Hello, HuffPost Comedy Club members! We're here to discuss Season Two of the series "Spaced," starring Simon Pegg and Jessica Hynes. To continue the Season 1 discussion go here. And if you want to make suggestions on what we should cover next, you can do that here.
Most importantly, if you have yet to join the club, sign up now! You'll get important -- and infrequent -- updates on discussions, upcoming features and events.
A bit about the editors who will be discussing the series with you:
Carol Hartsell, Comedy Editor
Next to Clint Eastwood and the horse in Winter's Tale -- who could totally kick War Horse's ass by the way -- Daisy is my personal hero. She's completely, awkwardly, shamelessly genuine, and she puts all of today's "adorkable" leading ladies to shame. I originally watched "Spaced" after a friend told me, "It's by the 'Shaun of the Dead' guys!" but I walked away completely in love with the comedic genius of Jessica Hynes (nee Stevenson).
Katla McGlynn, Deputy Comedy Editor
I first saw “Spaced” when I got the DVD box set for Christmas in 2009, and since then it has become one of my all-time favorite shows. The abundant film references, the oh-so-90s clothes and music, and Daisy and Tim’s perfect will-they-or-won’t-they non-relationship are what interest me the most. Let's do this!
Ross Luippold, Associate Comedy Editor
I have never seen "Spaced" before, but I did have an unhealthy obsession with "Star Wars" as a kid -- I'll make bantha poodoo out of you at "Star Wars" Trivial Pursuit -- and I love everything else Edgar Wright has ever done. Also, I love England! And friendship! And liveblogging! Let's do this.
Christine Friar, Associate Comedy Editor
I'm watching the show for the first time, so if you're confused about something or dying to talk about that quote from your favorite character, find me! I'm probably dying too! And let's keep a running list of funny British ways of saying things while we're at it. Here, I'll start: lorry.
Seena Vali, Comedy Intern
I tend to gravitate to comedy that deals with social awkwardness since that's an almost constant aspect of my life. I'm also a big fan of science fiction, comic books and other nerdy stuff like that, so if you want to discuss possible references to "House Of M" #7 that you see, I'm your man.
"Spaced" star and co-creator Simon Pegg tweeted earlier that he recently came across an interesting picture:
That's none other than the famous drawing of Damien Cox, the head of Dark Star Comics, which Tim, Mike and Tyres had to go retrieve after Daisy accidentally put in Tim's portfolio. Cool find!
Reader Meagan asks a really interesting question:
Does anyone else see the connections between Lena Dunham's Hannah character on GIRLS and Daisy Styner of SPACED? Both lazy (slightly over normal weight) "writers" who never write, can't hold down jobs, or have good personal hygiene? Even the haircut. It seems like Lena took Daisy and Twist and created American Daisy and pseudo British Twist in the form of Jessa (No one knows why she is friends with Daisy/Hannah, she's either an evil genius or a bit dim). Except in SPACED Adam is Brian and ends up with Twist for kinky weird arty sex. Discuss.
What do you think? Do you see the similarities?
"They say the family of the 21st century is made up of friends, not relatives. Than again, maybe that's just bollocks"
After the intense drama of episode six, the series finale, "Leaves" leaves a little to be desired. That's not to say it isn't a good episode. All the loose ends are tied up rather cathartically, and you have to appreciate the way Wright brought the show full-circle by replicating Tim and Daisy's first look at the apartment when the potential tenants come by for a viewing:
The main plot of the episode -- Marsha attempting to sell her triple-valued property -- is a bit predictable when you that it's the finale, but Tim and Daisy's plot-line keeps you guessing. If this were an American TV show, it would have probably ended with Tim declaring his love for Daisy with some dramatic, romantic gesture. But that wouldn't have felt right, considering how subdued they've been the entire series.
In the end, when the "professional couple" is back in their flat with Colin and all is right in the world, you definitely get the feeling that they have both found what they were looking for: a secure home and a true companion. No impromptu proposal or Jim-and-Pam style wedding needed. When Tim's head rests on Daisy's, you know it's love.
What did you think of how the series wrapped up?
The website SpacedSountrack.com compiles all the songs from series 1 and 2 and breaks them down by episode. It's brilliant!
