If you haven’t seen “Spaced,” the odds are you’re missing out on the final puzzle that will cement you as a fan of Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, or Edgar Wright. The UK series was a massive hit for two seasons, and fifteen years later it still has a major following today. Many of the series’ stars went on to huge things in America and their home countries, including Simon Pegg, series director Edgar Wright, Nick Frost, and Jessica Hynes.
Fifteen years later, the show is still fresh, hilarious, and worth the hooplah it garnered when it finally arrived to the US a few years ago. It’s never too late to explore “Spaced,” so here are five essential episodes you should look out for while coasting through its fourteen episode run.
Season 1, Episode 1
Tim Bisley is a brilliant comic book artist whose girlfriend kicks him out of his house after dumping him for his worst enemy. Daisy Steiner is a struggling writer who kicks her boyfriend out and is now looking for a flat mate. After meeting in a coffee shop and getting nowhere, Tim and Daisy decide to buy a flat as roommates and pretend they’re newlyweds, which is a stipulation from the landlord. Daisy’s emotional outburst in the coffee shop after a happy montage between the duo is still hysterical. Their two part harmony of whimpers is the icing on the cake.
Season 1, Episode 3
After seeing the opening shot from this episode, you’ll finally realize where “Shaun of the Dead” stemmed from. Pegg, Wright, and co. are huge Sam Raimi and George Romero nerds, and the opening sequence shows. For a series that’s comedy first and foremost, the staging of this prologue is shockingly creepy and shows how Edgar Wright is teeming with potential as a filmmaker. “Art” is a hilarious episode focused mainly on artist Brian, whose former art partner and non-gender-specific-ex-chaste-heterosexual-lover Vulva is back in town for an exhibit. This musters up old feelings in Brian, while Tim struggles to contain his zombie hallucinations and Twiglets disorder in check.
Season 2, Episode 1
“Back” sets the stages for “Change” featuring a great cutaway where Tim burns a box of “Star Wars” collectibles a la “Return of the Jedi,” but you also have to love how woefully naive Daisy is. After coming back from Asia, she reveals she chronicled much of her trip, but on a shockingly outdated camcorder that was likely state of art in 1989. After coming back from her soul searching journey across Asia, Daisy is sad to see much has changed in the flat, including her flat, which is now being taken over by Tim and Mike’s antics. Even worse, she’s being investigated for drug smuggling after meeting a guy while traveling.
Season 2, Episode 2
One of the more interesting tidbits about Simon Pegg is that his experience with “The Phantom Menace” turned him off to Star Wars for a very long time. “Change” is his confrontation with the issues of “Phantom Menace” resulting in a hysterical life altering even for character Tim. After yelling at a fan at the Fantasy Bazaar comic shop for attempting to buy a Jar Jar Doll, Tim is fired by his boss Bilbo, forcing him to re-consider his attitude toward the film. Tim and Daisy now have to find jobs while things become pressing as Daisy has trouble finding money for the rent. As Daisy realizes her job might take time away from writing, Tim begins working for Bilbo’s rival. Tim’s defense against Jar Jar is still priceless: “Jar Jar Binks makes the Ewoks look like fucking Shaft!”
Season 2, Episode 5
I’ve yet to see a sequence funnier than the one in “Gone,” where Tim and Mike demonstrate to Brian the odd telepathy men share. Filled with brilliant comic timing, and typical sharp editing from Wright, the sequence in the kitchen never ceases to make me laugh. After Tim’s girlfriend Sophie has to stay late at work, Daisy takes him out for a night on the town. Filled with beer and pot, the pair wreak havoc, but come under attack by a group of teens anxious for Tim’s remaining stash of pot. Hilarity ensues though when Daisy gives up the stash to the teens unaware she’s given them Oregano. Meanwhile Mike is back in the flat eating Daisy’s Chicken Stew she cooked with the hash. “Gone” is a fast paced but hysterical episode, filled with gun fights, bad drug deals, and a fun animated sequence.