April 7, 2009

The Ballad of Tim & Daisy

Cult TV series are often times like blind dates - most of the time, there's a sense of "why did I bother?" and a great ease in walking away; sometimes, there's a "what-fresh-hell-is-this" sensation, where you wonder what other people see in it. But once in awhile, you find an underappreciated gem that you fall madly, passionately in love with...or at least, madly passionately in serious like with.

For me, I've completely fallen in love with Spaced.

If you had to summarize the show in ten words or less, it might be "Slacker Friends"...or, as some reviews have put it, "a live action Simpsons", but that would only tell a part of the story. The premise is wacky - two mismatched strangers decide to pretend to be a couple in order to rent an apartment - but it goes beyond that. The references are fast and furious (so much so that one of the commentary tracks simply lists the references), the writing is sharp and intelligent....

Let's put it this way - Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost also brought you Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz . The remarkable thing about Spaced is that rather than be a rough draft of both films...there's a high degree of polish and solidity to the writing and acting. (Don't believe me? Season Two, Episode 5. Watch it and tell me that it's not a well-timed, well thought-out piece of classic humor). Even though there's the initial beginnings of a will they/won't they dynamic between Simon Pegg's and Jessica (Hynes) Stevenson's characters....it doesn't feel forced or mandatory.

Within many of the commentaries, there's a lot of talk about a third season. For me, would it be nice? Sure. But is it necessary? Not really - rather than go on beyond its shelf life, Spaced works because it is so full of references, of clever verbal humor, and just plain goodness, that having "only" two seasons works.

One potential spoiler - be sure you don't watch the documentary on disc 3 until you've seen all the episodes. There's a speculative spoiler at the very end.

Besides which, I've fallen for both Tim and Daisy....and quite frankly, I think it's for real.

Very Highly Recommended.

1 comment:

Nik said...

I bought this set blind and really glad I did, as you say it's very fresh and fun stuff -- and of course it's Simon Pegg, whom I've never disliked in anything yet (although I haven't seen "Run Ronnie Run"!)