Reviews, Television

PEEP SHOW – FINAL EPISODE

peep-show-episode-6Who can believe it, it’s finally over. After 12 years and nine fantastic series, Peep Show finally drew to a close on Channel 4 last night, marking the end of an era as we bid goodbye to the El Dude Brothers, this time for good.

Series nine has been another excellent series, with quite a few episodes that are sure to acquire the label of ‘classic’ Peep Show in coming years. The clever writing has allowed us to return and say goodbye to an impressive amount of the characters that have played supporting roles in previous years, and whilst it was disappointing not to see Big Suze or Nancy make a return, it is equally heartening that the writing did not resort to a ‘greatest hits’ medley in its closing episodes.

In the finale Jeremy is turning 40 and struggling to keep up with younger boyfriend Joe, who is an advocate of the hard partying and drug taking that Jez has spent the majority of his life partaking in. The thing is, it’s a young man’s game, and no amount of eating cashews and drinking your own pee (yes, really) is going to take away from the fact that Jeremy is hitting middle age.

imagesMark on the other hand looks like he might be getting his life on track. Granted, he gets fired by Johnson and replaced by old rival Jeff, naturally all at the hands of Jeremy, but it also looks like he might actually ride off into the sunset with April. April was the one all along, and it seems like she might be able to overlook the fact that Mark tried to bury Sophie in a ballpit last week. But alas, this is Peep Show, and there was no way that anyone was going to end up happy. Sitcoms like Friends were all about wrapping things up nicely and allowing everyone their happy ending, but to do so with Mark and Jez would be to go against the grain of what the show was about all along.

So instead we end with things pretty much as they started – all they have is each other – Jez likes how things are, Mark wants him out. April left Mark after it emerged that he had gone along with Super Hans and Jeremy doing a little kidnapping of her husband, Joe left Jez for being unwilling to stay up for a week, and Molly left Super Hans for partaking in the aforementioned kidnapping. Matt King has been undoubtedly one of the best things about this series, and the show as a whole, and his exit was suitably hilarious. As for the El Dude Brothers, we can be sure that they will be continuing to make each other miserable as they embark on middle age.

Here are my five favourite quotes from an episode full of them…

“It’s complicated. We’ll probably never fully understand – like Stone Henge.”

– Jez explains the unexplainable

“Hello Dad, you’re living inside me now, are you?”

– Mark catches himself sounding like his father

“Do I smell corporate lube? Am I about to get organisationally fucked?”

– Mark senses trouble ahead just prior to getting fired

“When I was doing the invites it became clear that you’ve betrayed everyone you’ve ever been close to”

– Mark sheds some light on the revolving door of Jeremy’s friends and lovers

“Bollocks to it. I’m gonna van it to Macedonia, finally set up the moped rental”

– And with that we say goodbye to series favourite Super Hans

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Reviews, Television

PEEP SHOW S9 E3 ‘THREEISM’ REVIEW:

peep-show-s3-20090618172600_625x352We are now halfway through the final series of Peep Show, and the El Dude Brothers are yet to disappoint. Threeism dials things back considerably after the madness that ensued last week, but it was no less funny.

Mark (David Mitchell) has moved on from Dobby (Isy Suttie) it would seem, but that doesn’t mean he has become any rational in his quest for love. This week he has tracked down April (Catherine Shephard), a girl he followed to Dartmouth University back in Series 2 (yes, really). April could be the one after all, but she’s married now. Mark sense some resentment, so of course he organises a dinner party in an attempt to lure her away from monogamy.

Jeremy (Robert Webb) on the other hand is trying out life as a gay man, except then he decides to sleep with his lover Joe’s girlfriend Megan – his (presumably only) life coach client. Before long he has created a very Jez-esque situation that of course wreaks havoc upon Mark’s aforementioned dinner party.

This is the first time this series that we have not been graced with the company of Super Hans (Matt King), and it is mainly due to this that it feels like this episode operates at a much lower key. Super Hans has always been excellent due to the fact that he just pops up from time to time – a reflection of the thoroughly random nature of his character – so it’s probably not a bad thing. Plus, if it turns out last week was the last we see of him – what a way to go.

