Greetings, HuffPost Comedy Club members! We're here to discuss Season 1 of Spaced.
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.
03/28/2012 4:30 PM EDT
A Love Letter To Friendship
For me, what makes the chemistry between Tim & Daisy so engaging is that (at least in my opinion) the overall question of their relationship isn't "will they or won't they get together," it's "will they or won't they fully commit to their friendship."
It's as if instead of a one-night stand that turned into a relationship, they had a one-night hangout that turned into a living situation. In the casual-sex-turned-relationship situation, the parties often wonder if they're in a relationship more of convenience than anything else. Similarly, we've seen Tim keep Daisy at varying degrees of arm's length over the first season. His issue isn't whether he should be sleeping with her or not, but whether he should think of her as a legitimate part of his life or not.
Daisy on the other hand seems to have immediately recognized Tim's value to her, and she pines for his acknowledgement of her role in his life, if not his affection.
When episode 7 opens, we see them in perfect, domestic bliss: two best friends, lying on the floor in their pajamas watching skateboard wipeouts. When the phone rings, they playfully battle like two kids at a slumber party to get to it. It's only when Tim realizes that it's ex-G-friend Sara on the phone that he throws his armor back up and relegates Daisy back to "other person in the flat" status.
Tim's choice in this episode seems to be between what he thinks should make him happy and what actually makes him happy. With Sara, he can dive back into a life of quiet domesticity, but he won't necessarily become a fully realized human being capable of handling an adult relationship. Ironically, with Daisy, who is more of a playmate than a girlfriend, he can attune himself to the things that actually matter: friendship, community, joy, being in the moment, not taking anything for granted. It's only through that playful relationship that he can learn to be present for a mature one.
In a sense, Daisy is further along than him. Her biggest obstacle throughout the series hasn't been recognizing the value of her closest friends, it's been work. The season ends with both Tim & Daisy facing their personal demons and overcoming them; a direct result of a friendship that propels both of them forward.
Of course, we're also treated to a particularly great "American Psycho" reference along the way. And if there's a last scene more sublime than Tim & Daisy dancing to "Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby" while Colin watches from the table, I haven't seen it.
03/28/2012 1:32 PM EDT
One of the most memorable moments of the series one finale, "Ends," has to be the walk Tim (and later Brian) does after finding out his ex-girlfriend Sarah split up with Duane. You know, the one where he jubilantly struts down the street, does a cartwheel, hugs a stranger and head-bumps a soccer ball, all while the infectious song, "S'il Vous Plait" by Fantastic Plastic Machine plays in the background?
Yeah, that one.
While searching for the song on YouTube to share with you, I came across this old Funny Or Die video where two girls re-create the scene on the same street in London where it was filmed. Unfortunately, they don't include the cartwheel or soccer ball, but they do hug a stranger! Check it out below:
03/22/2012 4:59 PM EDT
Episode 6: "Only For The Hardcore U.K. Raver!"
Oh, ravers. The ecstasy and techno-fueled counter-culture had become somewhat of a parody of itself in England by the 1990s, so it's only natural that "Spaced" would have an episode dedicated to the scene and the show's principal raver: Tyres O'Flaherty.
Tyres, Tim's bike messenger friend, is one of the funniest characters introduced in season one, but not just because he can dance to the sound of a ringing phone and a boiling tea kettle at the same time. As I've generally obsessed about thus far, he's also calls bullsh*t on Tim and Daisy's, "platonic indo-gender malarkey" and implies that they really are more than "friends" (as he loves to air-quote when referring to them).
After Tyres psychoanalyzes the non-couple's night in playing scrabble, Daisy is obviously affected. Later in the park she wonders what Tim meant when he said, "Daisy's not like that" after Tyres thought they were an item, and follows up with "What am I, chopped liver?". This results in a fight when Daisy, pre-Internet speak, says Tim has a "V-big problem" with his "Ex-G friend" and wouldn't even notice if another available woman wanted his attention (cough cough, nudge nudge).
But as this show does so well, Tim and Daisy make it through the squabble to a hedonistic night out at the club with their entire crew (minus Marsha) and end up reconciling without putting a definitive label on their feelings for each other. And the audience doesn't mind. With these characters, we don't need to see an American "Office" Jim & Pam-style engagement to unfold, but merely watch two people who are obviously meant for each other fondly embrace in the "chill out" room as they plan their drug-fueled fantasy of being the "King and Queen of Club Land." That's all.
