Five Days of… Simon Pegg: Spaced, the finest British comedy ever made
There is too much about Spaced that I liked to fit it into just three sentences, let alone what I loved about it. At the time, it was quite simply the best comedy around, though others may suggest the Royle Family as taking that title, as the awards of the time would suggest also. I beg to differ, however, and firmly believe this to be the best comedy and Simon Pegg’s greatest work to date.
Spaced was the brainchild of Simon Pegg and Jessica Stevenson and together they proved to be a team not to be messed with. Every line, every pop-culture reference and every joke was inch perfectly placed to create a hilarious journey that was both unpredictable and clever. Clever in a way that most people could never achieve, clever in a way that it makes all other comedies look poor. A simple premise filled with pure gold.
It doesn’t have your annoying, contrived audience applause – if you did, you wouldn’t hear much of what was being said. It is memorable, imaginative and original.
Spaced is, indeed, a one off. A British comedy that couldn’t be imitated. It’s intelligent script and well created characters are perfect. Every scene, from the opening to the closing, is unrivalled in its ability to make funny film references and hilarious jokes.
There is something here for almost everyone. One funny reference about a comic book may shoot past you, but there are plenty more that will have you in stitches. And when I say plenty, I mean plenty. So many so that when I re-watched it recently, I noticed and laughed at parts I hadn’t laughed at before because I now recognised the reference.
Spaced starts with Daisy (Stevenson) and Tim (Pegg), two twenty somethings who are both looking for a flat to rent. As strangers, they come up with an audacious plan to pretend to be a professional couple in order to rent a flat and from there onwards, we are treated to some hilarious adventures as we follow the pair through life. A particular favourite of mine personally was the paintball fight.
Asides from the two main characters, we are treated to a fantastic cast that is both peculiar and quirky. It included Pegg’s best friend, Nick Frost, as the army crazed Mike, Mark Heap as the hilarious artist Brian and Julia Deakin as Marsha, the drunk landlady and Colin the dog. British talent at its best.
So it was written with creativity and flair, but the acting was equally perfect: Fast and funny in a way that it reminded you of… well, you. It never wants to be something it isn’t and it achieves what it does want to be faultlessly. Still today it continues to be funny and its references are ever appropriate.
As I stated yesterday, in Day one of this series looking at Pegg, his greatest works have come alongside director Edgar Wright. It is his directing of this comedy classic that must not be forgotten, for this truly helped make this a memorable experience for everyone who watched.
So it might have been underappreciated at the time to some extent, but that doesn’t stop it from being one of the best British comedies ever made. The only downside, perhaps, is that it finished so soon. I need not talk about this show anymore, for you should, simply, check it out if you haven’t seen it already. If you’re a fan of Pegg, or even just any of the films he’s been in, it’s a must watch. If you’ve seen it, then you know what I’m talking about when I say this was fantastic…
And now for one of my favourite scenes. Ever. It may spoil it a little, but if you’re unsure on whether this is worth watching, this is a good way to see some of the humour involved.
I don’t remember laughing this hard since the day the episode aired. Pity they miss out the final line here… but I suppose it keeps it a surprise for those who have never seen it.
“It’s not a bedsit, it’s a flat!”
It was ultimately the thing that Pegg required, sending him forward into stardom, making the films we all know and love today. There were tidbits before and after, some good, but nothing compared to Spaced. I salute you, Pegg & co.
So coming up tomorrow is a look at some of Pegg’s film work, the main feature of which being Shaun of the Dead.