The Best Show You’ve Never Seen (If You’re A Fellow American)
God Bless Hulu. I was trying to figure out a way to embed the first episode of Peep Show on my blog so I could make a post about it and then tell you to watch it, and now my dream has come true!
The show is basically a modern British version of The Odd Couple, shot in the first-person — hence the title of the show. In addition to the viewing perspective, it also utilizes inner monologue to perfect hilarious effect. The vast majority of the show deals with sexual situations and frustrations (another reason for the title) and usually involves Mark — the stuck-up, awkward one of the two friends — totally embarrassing himself. Jeremy, the other half of the male couple, suffers his own humiliating moments, but it’s almost always hilarious to watch, as opposed to absolutely painful when witnessing Mark make a fool of himself. The British sure like their awkward comedy.
Regardless of its painfulness, it’s a pretty damn brilliant and immensely quotable show, and it only gets better as it goes along. There is continuity throughout the entire run, with most individual series (they call seasons “series” over there) having a overarching plot thread. Having series of six episodes each really does wonders for the quality of a TV show. I still think a dozen episodes is the sweet spot, but six episodes is better than twenty-four and running a show into the ground in a few seasons.
I’m posting the pilot episode because I’m a bit obsessed with starting things at the very beginning, and I think you should too. But if you don’t think the first episode is all that great, give it at least the second episode as well. Give yourself some time to warm up to the the British idiosyncrasies. Do it for me. And then post a comment for me, too. Or not. But I’ll be upset!