Tuesday, September 1, 2015

THE BRITISH INVASION: Spaced



FEAR THE BRITISH INVASION!!!! Howdy all and welcome to Day 1 of my ridiculous title of the week. I wanted to start off by plugging one of my favorite shows that was created by the very talented trio in question.

Director/writer/producer/actor Edgar Wright (Mash and Peas, Asylum, Is It Bill Bailey?, Sir Bernard's Stately Homes, Shaun of the Dead, Funky Pete, Straight 8 and The World's End), writer/actor Simon Pegg (Six Pair of Pants, Asylum, Spaced, Big Train, Danger! 50,000 Zombies!, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Paul and Star Trek Beyond) and writer/actor Jessica Hynes (Six Pairs of Pants, Asylum, Spaced, Lizzie and Sarah, Common Ground and Up the Women) had put together males and females in their early 20's in bizarre situations similar to Friends only... this is actually funny. This is Spaced.

Monster Movie or perhaps a bizarre furry?












For those Friends fans, tough titty. Not a fan and would have never associated with any of those characters for they are all EeeeEeeeeEeeevil!!!!!! Spaced is about the lives of individuals and their mates colliding through life. Enter Tim Bisley (Simon Pegg) an aspiring comic book artist/writer who works at a comic bookstore, plays PS games, DND and other such nerd genre who just broke up with his girlfriend and by that, I mean she threw him out and moved on. Ouch. While looking at the house supplements he meets Daisy Steiner (Jessica Hynes) an aspiring writer who simply cannot focus on one subject long enough to do some articles to pay the bills and temps awful jobs, hangs with her bff, struggles with a long distance relationship with her dull boyfriend and attempts to connect with all around her.

The freezer that time forgot!!!












The two meet at a greasy diner and just start having a laugh and are genuinely enjoying each others company when they find an advert for a flat (apartment, yankee brethren) to rent for a minuscule amount but... the catch is the flat is intended for a successful upcoming couple to share. The two get the idea to fake being a couple to get the place and all will be solved. The landlady Marsha (Julia Deakin of Coronation Street, Shaun of the Dead, Between Two Women, House of Anubis, Doctors, The World's End and Big, Bad World) is a bit batty, a lush and has the teenage daughter from Hell but is a good sort.

One other resident of the flat is a tormented, bizarre and frankly screwy artist known as Brian (Mark Heap of How Do You Want Me?, Doc Martin,Jam, Brass Eye, Big Train, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Green Wing and Alpha Male) sort of appears... by magic? Dark forces of the nether realm? Not sure. Daisy and Tim attempt to keep this secret from Marsha informing their collective friends Twist (Katy Carmichael of Liverpool 1, Dead Babies, Clocking Off, Coronation Street, Waterloo Road and Casualty) a high maitanence, party girl that loves fashion and is brutally honest and Mike (Nick Frost of Big Train, Spaced, Danger! 50,000 Zombies!, Black Books, Shaun of the Dead, Straight 8, Hot Fuzz, Hyperdrive and The World's End) a paranoid, gun nut that happens to be in Territorial Army (Britian's National Guard for again the Imperalist Yankee Dogs!!).


A few notes on the technical side of the show now. 

 Edgar Wright only used one camera for the whole series which is unusual as you get different reactions from different shots and while the flat was the center of most of the episodes it never felt like a cramped set.   1 to 78 frames per second this show got shot in both black and white and color and was done so on Digital Betacam, commonly used for TV broadcast so all the comforts of VHS with higher quality resolution.

 Guest star Peter Serafinowicz who appears as Tim's nemesis Duane Benzie uses this gravely guttural voice as a menacing man it is also the same voice he used for Darth Maul in Phantom Menace.

BBC Channel 4 had commissioned both season 1and 2 before season 1 even aired. Constant pop culture references come up in this series with Evil Dead Scooby-Doo, The Omen. Hell I think I saw a couple of Pulp Fiction ones as well. Pegg's character name is an homage to Graphic Fantasy artist Simon Bisley (Lobo, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal: Geomatrix and Skyborg Into the Vortex

Give us Gary Glitter or be probed... a lot.