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The cast of Spaced

I always feel a little wrong when I tell people something I’ve recently discovered is one of my favorite things.  I think it’s because as a society we’re trained to think we can’t really love something or be fans of whatever it is unless we’re balls to the walls crazy over it, following it since before we could digest our own food and know every last little tiny dust speck of trivia about it.  I’m always afraid that Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons is going to show up with some vital bit of information to slap me in the face with (let’s be honest, the reason that character is so funny is because we’ve all had an experience with someone like him at some point).

Nevertheless, Spaced, one of my all time favorite tv shows, has only been in my life in the last two years. This British series, which originally aired on the BBC in 1999, consists of only two, seven episode seasons.  Stars you may recognize include the fantastic Simon Pegg and dead-on hilarious Nick Frost of Hot Fuzz (2007) and Shaun of the Dead (2004).  Not to be forgotten is the brilliant Jessica Hynes (you may remember her as Shaun’s ex, Yvonne, in SotD) who wrote and starred in Spaced with Pegg.  Those who pay attention to things like camera angles and the like will recognize the signature style of director Edgar Wright also of the aforementioned films (among others). Spaced as a TV series looks more like a film than a sitcom which, for me, already puts it a cut above the rest. 

A notable feature of this show is the pop culture references (up-to-date as far as 2001), which, for someone like me who constantly references television and film, makes me feel like less of a lonely geek. Instead, I feel like a geek with a real family far, far away. Of course, there are people who don’t rely on pop culture references to get through their daily lives (how do you do it??), but the writing of Spaced does an excellent job to make the references fairly seamless, so even if you have no idea what they’re referring to it’s still very entertaining.

Die-hard nerds and normal folk alike can find something they can love about Spaced.  Plot parallels and jokes reference, but are not limited to:

Star Wars, The X-Files, The Evil Dead, Jurassic Park, hating Jar Jar Binks, Pulp Fiction, comics, Robot Wars/Battlebots, war movies, The Matrix, art, struggling with your direction in life, The A Team, Star Trek, techno music/raves, procrastination, video games, skateboarding, hating the Time Warp, cooking with marijuana, Indiana Jones, bad performance art, invisible gun fights, ex-girlfriends, betrayal, breakups, paintball, zombies, unemployment, pet ownership, food fights, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, anger, pain, fear, aggression, best friends, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, being pissed at George Lucas for his meddlesome meddling in his own films, Grease, The Shining, The 6th Sense, The Terminator, and lying to your landlady.

All in 14 episodes.  If you’ve got 25 minutes have a look at Hulu where the entirety of the series is available for your viewing pleasure.  If you happen to gain access to Spaced on DVD, I highly recommend watching with the “Homage-O-Meter” setting for those who don’t want to get caught missing out on a joke. I do hope you enjoy it, as I have.

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