As a side note: the drug use in "Spaced" is very subtle -- always implied but never really talked about out loud. Another difference between British and American TV series?
03/22/2012 12:58 PM EDT
We noticed this too!
03/21/2012 5:05 PM EDT
Episode 5 In General
Just as I wrapped up watching episode 5, I took a break to scroll through my Tumblr dash and see what I'd missed on the internet in those 24 minutes. Lo and behold, one of my favorite blogs posted a poster for an Edgar Wright event at the Alamo Drafthouse. Is it 100% Spaced-related? No. But something tells me if you like Spaced you probably have a soft spot for Hot Fuzz and Scott Pilgrim too.
ANYWAY. I agree with Katla that the show was right on time with addressing Tim and Daisy's romantic potential. When your two main characters are heterosexual human beings sharing a very small apartment and spending what appears to be the majority of their time together, it's only logical for us to be considering the, "Will they/won't they" possibility. But I think Daisy's reaction was a good one -- "What about me and Tim?" It diffuses that tension for us as viewers without making us endure some Dawson's Creek-esque conversation about feelings.
I'm also very pro the introduction of Colin as a character. I'm interested to see how he plays into the show in later episodes, cause right now he's a pretty big axis of contention, but that can't be sustainable, right? Will he follow Comet Tanner and Happy Camden into the hall of peripherally-significant TV pets? I kind of want him to stick around.
And I think I'd be remiss to mention that, by far and away, my favorite part of the viewing experience at this juncture is getting re-submerged in late-90's/early-00's culture. The plastic chokers, the short-sleeved tees worn over long-sleeved tees -- everything was comic book kitsch and nothing hurt. I don't know, maybe it's not the most important thing to be talking about, but there was something about Tim's Vans on his skateboard in that very early scene where he bumps into the dognapper that felt very specifically nostalgic. It was a very weird, in-between time culturally -- post-grunge but pre-anything good about the aughts -- that black hole where Britney Spears and 98* flourished. And it's fitting, in a way, that we're following a group of people who are all stunted in their own ways, trying to get out of ruts but not really knowing how.
It's sort of like 1999 is the sandwich toaster, and Spaced is Daisy, figuring out how to throw together whatever's around and make something delicious out of it.
03/21/2012 3:29 PM EDT
Tim's Star Trek Dig
Something that immediately sparked my interest at the beginning of episode 5 was a quote from Tim about Star Trek. While discussing his fear of Daisy's new dog Colin, he says:
"It's not what it is. It's what it will be. A cold-blooded killer. I mean, it's a fact, sure as day follows night, sure as eggs are eggs, sure as every odd-numbered Star Trek movie is sh*t."
Obviously, this is much more interesting now that Simon Pegg plays Montgomery Scott ("Scotty") in the rebooted Star Trek movie franchise. I'm not sure if he meant it to apply to only the numbered Star Trek films (they were numbered until the sixth film, then the numbers were ditched when "The Next Generation" cast transitioned in), BUT let's just assume he meant all the movies and extrapolate. That would imply that the following films sucked: Star Trek I (the V'Ger one), The Search For Spock, The Final Frontier, Generations, Insurrection, and, ironically (you must know where I'm going with this), the latest Star Trek film starring Simon Pegg.
Of course, we all know that Tim's argument no longer holds true, since the last Star Trek movie was f*cking awesome. Pegg obviously had no idea that exactly ten years after the first season of "Spaced" went to air, he'd be starring in an epic Star Trek movie featuring a brand new cast (and Leonard Nimoy). He even saw the irony of it:
"I don’t know how many people know this but in Spaced there’s a line where I’m talking about things that are sure in life and I say that every odd-numbered Star Trek film is sh*t. This was back when there were only seven or so and it was a widely held controversial geek’s eye view of Star Trek. But that’s not true anymore. That’s most certainly been disproved by this movie. It’s lovely to be a part of it. I am a self-professed fan of this kind of stuff and a geek, and to go from doing a sitcom about a guy whose life ends basically when Star Wars: The Phantom Menace comes out… I think if I was still doing Spaced now there would be an entire episode dedicated to how Tim Bisley, my character, would just be orgasmic about this movie. This is everything he wanted that film to be and wasn’t. The irony of being part of that is not lost on me at all, I can assure you."
In case you're keeping count, the latest Star Trek film is the 11th of the franchise. I can't wait for the 12th to come out in 2013, in which Pegg is reprising his role as Scotty.
