This weekend, The World’s End was released stateside and I was unable to swing my schedule to be able to go see it. I was able, however, to finally gain the proper motivation to push Spaced to the top of my Netflix queue and actually watch that program. One of the initial collaborations between Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost, Spaced lasted for two series of seven episodes a piece. Spaced was created by Simon Pegg and Jessica Stevenson, who also starred as a pair of friends who decide to pose as a professional couple in order to move into a quality apartment with a reasonable price. Anyways, here are my thoughts on the first episode of the first series, titled “Beginnings.”
Tim (Simon Pegg) and Daisy (Jessica Stevenson) are both down on their luck. Tim, a prospective comic-book artist and the assistant manager of a comic-book store (his boss is named Bilbo; personally, I never trust a man named Bilbo: he may disappear on you), has been broken up with by his girlfriend, who has started to date one of his friends, and kicked him out of their flat. Daisy, a “writer”, is tired of living in squalor with a bunch of squatters and decides the time has come for a real place to call home, assuming it is reasonably priced. Tim and Daisy meet and talk daily in a coffee shop for several weeks while they apartment hunt separately before deciding that they should become roommates who must pretend to be deeply in love and in a committed adult relationship in order to fool their new landlady, Marsha (Julia Deakin).
Tim is the kind of guy that argues his ability to be emotional by referencing how he reacts to some of the more “touching” scenes in Terminator 2: Judgement Day and will stop dead in his tracks when someone speaks ill of The X-Files. Daisy is the kind of woman who blurts out insignificant factoids about her faux-life-partner in order to seem inconspicuous to an apathetic landlady. Fun fact: Saying “fun fact” before stating random facts and trivia makes it slightly more palatable to the unsuspecting victim. Sad fact: I do this quite a bit.
The supporting cast of this off-beat sitcom includes Nick Frost as Tim’s best friend Mike, a weapons “expert” and the recipient of very little screen-time thus far. Katy Carmichael plays Twist, Daisy’s best friend who works in “fashion”, and the recipient of even less screen-time than Nick Frost thus far. Mark Heap portrays Brian, the downstairs neighbor of our protagonists, and an off-beat artist motivated by pain, anger, fear, and all those other buzz words. He possesses a strange bit of sexual tension with Marsha: she gets sexual, and he gets tense.
Spaced is an intriguing animal thus far, it is possessive of a very standard setup (I’m nearly certain will they or won’t they tension will be rampant by the end of the second series.) but it also has a surrealistic style all its own and some decidedly quirky humor. Tim and Daisy are also different from your typical leads: Tim is as nerdy a nerd as you can get, but does not possess the redeeming sort of extreme intelligence usually found in nerdy characters in sitcoms (at least American ones from the 1990’s and CBS ones from the 2000’s) , and Daisy is apparently a slacker and lacks a supermodel figure.
Thus far Spaced has entertained me, and seems poised to entertain me even more considering the setup and expository dialogue appears to have been dealt with in the first episode. The show was funny, I got the geeky references, and I still like it when Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright work together, so Spaced remains atop my queue and I am even more excited to go see The World’s End sometime in the near future
, assuming the world doesn’t end before then.