In my continuing quest to see the movies and TV shows I really should have done by now, I picked up this three disc SPACED boxed set as a Christmas present from my Mum and Dad. I always liked the idea of SPACED after falling in love with SHAUN OF THE DEAD, but never got round to actually buying the show on disc. Well, what a revelation. SPACED is easily the funniest sitcom this side of I don’t know what- it’s a programme you instantly fall in love with and wonder how on earth you lived without it. Concerning the antics of comic artist Tim (Simon Pegg) and struggling writer Daisy (Jessica Stephenson), SPACED is filled with wonderful supporting characters- army mad Mike, tortured artist Brian, perma-pissed landlady Marsha and vain Twist (her parents were hippies) not forgetting Colin the dog. The show sounds deceptively simple- but it is filled with all sorts of wonderful ideas and characters. Pretty much every episode contains a homage to something- not five minutes passes without a STAR WARS pastiche or reference.
Written by Pegg and Stephenson, the show not only manages to be incredibly funny (after watching this, SHAUN OF THE DEAD, despite its genius, seems like an extension of the TV- SPACED is the real baby) but create characters that you instantly care for- even social outcast Brian is loveable in his own way. The show redefines quirky, and admittedly it took me a few episodes to work my way in, but once I did, boy was I in love. SPACED ends up being a show you put on to totally escape the cares of the world-it’s hilariously funny and visually stunning. Director Edgar Wright, the man who co wrote and helmed SOTD brings the show to life with visceral flare, bringing to mind the work of Sam Raimi at his best- on crack. The show lives on a world not quite in touch with reality- a world where evil vivisectionists steal dogs whilst the pooches owners mount a rescue attempt to take their doggy back (see Episode IV, series one). Series two is just a cut above the first, due to its reestablishment of the characters and the sheer quality work of a team that care about what they are doing and how they do it. There is a lot of Pegg and Stephenson in Tim and Daisy- there must be, the characters seem so real, in a bizarre edge of reality way.
SPACED is fourteen episodes of unabated genius. Anyone who likes sci-fi, fantasy, or anything funny should stop reading this review now rush out and buy the bloody thing. SPACED is a totally indispensable series and something that really could have gone on longer than it did (although leaving SPACED this perfect, choosing not to sully it with a possibly naff series three is a credit to the writers). When the modern sitcom is characterised by the drab likes of MY FAMILY, SPACED is the perfect antidote- funny, clever and bloody brilliant.
THE EXTRAS: The one good thing about coming to SPACED so late is that I can enjoy the spoils of this three disc set- packed with informative and funny commentary, deleted scenes, trailers, and disc threes involving ‘Skip to the end’ documentary that details the making of the show from genesis to finale. It also provides, in its closing moments, something I wanted to see at the end of series two- Tim and Daisy actually admitting they love each other (“I know”). Genius.
FIVE OUT OF FIVE