We see the return of another character in the form of April. With it being the last series, we are seeing a ‘greatest hits’ of sorts with the return of various characters. April was a surprising but ultimately welcome addition – she was a one-off character, but it actually follows Marks development to realise that she is the type of girl he should have been pursuing long term. It wouldn’t be Peep Show if it was that simple, and Mark’s bumbling attempts to wean her off her husband were fantastic.

The final series is shaping up well at this point – a perfect blend of comedy and progression in each episode. With only three more to go, it’s getting hard to come around to the idea of it all coming to an end.

My top five quotes from this episode are…

“Eyes? Bleach? Is that a bad one?” 

The rare situation where Jeremy is the voice of reason.

“He’s very decent, very wholesome. How can I steal his wife?”

Mark back on his lifelong quest to find ‘the one’.

“Oh no, Joe in bedroom, Megan in the hallway – I’m playing genital jenga” 

Jeremy is also back to his usual antics, albeit with a twist.

“Beans are pasta sauce!”

Jeremy keeping it classy, as always.

“I live with a gay couple. It’s political correctness gone normal”

Mark doing what he does best – being Mark.

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Reviews, Television

PEEP SHOW S9 E2 ‘GREGORY’S BEARD’ REVIEW:

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The El Dude Brothers are well and truly back. After last week  saw Mark and Jeremy brought back together into that mutually dependent/destructive bromance we all know and love, the second episode saw the status quo well and truly returned and possibly managed to top the excellence of ‘The William Morris Years’.

webANXPeepShowS9Ep2It’s time for Super Han’s wedding, and due to Jeremy falling into the category of ‘smackhead, crackhead’, Mark has been enlisted as the best man – a role he has no interest in until he discovers Dobby (who he has been tracking online, naturally) will be attending. We also have Mark and Jeremy engaged in a fued regarding the central heating, and thus the stage is set for the hilarious, on-the-nose brand of comedy that made Peep Show such a success in the first place.

It was great to see Isy Suttie back as Dobby, even better to see that she had, as Mark so dejectedly pointed out, ‘blossomed’. New York appears to agree with her, and to Mark’s horror she has even gone and got herself a hipster boyfriend in the shape of the oh-so-ironic Gregory. The hipster satire is funny without taking over the entire episode, and provides some excellent background humour throughout.

Super Hans’ wedding is the perfect platform for madness, and as usual Matt King steals every scene he is in, with his wedding vows providing some of the most laugh out loud moments of the episode. Other highlights include his lengthy definition of Mark and his totally passive reaction to Jeremy’s antics. More Super Hans can never be a bad thing, and the fans are really getting what they want so far this series.

Mitchell and Webb 3But back to the stars of the show, both Mark and Jeremy show signs of actual character development this week, and it is suitably hilarious. Mark is finally learning the art of letting go, something he has struggled to achieve over the years of pining after Sophie and then Dobby, failing to realise how truly incompatible he was to both of them. It could have felt like a rehash of when he realised he didn’t love Sophie, but the fact that he didn’t go through with a marriage to save an awkward situation this time around differs it, though it is just as funny.

Jeremy however is questioning his sexuality – properly questioning it. Jez’s sexual orientation isn’t something that has really featured heavily in the show, with the general consensus being that he will have sex or attempt to have sex with anything that has a pulse. It is therefore uncharted territory to see him pondering the idea that he might have real feelings, for a man. Peep Show has always been at its best when providing social commentary, and Jez’s speech at the wedding strikes reminiscent of the one he made at a relatives funeral back in Series one in that it makes no actual sense, but still manages to strike a chord in some weird, convoluted way.

Time will tell whether these character developments will carry on to the next episode, or if we will return to the flat next week to find Mark pining after Dobby and Jez falling victim to every animal urge. However the rest of the series pans out, after a strong couple of opening episodes we can be all but certain that it will be laugh out loud cringe comedy at its best.

Here are my five favourite quotes from episode two…

“We’ve got a ‘no smackheads, no crackheads’ rule, so the old longlist is pretty short”

Super Hans sheds some light on the wedding guest list

“I have so many funny stories about Hans, where do I start? The time he tried to cut off my legs when he was tripping because he thought I was a demon? Or the time he just went straight for me with a chicken skewer for no apparent reason?”

Mark ponders his best man’s speech

“I’m getting married, and I would punch in the throat anyone who tried to stop me. That is how I feel today.”

