“Spaced,” the grandly geeky British sitcom about two North London roommates and their friends that Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright and Nick Frost created before moving on to “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz,” is out on region one DVD today and is well worth convincing someone else to purchase for you. As Sam Adams writes at the LA Times:
“Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz” are “Spaced” writ large, more elaborate homages crafted with more precision and focus. But the show has an emotional resonance that the movies, particularly the latter, lack. Tim and Daisy might use pop-culture references to explain their lives, or escape from them, but they always come back to the real world, and to each other, returning to a sublimely unconsummated romance that gives the series a poignant undertow.
Guest commentators on this new set include avowed fans and sometimes series touchpoints Quentin Tarantino, Kevin Smith, Matt Stone and Diablo Cody. Of the former, Robert Abele at the LA Weekly notes:
Tarantino’s commentary track is even for the episode that features the pastiche of Pulp Fiction, which nearly sent [star/writer Jessica] Hynes into a gushing tailspin. “It was brilliant that he did it, and I didn’t fawn in an inappropriate way,” she says, admitting that, at one point, she vocalized how their faithful-but-silly re-creation of the tense Butch-shoots-Vincent buildup was missing a shot. “He was, like, ‘No, that’s in another part.’ I was, like, ‘Of course, of course! Well … you know, I mean.’ It was a total honor.”
Wired‘s Erin Biba interviews Simon Pegg (“You guys have the best sci-fi in the world”) while Jarett Wieselman at the New York Post talks to Hynes (“It’s like suddenly they open a cupboard and there’s a unicorn!”). Victoria Large at Not Coming to a Theater Near You offers more analysis: “The success of Spaced is not so much in transcending the sitcom genre as it is in pushing it to meet its real potential.”
The “Spaced” folks are on a short US promo tour — having had a screening followed by the de rigueur Elvis Mitchell-moderated Q&A in New York last night, they’re off to L.A., Comic-con and Austin. Info is here.
[Photo: David Walliams as Vulva, the non-gender-specific performance artist – “Spaced,” BBC Warner, 2008]
+ ‘Shaun of the Dead’ fans must get ‘Spaced’ (LA Times)
+ Spaced: The Next Frontier, on DVD (LA Weekly)
+ Simon Pegg’s Geek Roots Show in Spaced (Wired)
+ “Spaced” Star: “George W. Bush is a Fan!” (New York Post)
+ Spaced: A Sitcom (Not Coming to a Theater Near You)