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Post Tagged with: Spaced

McSpace revealed…

McSpace revealed…

So, it has come to pass that four minutes of the failed US version of that seminal British classic sitcom Spaced has made it onto YouTube:

It’s amazing how the mere addition of American accents and standing studio sets make it seem more polished, more ‘other’ and more glamorous. Which takes away the original charm of Spaced in that it was rooted in an earthly reality we could all recognise.

Worst of all – the American version of tortured artist Brian has somehow become Jim Belushi with an easel. It’s pretty much the same dialogue, but he seems less of a sweet, likeable tortured artist and more of an escapee from a fraternity who’s convinced himself that being arty with an easel will get him ladies. Though all he’s gotten so far is Marcia (at least that plotline stayed).

The interludes also seem bizarre to the point of pointlessness. Why have a disappearing tram?

On the plus side, Daisy somehow seems more real with an American accent, because in my head a flighty not-sure-what-to-do young woman seems more real with an American accent. Having said that, it’s very hard to see her miming a gunfight with such fabulous gusto as what happens later in Spaced…

Jessica Hynes is still funny!

Jessica Hynes is still funny!

As long-time readers of this blog may know, I (along with lots of pop-culture-obsessed UK’ers) am a huge fan of Spaced. For those not in the know, it’s almost a British piss-take on Seinfeld, albeit obsessed with pop culture instead of the people around them. (In so many ways, Seinfeld would have worked better if it was British! I mean, what other nation is such an expert when it comes to examining the innards of human society, and the bizarre rituals and expectations that grow up around them?)

Anyway, skip to the end and while Simon Pegg & Edgar Wright (director) went off to do many funny things (and Pegg is the new Scotty for Star Trek), Jessica Stevenson’s career seemed to take an interesting turn.

She could have continued to mill her geek comedienne persona into all sorts of interesting things – but after a BBC-helmed comedic misfire, she seemed to turn her back on all things comedy, getting married, having three children and, of course, falling in love with David Tennant in Doctor Who: Human Nature.

Fortunately, to commemorate the American release of Spaced: The Complete Series on DVD (Americans! buy it now! It’s got commentaries and praise from the likes of Kevin Smith, Quentin Tarantino & Matt Stone!), the triumvirate have hit the publicity trail, complete with this video interview with Empire at Comic-Con. and I’m pleased to report that Jessica is as funny, geeky and – damn it, rude – as ever.

Spaced + Swingers = Free Enterprise?

Spaced + Swingers = Free Enterprise?

Thinking about my previous post on how terrible an American version of Spaced would be, it occured to me that I have seen a film which features two twenty-something pop and sci-fi culture obsessives living life in the late 1990s, with pop culture references shoved in left, right and centre with a few film homages and girls who dig comic books (pah! fantasy I tell you!).

Granted, it being American, everyone is impossibly handsome – it starred the future Will of Will & Grace, had the gorgeous never-to-be-seen-again Lori Lively, the two people live in Los Angeles and have jobs most people would kill for (scriptwriter and editor). And of course, everyone is impossibly attractive looking. Oh, and it features William Shatner rapping.

The film whereof I speak? Free Enterprise. Have you heard of it? Even seen it? Am I the only one who’d draw a reasonable comparison? Obviously it’s not as good as Spaced – what could be? – but take a look, see what you think…

McSpaced…

McSpaced…

As you may know, I’m a bit of a fan of Spaced, a British sitcom that could only have been made in the cusp of the Millennium with its two key protagonists utterly consumed by geek culture and pop culture references, so much so that the two main characters never even kissed one another.

Skip to today, and Variety announce vague plans by Fox to make a US version of it. Brought to you by McG – the man who directed Charlie’s Angels and didn’t make Superman Returns because he was too scared to fly on a plane to Australia – and some guy called Adam Barr. So far, the original creators of Spaced haven’t been consulted. But even if they were involved, I can’t see how a US version of it would work.

Half the fun was watching British people essentially re-enacting a wide variety of Hollywood pop culture moments. Having Americans re-enacting Hollywood moments with a twist wouldn’t be funny – it’d just be Scary Movie 15. With extra mugging.

"you think I'm unemotional … I cried at the end of Terminator 2!"

"you think I'm unemotional … I cried at the end of Terminator 2!"

I have been caught massively enthusing about the genius that is Spaced – the finest sitcom a pop-culture/nerdy obsessed person could ever possibly hope to have. Complete with strong characters all round. It’s so hip it hurts…

Anyway, skip to the end – and some kind soul has put up the first episode of Spaced online on Google Video. So here it is: watch it!

Then buy Spaced: The Collectors Edition from your friendly Amazon UK dealer.

When you know too much about Spaced

When you know too much about Spaced

Back in 2001, amidst the turmoil that was going on in my London life, a rare treat was watching Spaced. The perfect sitcom for UK pop-culture-obsessives, it was cosy, fun, trendy, hip and for a while I could bask in pretending that I knew people like Tim and Daisy, fellow pop-culture-obsessed afficiandos with a huge dose of dry wit, slightly zany adventures and genuinely interesting – if weird – people all around them.

Skip to the end of 2005, and Skarlett (bless her cotton socks) gives me the definitive Spaced: Collectors’ Edition DVD for my birthday. thank you. With the 80-minute documentary all about the making of Spaced. As it says on the box inlay, “particular thanks if you’ve already purchased the existing version (which I did) … and you’re buying it all over again for the new bits. That’s exactly the sort of thing a Spaced fan would do.”

But it’s a little disappointing. Not because of the content or the episodes – which are still hilarious if you are a pop-culture-obsessed film/TV fiend hankering after a fantasy version of twentysomething flat-sharing and bar-hopping instead of sitting along on a Friday night with your ramen noodles.

But because Simon Pegg and Jessica Stevenson are not Tim and Daisy. I had somehow managed to naively think that because Spaced seemed so real, man, that if I happened to bump into Pegg/Stevenson in the street, we’d have a cool conversation, man. Or (more than likely) end up gibbering into my shoes like Suw would have done.

But I’m watching the documentary, with Simon/Jessica retracing their Spaced shooting footsteps. Simon looks insufferably cool in some Diesel sunglasses, while Jessica is looking radiant with cleavage to match. Cleavage ?! There was no cleavage in Spaced, let me tell you.

Plus, I always thought Spaced was a mega-cool sitcom. The geek sitcom for geeks who wouldn’t countenance silly things like dressing up. But lo and behold, there were apparently Spaced conventions where people dressed up like the characters.

The documentary is, however, worth it just for the little coda where they pick up Tim and Daisy as they would be now.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m late for my meeting with my therapist in a vain attempt to get over my fear of zombies so I can watch Shaun of the Dead.

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