The term British Invasion has already been put into use, but over the last few years, the best television that the UK has to offer — Broadchurch, Luther, Orphan Black, and Sherlock to name a few) — has joined Doctor Who to make make their way stateside, turning many unsuspecting Americans into anglophiles. The thing is, while the dramas get all the notice, this flood proceeded a batch of UK comedies that have relevance and staying power in the U.S., thanks to word of mouth and streaming. I’m talking about The IT Crowd, Black’s Books, and my personal favorite, Spaced.
From the Cornetto Trilogy (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, The World’s End) braintrust of Edgar Wright, Nira Park, and Simon Pegg, as well as writer/star Jessica Stevenson (now Hynes) and featuring Nick Frost, Spaced tells the story of two slacker artist types who — out of sheer desperation — pretend to be a couple so they can rent a flat. The setup is pedestrian to say the least, but Wright and his team use it merely as a jumping off point to tell stories that are relevant to their times and station (struggling slacker artist types in their mid-20s), incredibly relateable, clever, and imaginative.
Is it worth your time for a binge-watch (it’s on Hulu Plus)? Take a look at these 12 reasons why you should watch Spaced and then make a decision.
There are so few episodes.
With only 14 episodes, you can watch Spaced on a rainy Saturday in its entirety. As I have, once or twice. But while the show is comparatively snack-sized as far as binge watches go, and while it’s a tight and satisfying run with a perfectly acceptable ending (that wasn’t necessarily supposed to be the series finale), I found myself wanting more because it’s so good and because I’m so used to lengthier U.S. series runs. You may feel the same.
Tim and Daisy.
The idea of male/female friendship isn’t new in TV or film, but few stabs at that dynamic are as well executed as what we see Edgar Wright, Jessica Stevenson, and Simon Pegg create with Spaced. And I think that’s because the friendship is treated with respect. It isn’t a means to a sexy sexy end, it is — as far as these people know — the total end for their relationship, and that’s refreshing and real. Which is not to say that “love” is a bore in fiction, just that it’s nice when that isn’t the only reason why two people try to carry on a conversation.
So often, television shows ignore the length that the format provides and while utilizing sex as a shortcut to demonstrate intimacy between two characters. Spaced did the opposite despite its short lifespan and it was better for it at the end because the characters lives were connected at multiple points, not just at the heart or at the genitals.