As a Pacific Northwesterner, I know that summer is supposed to be the time when I crawl blinking out of my cave and absorb as much sunlight as possible before that mysterious orange orb vanishes for about 9 months. However, I get to commune with nature at my summer job (whether I want to or not) and I’m also kind of like those pale kids in The Others who allegedly have a sun allergy or something, so I’ve been spending a lot of my non-work hours catching up on TV indoors, where humans were meant to be.
Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of new television this summer that I’m really excited about. HBO’s Girls still has a few episodes yet, and I’ll probably begrudgingly start watching So You Think You Can Dance soon, but other than that I’m mostly planning on rediscovering some older shows.
I’m starting with Spaced, a British sitcom that first aired in 1999, because with a 14-episode run, you can watch it in about a week (or a day if you’re a TV-marathon type) and because it’s generally fantastic. The basic premise is that a young man and woman pretend to be a couple in order to rent an apartment, but the series very quickly veers off and focuses more on the friendships between a group of very weird characters. You can watch the show totally legally on Hulu (because I wouldn’t know anything about illegally watching TV online, ever…).
So, here are some reasons you should check it out:
- Young Simon Pegg is in it with hilariously bleached ’90s hair.
- Brit actors/comedians Simon Pegg and Jessica Hynes cowrote and star in the show and have wonderful chemistry and timing.
- There are so many references to famous movies, and sometimes iconic scenes are recreated shot for shot. It’s really fun trying to figure out all the pop culture shout-outs, and the references could probably also make for a good drinking game.
- The secondary characters are all really endearing. My favorite is Marsha, the perpetually deadpan landlady.
- The humor and the premises for the episodes are sometimes incredibly strange, but in the best possible way. For example, in my favorite episode (Chaos), the main characters’ dog is kidnapped by an evil vivisectionist, and the group of friends plans an elaborate heist to steal the dog back.
That’s it on the recommendations for now, but as the oppressive sun continues to beat down on Washington state, I’m sure I’ll be back with more soon.