for a modern audience. Ironically these days (2012 at time of writing) Spaced itself seems a…

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