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 10,000 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?
Impressive talents in remarkably gimmick-free Beeb competition
New puppet satire can barely drag itself to the finishing line
Pleasing travelogue with game presenter Christine Bleakley
Erudition and humour, pleasure and sin jostle in unashamedly intelligent television
The case in which DNA profiling was first used to catch a killer makes for gripping drama
An arts and broadcasting giant who was an inspired head of music at the BBC
Troubling investigation of the disaffection of French Muslims
Old Testament epic rendered as an animal-free northern soap
The presenter teases out the answers to the questions the viewer wants to ask
How traditional two-party politics was forced to confront the unthinkable
The fantasy drama returns without much fantasy, or drama
Awkward documentary draws few conclusions from a 20-year fight for women's rights