– Just one excerpt from Super Hans’ emotional wedding vows

“Oh my god their doggers. I’m going to get dogged.”

– A typical Mark reaction to hitch-hiking

“How long have you been filming Jez have sex Mark.”

Super Hans’ nonchalant reaction to Mark’s surveillance equipment

What were your highlights of this week’s episode? Let me know in the comments section!

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Reviews, Television

PEEP SHOW RETURNS: S9 E1 THE WILLIAM MORRIS YEARS REVIEW

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*SPOILER WARNING – DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE LATEST EPISODE OF PEEP SHOW*

It’s finally back. Three years after they left us hanging, Mark (David Mitchell) and Jeremy (Robert Webb) have returned to give us some closure with the final series of Channel 4’s cult hit Peep Show. Things were left up in the air last series, with the final episode seeing Jeremy declare his love for Mark’s girlfriend Dobby (Isy Suttie) as Mark was attempting to propose, leading to Dobby leaving to take a job working for her ex-boyfriend in New York.

Jeremy doing despicable things to ruin Mark’s life is not a new phenomenon, but this seems to have been the final straw, and the opening episode shows the pair living apart. Six months have passed and Mark, who is working for Johnson again at a mediocre bank, is still pretty angry at Jeremy, who is having trouble with the concept of apologising.  They are brought back together by the now sober and juice obsessed Super Hans’ (Matt King) stag do, but Jeremy is annoyed to discover that Mark has a new flatmate, Jerry (Tim Key). Of course, he sets a plan in motion to get rid of Jerry and reinstate the status-quo, which somehow ends up with kidnapping Jerry in a sleeping bag and waterboarding him with beer, naturally.

It’s sad to think that this is the final series, but it is also a smart decision by everyone involved. They have managed to maintain an admirable level of quality throughout, with a mediocre episode still proving to be better than most shows, but the time seems right to bow out. If this opening episode is anything to go by, it’s going to be a strong finish. The writing, by Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain, is as hilarious as ever, and the inner monologues provide plenty of laughs throughout.  Matt King is as superb as ever as Super Hans, and he features quite heavily in the episode. This can only be a good thing – most of the classic Peep Show episodes feature him – and it is hilarious to see him trying to settle into conventional life, with the ‘Sober Hans’ idea falling apart as quickly as you would expect.

peep-show-3We also get a nice glimpse of another fan favourite, Johnson, so hopefully there will be more of him to come. Tim Key makes a nice addition as Jerry, who shows Mark he is perhaps more of a commoner than he thought. It strikes reminiscent to other times Mark has tried to make new friends – such as Daryl the racist or sickly Gerard – before finding himself inexplicably drawn back to Jeremy. Their friendship is more like a toxic marriage – all they do is bring each other down, but they seem to escape the miserable cycle for any length of time.

What I have always loved about Peep Show is the way that each episode tends to build up to a totally ridiculous finale that still manages to be believable within the context of the show, and this episode is no different, with the laugh-out-loud sleeping bag incident. The trailers for the series have included glimpses of Dobby, and Olivia Coleman – who plays Sophie – has been pictured on set, so here’s hoping they will be making an appearance soon, as the one thing the opening episode was lacking was the classic situation of Mark and Jeremy hopelessly pining after a woman.

Here are my five favourite quotes from the opening episode:

“Fuck off. I heard The Strokes before you” – Super Hans

Super Hans, well and truly off the wagon and back at his inebriated best when someone accidentally gets in his way.

“I do want Octopussy and a twirl, but I’m not giving him the satisfaction” – Mark

Mark realising Jeremy is onto the fact that he isn’t as high-brow as he likes to think he is.

“I really don’t think you could call my life a failure – look at that, I’ve got a sleeping bag and a duvey. If this was the olden days, I’d be a billionaire” – Jeremy

Jeremy doing what he does best – deluded self justification and a refusal to accept how dire his situation is.

“I can’t just say things Jerry” – Mark

Mark hilariously summing up his social awkwardness when Jerry questions why he must take such a complicated route of action.

“I’m back baby. The bitch is back” – Jeremy

Jeremy celebrates his return to the flat, and to his and Mark’s dysfunctional friendship.

Here are some of my favourite ever Peep Show moments:

You can watch the first 8 series on the channel 4 website.

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