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Spaced? More Like Space Nuts! - The Book of the Celestial Cow

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March 24th, 2006


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11:51 pm - Spaced? More Like Space Nuts!
eirefaerie: "Sunil, you should watch Spaced."
spectralbovine: "Nah, I don't have time."
eirefaerie: "I'll sleep with you!"
spectralbovine: "No, you won't."
eirefaerie: "No, I won't. But you should watch Spaced anyway."
spectralbovine: "Fine."

And that bears no resemblance to any actual conversation Erin and I have ever had about Spaced, but she sent me the show, so she deserves a little credit. A teeny bit. Maybe one load of laundry's worth.

Spaced is a British comedy comprising two brilliant seasons of seven fantastic episodes each. Fourteen episodes, and not a clunker among them. And no two episodes are the same.

The premise of Spaced is simple: Tim, an aspiring comic book artist, gets dumped by his girlfriend and needs to find a new place to live. He meets Daisy, an aspiring writer who also needs a new place to live. They find an ad for a great flat...but it's "for professional couples only."

Naturally, they pretend to be a couple to get the flat. With the flat comes a strange landlord, Marsha, and an eccentric artist, Brian. Rounding out the cast of characters are Tim's and Daisy's best friends, Mike, a militaristic lunkhead, and Twist, a fashion-obsessed ditzy blonde.

Also, there's a dog, but that's not till later.

Together, they have all kinds of wacky adventures, as characters in sitcoms so often do.

But oh, criminy, said adventures are more hilarious than you could possibly imagine because this show has style coming out its ass. Like Arrested Development, it uses a lot of quick-cutscene humor, but because it's not hindered by a documentary look, it's actually far more successful at visual humor. My most recent favorite is a blink-and-you'll-miss-it shot of bananas as devil horns. The visual style is one of the show's biggest strengths, and if you're a fan of that sort of thing, you'll love it.

The other major strength is the fact that the show is packed full of references and homages to movies and television. It's a show for fanboys, made by fanboys. References can be in the dialogue, in the props, in the framing, in the costuming, in the music, ANYWHERE. They fucking use the Murder, She Wrote theme at one point, people! This is a show where "hating The Phantom Menace" is a genuine character motivation. And what I love is that when doing a full-on spoof, they take the time to duplicate the camera angles and shots exactly as well, so you recognize the scene as familiar before the content tips you off. What's even better is how well integrated the spoofs are; they feel totally natural and part of the world.

Oh, oh, not just movies and television: frickin' video games! On no other half-hour comedy have video games been treated with the love and respect they deserve! The video games inspire some of the best jokes, even. In fact, in one episode, Tim stays up all night playing Resident Evil, and as a result, he starts hallucinating zombies everywhere...and this was the inspiration for Shaun of the Dead. And if you liked Shaun of the Dead, you will like Spaced.

Every episode is written by Simon Pegg and Jessica Stevenson, and every episode is directed by Edgar Wright, so there's a remarkable consistency throughout the series. But, as I said, no two episodes are alike. There's really no formula to the show, so you never know what to expect.

Really, the most wonderful thing about Spaced is that it exists at all. Because you get the feeling that the people behind the show made it because they were big geeks and wanted to make a show with lots of geeky references and have a lot of damn fun doing it. The fact that they're very talented and ended up creating something with artistic and comedic merit is beside the point. Yeah, there's some good stuff about life and love and relationships and your usual schtick, but the show's funny as hell, and that's what matters.

Thusly: watch Spaced, or Lara Croft will kick your ass.
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Current Music: The RLOS Ruddigore webcast

(98 memoirs | Describe me as "inscrutable")

Comments:


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[User Picture]
From:iheartbridges
Date:March 25th, 2006 05:09 am (UTC)
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I still need to watch my Spaced DVD that eire so kindly gave to me. Remind me to do that later.
[User Picture]
From:iheartbridges
Date:March 25th, 2006 05:10 am (UTC)
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Ohhh, I love when I'm the first to comment on one of your posts. I feel so powerful.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:March 25th, 2006 05:20 am (UTC)
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Icon!

And I got no discs! Only files! I want to watch with the Homage-O-Meter, very muchly!
[User Picture]
From:twop_tjl
Date:March 25th, 2006 05:29 am (UTC)
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Yay for eire!

I've got a Spaced post over on my LJ which contains links to a few things you might want to see.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:March 25th, 2006 05:30 am (UTC)
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OMG!
[User Picture]
From:kibarika
Date:March 25th, 2006 05:37 am (UTC)
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Would you kindly explain to me why my boyfriend is sending you shows to watch, and nothing to me?

It's because I'm a girl, isn't it?
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:March 25th, 2006 05:58 am (UTC)
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No, because she sent it to iheartbridges too.

It's because she hates you.
[User Picture]
From:foresthouse
Date:March 25th, 2006 05:39 am (UTC)

I was watching Spaced TODAY!

(Link)
FanGIRLS too, you know. :)

Also, on the dvd set somewhere there is essentially a geek-ometer, that you can turn on while you watch - it will then list every single reference to pop culture as you watch. It's priceless.

I think my favorite ep in S1 is the club one. I SOOOO want screencaps of all of them with their club names.

Also I've been hankering after a mouse-spider icon forever now, but I can't screencap or find it anywhere! It maketh me sad.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:March 25th, 2006 05:43 am (UTC)

Re: I was watching Spaced TODAY!

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I think my favorite ep in S1 is the club one.

So weird, because that's eirefaerie's favorite too! And...my least favorite. I'm not sure which is my favorite in S1, but I have a mad fondness for the dog rescue; I don't know why.

"Is Jabba the princess?"
"YES!"

