wed 23/07/2014

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?

'Peep Show': a world of pain for your amusement

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.

Writers Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain don’t let a line of dialogue pass that doesn’t deliver a joke

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4

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I rate Peep Show up there

I rate Peep Show up there with Seinfeld in terms of comedy impact. Even this season resonates. MORE MORE MORE!

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