03/21/2012 12:09 PM EDT
Episode 5: "Chuck Your Boyfriend, Have A Sandwich"
At the top of episode five, "Chaos," we find Daisy doing much better after her breakup now that she has Colin around, despite the fact that Tim's deep-seeded psychological disorder causes him to see the dog as a "cold-blooded killer." Yes, this dog:
One of my favorite moments has to be Daisy finding an analogy for her failed relationship in a toasted sandwich maker (hear it here it at 1:55). I also like how she uses Tim's rocky relationship with his step-dad (another theme from "Shaun of The Dead") to convince him to love Colin instead of treating him like an unwanted step-child.
Amidst the chaos of the hunt for Colin after he goes missing, I noticed that this is the first episode wherein Tim & Daisy's potential as couple is addressed. When Tim talks to Mike in the bushes at the top of the episode (does anyone remember what movie they're referencing in that scene?), Mike casually says, "I know how you feel about Daisy."
Later on, when Daisy accuses Twist of liking Chewie (Brian), she retorts "Well, what about you and Han (Tim)?" to which Daisy replies, "What about me and Tim?"
Also, who else just learned what Jaffa Cakes are and now desperately wants to try one?
03/12/2012 2:33 PM EDT
Episode 4: Enter Duane and Colin
We knew Daisy's long-distance relationship was doomed from moment one, it was just a matter of when.
But how would our heroine cope with the romantic fallout? Smartly, the series avoids the pint of ice cream and sad movies cliches and instead, opts to have Daisy embark immediately on a new, healthier relationship... not with Tim, but with Colin, an adopted Schnauzer.
Colin's importance to the series can't be overestimated. He gives Daisy a renewed since of purpose while simultaneously bringing up old wounds for Tim, priming him for the other big meeting of the episode, his paintball war run-in with Duane.
You'll remember Duane (played by the practically perfect in every way, Peter Serafinowicz) is the rogue who stole Tim's girlfriend, setting the events of the series into motion.
Those who consider the paintball episode of "Community" to be a genre-defining moment in television would do well to check out this episode, which came out more than a decade before.
While I appreciated the metaphorical struggles of college played out in an epic game of paintball in "Community," it can't, in my opinion, hold a candle to the far-more-elemental clash of male egos that we see here in "Spaced."
And for the truly geeky among us, this episode serves as a delicious forerunner to "Shaun of the Dead's" Shaun, Ed and Pete triangle.
What did you think of this episode? Will Colin's presence truly save Daisy's psyche and set her on path to greatness? Did the epic paintball battle give Tim the since of closure he needs to move on?
03/07/2012 5:29 PM EST
Learning More About Brian
Brian has continued to grow on me with every episode. At first he's just some weirdo who lives downstairs, but you start to see that there's a lot more to him than the tortured artist persona.
My favorite part of this episode is when he tries on different outfits for the big art show of his ex-partner (and ex-romantic interest, I guess?). Usually when you see a similar scene in a movie or sitcom, it's just a contrived excuse to get the main character in outlandish costumes. This isn't silly or wacky, though. It's sad. You pity him. He wants people to see him as dark, brooding, and rebellious, but here he is practicing lines in front of a mirror to impress the non-gender-specific Vulva. Suddenly he's suave. Successful. Apathetic yet fashionable.
Eventually, he becomes fed up with this charade. Then you hear what he really thinks of himself: "Big f*cking loser."
I'm really looking forward to seeing his character unfold more as the series progresses.
03/07/2012 3:09 PM EST
How Much Of A Tit?
As the series begins to hit its stride in episode three, we see some of season one’s funniest scenes. As Carol pointed out, the zombie sequences (which any “Shaun Of The Dead” fan will find oddly familiar) and Vulva’s ludicrous art show are unforgettable, but my favorite part has to be Daisy’s “Flaps” interview and her conversation with Tim about it afterwards.
Daisy displays some serious, Michael Scott-level awkwardness (or perhaps I should say David Brent?) when she does a cringe-worthy interview at the lady’s fashion mag after puffing on Tim's joint. She not only blows the entire interview over a “pint or shot” question (wrong answer: “Vodka-tonic”) but she ends by saying the one thing no self-respecting British adult would probably ever say during the height of the “Spice Girls” era: “Girl Power.”
When Daisy tells Tim of this episode back at the flat, we get this brilliant shot of Daisy, all sadness and failure, flanked by Tim’s fingers forming the infamous peace sign. See what I mean below. It’s perfect! (CLICK TO ENLARGE)