And I love the tossaway delivery of "Except for Mike, who once stole a tank and tried to invade Paris."

Goddamn, I want to watch the whole series with the Homage-O-Meter thing.
[User Picture]
From:kieyra
Date:March 25th, 2006 05:39 am (UTC)
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You recognized Brian, right? Right?

And Tim/Simon was in a Doctor Who episode or two.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:March 25th, 2006 05:45 am (UTC)
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I knew Mark Heap was in it, and I couldn't find him. But Brian sounded like him. And a few times, he did the Statham stutter. But there was NO WAY that could be him. He was so skinny! The next episode, I listened and that voice, it had to be him. But, damn, he was unrecognizable. It's like he gained a hundred pounds and twenty years between Spaced and Green Wing.

And Simon Pegg was in one episode, "The Long Game."
[User Picture]
From:etherealclarity
Date:March 25th, 2006 05:47 am (UTC)
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You haven't led me wrong yet.... and the premise sounds fantastic.

But it's not on Netflix! How do I watch this show??
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:March 25th, 2006 05:55 am (UTC)
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Um...very carefully? The problem is it's a British series that's only out in Region 2, so you need a multi-region DVD player.

You might be able to find it on BitTorrent. Or you get someone to send you the AVIs.

Goddamn, that's a cute icon.
[User Picture]
From:cerulgalactus
Date:March 25th, 2006 05:47 am (UTC)
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Heck yes.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:March 25th, 2006 06:11 am (UTC)
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The second rule of Robot Club is: No smoking.
[User Picture]
From:schnappycat
Date:March 25th, 2006 06:30 am (UTC)
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I want to check out Spaced. Can I download them from somewhere?
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:March 25th, 2006 06:32 am (UTC)
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I'm not sure if there are active torrents. Maybe you can get eirefaerie to send the episodes to you. Pack some cake in an envelope as payment.
[User Picture]
From:sistakaren
Date:March 25th, 2006 06:35 am (UTC)
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Heh. I discovered Spaced about a year ago (BEAT YOU!), and I love it. I've only seen the first season, but it's such a fun show. Maybe I'll try to find it on You Tube. I don't love it like I love Arrested Development, but I'm quite fond of it.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:March 25th, 2006 06:41 am (UTC)
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I love how successfully overdramatic it is. You should definitely watch the second season; there's an awesome Star Wars homage at the end of one episode.
[User Picture]
From:sweinberg
Date:March 25th, 2006 07:31 am (UTC)
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My original plan was to just wait for someone (A&E perhaps?) to release the dang show on R1 DVD already, but at this point I might just resort to ... illicit measures. How annoying it is that I have to be willing to break the law just to see a TV SHOW I WANNA SEE.

But yeah; can't wait to see all of Spaced. I'm entirely sure I'll dig it.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:March 25th, 2006 03:03 pm (UTC)
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Oh, you'll totally dig it. You'll probably catch more references than I did.
[User Picture]
From:alliterator
Date:March 25th, 2006 08:12 am (UTC)
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I have watched a total of three episodes of Spaced and loved every second (the episodes were the pilot, the zombie one, and the second season one where Tim was fired from his job for yelling at a kid wanting to buy a Jar-Jar doll).
[User Picture]
From:eirefaerie
Date:March 25th, 2006 05:05 pm (UTC)
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EWOKS MAKE JAR-JAR LOOK LIKE FUCKING SHAFT!!!
[User Picture]
From:maidofawesome
Date:March 25th, 2006 11:55 am (UTC)
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Damn, I need to make Spaced icons again. I liked it first! I did! From when it was on tv!!! And no one listened when I talked about it and talked about it and talked about it. Until Shaun. And then they did.

I've met Simon Pegg and we had mad passionate sex. Honest.

I think my favourite Spaced episode is the one where Tim gets fired. The outtakes for that scene are brilliant.

"Are you okay?"
"No! I've lost my fork!"

"Are you okay?"
"No, I just electrocuted myself on the toaster..."

Also, Bill Bailey! Any episodes with Bilbo are awesome.

The clubbing episode is really good, though. I love them all. Don't make me choose.

I'm glad you finally watched it! Now we need to get you on to The Mighty Boosh. Weirdest show ever.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:March 25th, 2006 03:05 pm (UTC)
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Yes, you need to make icons! I got one last night, but there needs to exist the elusive mice-spiders icon and the "Daisy Steiner wins!" icon and...other ones I can't think of at the moment. The "Anger...pain...fear...aggression" icon!
[User Picture]
From:pixie37373
Date:March 25th, 2006 02:09 pm (UTC)
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seeee, now I really want to see it. I have too many things on my list....
[User Picture]
From:eirefaerie
Date:March 25th, 2006 05:10 pm (UTC)
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Only *one* load of laundry? Even though I got you all these comments? (Okay, you get all these comments whether you talk about new shows or a dollar you found on the ground. You're too popular for my own good.)

YAY. FOR. SPACED.

Also, Colin-rescue is a season 1 highlight for me, as well. BECAUSE THERE IS TIM/DAISY SHIPPINESS OMG. And also because I love the missions. "Twist, we're going to an animal research facility. There will be plenty of makeup there."

Oh, and fake gun-fight is my favorite S2 ep. Because that's so awesome, and wonderfully shot, and I love it. They talk about it in the documentary.

Okay! Direct everyone who wants a copy of the eps (computer file only) to this comment. I will try to burn them all today and send them out next week - but I need to know today.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:March 25th, 2006 05:30 pm (UTC)
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And also because I love the missions. "Twist, we're going to an animal research facility. There will be plenty of makeup there."

"Mike, meet at 2200 hours. Everyone else, meet at 10:00."

Fake gun-fight is pretty damn awesome. Plus Darth Maul!

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