Do you enjoy the film of Edgar Wright? I do, by and large. I think he’s made a few good movies and one great one, that one being Shaun of the Dead. Yes, his first true feature film is still his best as far as I am concerned. Which is interesting, because my second-favorite thing he’s done came even before Shaun of the Dead. You see, before Wright broke out as a filmmaker, and before he was known in America at all, he was at the helm for a British sitcom that I am not recommending to binge this weekend.
The show is called Spaced, and it’s basically the origin story of not just Wright, but Simon Pegg. It’s the beginning of their collaborative journey. Oh, and Nick Frost got his first real acting gig in this show as well. Because this is a British show, it’s a singular vision. The show was created, starred, and was written by Pegg and Jessica Stevenson. Edgar Wright directed every episode. Oh, and because it’s British TV there are only two seasons and 14 episodes.
Pegg and Stevenson star as Tim and Daisy, two twentysomethings in London who end up moving into a flat together in the pilot. However, because of their landlords rules, they have to pretend to be a couple to live there. Then, they just go about living their lives. They have a couple friends, a fashionable woman named Twist and Mike, played by Nick Frost. He’s a Nick Frost character. Also, they become friends with Brian, the weirdo artist who lives in the building as well.
As you might expect, there are a ton of pop culture riffs in the show. That’s the nature of what Edgar Wright has always done. In fact, there is even a zombie episode, paving the way for Shaun of the Dead. They do it in a way that is slick and clever, though, which makes it work. Before Dan Harmon was doing that in Community, Wright, Pegg, and Stevenson were making it happen on British TV.
I really like Spaced. It’s maybe my favorite modern British sitcom. That’s partially because most of those shows look cheap, while Spaced definitely does not. The acting is good and the comedy is a lot of fun. Sometimes it doesn’t work, because genre riffs can be hit or miss. However, Spaced is a must see if you are a fan of Wright’s movies, or are just pop culture savvy.