DVD: Peep Show - Series 8 | TV reviews, news & interviews
DVD: Peep Show - Series 8
The greatest TV sitcom ever made - but how long can it go on for?
I suspect that this cruel, clever sitcom is more loved by men than women, because what woman really wants to delve this deeply into the murky pool of the unreconstructed male psyche? But after a decade of Jeremy (Robert Webb) and Mark (David Mitchell) fucking up their lives and fucking off their girlfriends there’s a pall of foreboding lingering over proceedings in Series 8 that suggests this can’t go on forever. Or can it? Every show that focuses on a particular period of our lives – from the teenagers of The Inbetweeners to the 20-somethings of Men Behaving Badly - has had to free its prisoners of time eventually. The only alternative is to utilise the frozen cartoon-time of The Simpsons or South Park so that a zillion unlikely scenarios can be thrown at your characters each week without them ever ageing a day.
But for now, the show goes on. And, as ever, writers Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain don’t let a line of dialogue pass that doesn’t deliver a joke. In fact it seems extremely unfair that although Peep Show is as glitteringly quotable as Withnail and I it’s never likely to be granted that film’s genius status, simply because it’s been decreed that art works have to be self-contained entities, not open-ended works in progress. So here we have Jeremy and Mark still hilariously unable to transcend their grim Croydon housing estate existence, trying to grapple the adult world into submission (Jeremy on a new woman he’s met: “She’s grown-up; she wears fitted jackets.”) They're ably supported by the likes of the deadpan-brilliant Matt King as wide-eyed, morally bankrupt drug fiend Super Hans.
But what one has to admire most about Peep Show is the fact it’s made an initially woozy and irritating style of direction something which we now barely notice. It’s entirely appropriate that we perceive Jeremy and Mark’s solipsistic characters through the portholes of their eyes, yet who’d have thought that we’d actually acclimatise to this virtual reality-like jumping from one character’s viewpoint to the other’s for the full duration of each and every episode? The greatest TV sitcom ever made? Absolutely. Long shall its characters continue to suffer. Extras include the usual bloopers and outtakes.
Subscribe to theartsdesk.com
Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 7,000 pieces, we're asking for £2.95 per month or £25 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.
To take an annual subscription now simply click here.
And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?
Flimsy documentary is one for the feline-minded
Fascinating and original concept only partially ruined by condescending direction
Military intervention might have helped spark some life into this panel chat
Final episode of Hugo Blick's absorbing thriller avoids neat conclusions
Capaldi's eyebrows steal the show as a new era begins
A great compendium of Bush's back catalogue, though the talking heads are hit and miss
Giddy self-regard only lets up briefly in a circus of expensively-tanned backs being slapped
Does James Fox have anything interesting to say? Judging from this series, no
Watchable docu-soap provides plenty of cuddly pets to coo over
More first-person war testimonies from front line and home front
Fantastic mid-Seventies dystopian children's drama from the BBC
Adam Rutherford's exploration of Leonardo and the dark art of human dissection