Not only do they offer the song/album/artist names, but they also link you to the iTunes and Amazon pages where you can purchase the songs. I've already downloaded some of my personal favorites, including the opening theme song ("Morse") and Tim's "happy walk" song ("S'Il Vous Plait"):
- "Smash It" by Fuzz Townshend
- "S'Il Vous Plait" by Fantastic Plastic Machines
- "Morse" by Nightmares On Wax
- "From Rusholme With Love" by Mint Royal
I just found these hilarious outtake videos on YouTube. Check them out!
My favorite part of episode 6 (and possible of the entire series thus far) was the brief cameo by Ricky Gervais as Dave, the "bit of a prick" who listed Marsha's housing ad in the newspaper.
To put this into the context of Gervais' career, this episode of "Spaced" came out in April of 2001, just a few months before "The Office" (which I am also a huge fan of) debuted in the UK. Aside from the fun of seeing a few clear David Brent-isms in Gervais' cameo, we also learn that Dave is one of the most important characters in the entire series, simply because, by accidentally including "Professional Couples Only" in the newspaper listing, he sets off the entire series of events that leads to Tim and Daisy pretending to be a couple in order to get the apartment together.
And on a related note, is there anything more heartbreaking than the utterly crestfallen whimper from Marsha after she finds out that Tim and Daisy have been lying to her this whole time? My heart sinks every time I hear it.
In episode 5, "Gone," you probably noticed a couple of references to a Kia-Ora advertisement with the catchphrase, "It's too orangey for crows!". To me, this sounded like some kind of bizarro Trix commercial. You know, "Silly Rabbit, Trix are for kids!". So naturally, I had to look it up:
As it turns out, Kia-Ora makes a popular orange drink and, as you'll see above, some decidedly offensive commercials. This spot from the 1980s (yes, the 80s) contains more racial stereotypes than we thought humanly possible to cram into a 40-second ad.
Seriously, what were they thinking?
Episode 4 of Season 2 really begins to test our tacit acceptance of Tim & Daisy as platonic life partners. It is here that we first meet Sophie, that girl Tim fancies as Mike calls her.
Sophie is sexy and mysterious and she has a position of power in the comics industry, which kind of makes her perfect for Tim. More importantly, she seems to like him as well, because she saves his proverbial bacon by removing the "wanker" drawing of Damien from Tim's portfolio. At the end of the episode, Tim has an interview and a date lined up.
Why does this bother me so much? I don't necessarily want he and Daisy to be together; their relationship almost has more intimacy and complexity because they aren't having sex. But I don't want either of them to be with anyone else either. More importantly, I don't want the world that has been constructed around them to fall apart.
How do you feel about Tim going out with Sophie? Do you want Tim and Daisy to be together ultimately?
There were a lot of great parts in Episode 4 ("The Matrix" lobby scene reference, a clean-shaven Brian pretending to be a lawyer, Marsha's jogging outfit, etc.), but for me, two things clearly stood out.
Firstly, Tyres dancing in the middle of an intersection to the sounds of street traffic:
Like Mike Watt's club scene, this is something I can watch over and over again and still laugh every time (especially when he gives a thumbs up to a passing car).
And secondly, of course, the British Ron Swanson:
Sure, the hair part is on the opposite side, but you have to admit, the resemblance is pretty striking. He even has the same Swanson-esque apathetic demeanor. Have I just found my new favorite "Spaced" character?
That's right! Tyres O'Flaherty (Tim's crazy Techno bike messenger friend played by Michael Smiley) is in "Sean Of The Dead" along with a large portion of the cast of "Spaced" Smiley even plays a zombie dressed a lot like Tyres. Of Course you've got Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Peter Serefinowicz, but some might not have noticed that Jessica Stevenson (Daisy) is also in the movie as the leader of a gang of survivors that's identical to Sean's.
The first thing I noticed about this episode is that it's seriously packed with great TV and movie references -- even more than usual -- and not to mention three solid, completely separate plot lines.
We start with an homage to Robocop, which is obviously one of the greatest movies of our time (If you haven't seen it in a while, do yourself a favor and download this Rifftrax to go along with it. It's amazing). Then, we see that Tim and Mike are involved in a "Robot Wars" (or "Battlebots" for us Americans) competition with violent, homemade robots, that we later learn is more akin to the movie "Fight Club." And this is all before we're introduced to Daisy's latest gig, which is in itself a pretty solid "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" reference. Oh, and at one point she's Sandra Dee. I'm sure there are more (Go ahead, commenters, we know you will!).
