I was first introduced to the comedic geniuses of Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, and Edgar Wright when I watched the hilarious Shaun of the Dead. I had never seen a spoof quite like this, one that doesn’t make it obvious what they are spoofing. Because of this I loved it. Shortly after this I began to hear about a television show the three of them had made in Britain before hitting it big with Shaun of the Dead called Spaced. I never care for it enough to go out and see it, but it stayed on my mind. It was not until this year that I started to watch it when it became available to watch for free on hulu.com, and I’m glad I did.
The whole show is only two seasons long, with each season consisting of 7 episodes. The series is about Tim Bisly (Simon Pegg) and Daisy Steiner (Jessica Hynes) and their friends. The first season showed the two of them as two people desperate to find a new place to live after some circustances in their lives left them homeless or nearly homeless. One day they find and add for a place that is affordable but they accept “professional couples only.” So, they pretend to be one to fool Marsha Klein (Julia Deakin), the owner of the house, in order to get the place. Once they do, they meet the other tennant in the house Bryan Topp (Mark Heap), and their adventures with Bryan, Marsha, Mike Watt (Nick Frost) and Twist Morgan (Katy Carmichael) begin.
Every episode, written by Pegg and Hynes, and directed by Edgar Wright, is hilarious. It features great comedic performances from the entire cast and they are smartly written. The show is full of references to other TV shows or movies. Sometimes the references are too obscure, but they are still funny because they work within the context of the film.
Although the show is great throughout, the second season took a tumble. Some of the jokes and the references are not quite up to parr to those of the first season, but the character development increases, which makes up for the lack of clever references. Even then, the show had some extremely clever moments that got out the best of the actors.
Because of the second season, Deakin’s performance as Marsha became one of my favorites of the decade, and it would have made it in my top 25 television performances of the decade list. The others also do superlative jobs, but she just kills me in every scene she’s in.
Spaced is one of the best comedies I’ve ever seen. Constant laughs and clever references from Pegg and Hynes’ scripts, make this show worth watching, even if one is not familiar with the work of the cast and crew. This now joins Arrested Development and 30 Rock one of the comedies pretty much no one watches (30 Rock is still going because of all the praise, but its ratings are quite low). I look forward to watching in many more times in the coming years.