I discovered “Peep Show” somewhat late in the game and it took me a little while to warm up to Jez & Mark but once I got on board with the psycho-social commentary and interior monologue that the show is based around, I was hooked.
“Peep Show” is based on two London lads, Jeremy Usbourne (Robert Webb) and Mark Corrigan (David Mitchell) who are a kind of postmodern odd-couple. Mark is a (or tries very hard to be) a straight laced loans officer and home owner with a cynical worldview, a penchant for history and a pathology toward relationships. Mark considers himself to be the moral compass of the couple but proves himself more than capable of some pretty degenerate actions. Jez is the hipster of the pair, an unemployed musician who lives in Mark’s spare room and who is not quite as good looking, talented or popular as he thinks he is.
I recommend starting at S1 and working through, seasons are short with only a few episodes in each and the narrative and character arcs do rely on previous knowledge of girlfriends and wives and recurring characters. One of the best ongoing characters is “Super Hans” an Iggy Pop style muso friend of Jez’s who seems to be homeless (he did once have a flat but a New Year’s Eve Party that went horribly wrong caused him to abandon the property) and is usually high on crack while waxing lyrical about his love for heroin.
At the moment my favourite episode is from S4, episode 24 (episode numbers aren’t restarted at the beginning of each series, but continue from the previous) “Holiday” where Jez books a canal holiday for Mark as a kind of stag party. During the trip Jez tries to hook up with Aurora who is also on a canal holiday with her sister and dad and the family dog “Mummy”. When Jez accidentally runs Mummy over with a 4 x 4, Mark and Jez try to hide the evidence by burning the body but can’t quite finish the job. Carrying Mummy back to the canal boat in a bag, the boys get waylaid by Aurora and family where Mark tries to secure a new job with Aurora’s dad and when asked, Jez insists that the meat in the bag is turkey and is willing to go to extremes to prove it.
Mark: “Did you actually have to eat it”?
Jeremy: “I don’t know, I’ve been wondering that. But in the moment, it actually felt like I needed to eat it”
This is Peep Show at its most awful and hilarious – Peep Show – Series 1 at Amazon – for a preview, check out the clips below.