Aside from the nerdy references, "Mettle" uses more of "Spaced"'s signature 90s techno mixes to move along a funny montage where we see everyone going to work: the boys on their bot, Daisy on her dishes and Brian on his… whatever it is Brian does for his exhibition. And speaking of Brian's exhibition: brilliant, right?
And of course, you've got your requisite, awkward, Tim/Daisy romantic encounter. This time, during a bit of role-play before Tim's big competition, the two nearly go in for a kiss before Mike interrupts them, as he tends to do, and has an equally awkward exchange with Tim (Mike: "What's going on here?" Tim: "I was just coming... With you. To The Pub."). Oy!
What was your favorite part?
Episode two, "Change" starts with Daisy, Tim, Mike and Brian being violently awoken by the sound of Amber storming out of the house -- appropriate considering they each go through an abrupt change before the episode's end.
Things we learn:
- Daisy thinks "Mulan" is real (and Mike thinks it's Eddie Murphy's third best film)
- "JarJar Binks makes the Ewoks look like f*cking Shaft" - Tim
- Going on unemployment in England is referred to as "Signing on" which sounds WAY better than whatever we say
- Tim is still reading Brian's mail
- Daisy is as bad at holding down a job as she is at lying
- An actress was OK with a comparison being drawn between herself and JarJar Binks on a TV show. Just sayin'
- "Contentment is the enemy of invention" - Marsha
- Brian stands in the garden without clothes on sometimes
- If you insult a nerd's passion (and that nerd is your boss) you get sacked
And, obviously, the best shot of the episode:
"Manhattan"? Check. "Pulp Fiction"? Check.
Those two are easy to figure out, but what about all the other references in the Season 2 opener?
The unequivocally American staff of HuffPost Comedy was trying to figure out what Tim's portion of the opening narration was referencing. It certainly seems familiar, but what is it?
After scouring the Web, I turned up one theory from Spaced-out.org.uk, that it's a combined homage to the introductory opening of "Human Traffic" and the visual motif used in Blur's "On Your Own" video. Plausible?
Of course, following the open we get the running "Matrix" storyline.
What else are we missing? There's definitely a Bruce Lee/"5th Element" nod in Daisy's fight scene in the bar. What other goodies have been hidden in this episode?
In the season two premiere of "Spaced," it has only been 18 months since the release of "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace," and Tim is still struggling with that gargantuan disappointment, as evidenced by this amazing "Return Of The Jedi" reference:
To be honest, though, whether 18 months or 13 years later, the pain doesn't ever leave you for good. The scars run too deep. I'm hoping that this isn't the last mention of "The Phantom Menace" (and I assume it isn't), because I'm sure Tim has a lot more to say on the subject. All I know is that watching Tim torch all of his Star Wars stuff brought up a lot of painful memories that I hadn't revisited in a long time, which I won't get into here because the criticisms of the prequel trilogy have been written and spoken and yelled millions of times over by plenty of other fans.
(WHY DID THEY EDIT HAYDEN CHRISTENSEN BACK INTO THE FINAL SCENE IN "JEDI" WITH THE SPIRITS OF YODA AND OBI-WAN? IT MAKES NO SENSE WHATSOEVER.)
Like any good sitcom, season two of "Spaced" starts off with a quick and funny recap of what each character has been up to since the last season left off (although most sitcoms don't include awesome references to "Manhattan," but still).
Daisy returns from her soul-searching trip in Asia with a healthy glow and is immediately thrust back into pale, overcast and comparatively boring old London. Life at home has kept on without her: Mike occupies her room, Colin has little interest in sitting around the house with her and nobody's interested in watching her gratuitous vacation VHS tapes. Poor girl. Also, what's with those sneakers with the tops cut off?
You start to feel bad for Daisy until the plot takes a turn for "The Matrix" and the gang's all back to their unpredictable antics. By the way, doesn't this episode make "The Matrix" seem so... old?
There isn't much to talk about regarding Tim and Daisy's relationship this time, but the episode ends on a tender moment between the non-couple and their big, mustachioed baby (Mike). All in all, a fitting way to start off the season after the show's two-year hiatus. What did you think?
As we gear up to start discussing Season 2 of "Spaced," we'd like to know what you're most looking forward to.
What do you think is in store for Tim & Daisy? Will Brian & Twist's relationship grow or will Marsha put a stop to it? Will Mike & Colin form a man/dog crime fighting duo and spin-off into their own series?
Without revealing too much for those who haven't seen it, I'm looking forward to two words: Phantom. Menace.