5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Whether you find Peep Show funny will depend a lot on your taste and sense of humour. If you like The Office and Extras then there is a very strong possibility that you like that brand of excruciating humour that has you thinking of excuses to look away or leave the room; if you do then you really should take a peek at Peep Show. The humour comes from the uninhibited, politically incorrect, and uncensored internal narrative of Mark (David Mitchell) and Jez (Robert Webb), as the two immature, social misfits inhabit a sequence of excruciatingly embarrassing, self-inflicted situations. Watching Peep Show is like watching a motorway pile-up, you'll want to look away but really can't.
David Mitchell managed to infuse every word with sarcasm and irony and Robert Webb is outstanding as the selfish, talentless and inadequate Jez, they both live the characters and never once look as if they're acting. Peep Show is The Office with its sleeves rolled up and spoiling for a fight - you have been warned.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 1 January 2008
When most people think of The Peep Show, they tend to focus on the POV (point-of-view) camerawork were the audience sees everything through the eyes of the characters. Granted, this does make the show very unique, but it would be a crime if this made people overlook how intelligent, true-to-life and downright funny this show is. It's certainly one of the best British TV shows ever made. It deserves the acclaim and global recognition of something like The Office.
The way the grey areas of relationships is articulated and made light of is incredible. All the secret thoughts, anxieties, and dysfunctional behaviour that we all go through with the opposite sex is laid bare in every episode. The only other show that comes close to shining a light on these intangible grey areas of life and love is maybe Seinfeld, which isn`t as stuffy, inhibited and British as The Peep Show. Take the relationship of Mark and Sophie as a prime example. This isn't your typical King Of Queens, Mad About You, Chandler and Monica sit-com couple who have their ups and downs but basically love each other. Mark has such contempt for Sophie and feels completely trapped in the relationship. I've been there -- and I'm sure there are many, many other people out there who have also been stuck with someone they don't really want ... until of course that person dumps them! As Mark says to Jeremy in Series 4: "So now she's finished with you, suddenly you're in love with her again." As if Mark is the stupidest person alive, Jeremy says: "Exactly. DUR! That's how love works, Mark."
Absolutely brilliant. Buy this show now! ... Although with Series 5 currently being made, you may want to wait until the Series 1 to 5 boxset comes out if you`re looking to buy every Peep Show in one go.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 18 September 2007
In their promotion of the third series of Peep Show, Channel 4 utilised a generous plaudit from Ricky Gervais declaring the show as "the best sit-com on telly", which they promptly splayed all over the billboards featuring its titular heroes, David Mitchell and Robert Webb. Watching Peep Show, it's easy to understand why Gervais would have said that, as it pretty much operates as The Office to the nth degree, the same kind of cringeworthy comedy albeit blown up to often hideous extremes thanks to the POV camerawork on each character and the audience's admission into the main characters' inner monologue. As written by Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain, with more than a little help from its two leads, Peep Show has gained a cult following precisely because of its alarming intimacy, its embracing its characters and their neuroses so much as to follow their thoughts into absurdly dark places. It's not without its flaws, but when it hits its frequent bulleyes, Peep Show is undoubtedly the best comedy show on TV.
However, the flaws are only too obvious at times to be papered over. Firstly, the POV photography, whilst a novel idea in giving the show its own visual identity and even registering more than a few laughs (the sex scenes in particular are splendidly awkward), is often hard to watch, particularly in the first series where the reliance on grainy digital video is especially pronounced. Some would argue that this is irrelevant given that the commentary by the characters is what provides the most laughs in the show, but in a few instances you really can't be sure what you're looking at and the effect is distracting, though it does look a lot better by series three. It must also be said that there are some moments that border on the ridiculous with regards to character actions and motivations, especially seeing as Peep Show's world is one firmly set in our own, as opposed to the affected fantasy worlds of other comedies on TV right now. However, given the absolute hilarity to be had in most of the eighteen episodes on offer here, one can more than easily forgive these indiscretions and enjoy some startlingly on-the-nose subversiveness and laughter.
The first facet of the show worthy of mention is undoubtedly the cast, of whom if someone were to merely describe them as "game" would be doing them a mighty disservice. The show does indeed belong to its two leads, rather classically thrown-together misfits who might only exhibit a shared disparagement for each other at the best of times, but at least it's shared by the both of them. Webb's Jez, a wannabe musician who isn't much good at anything other than loafing around their flat, receives the slightly crazier storylines over the first three series and many a fine moment of inspired stupidity and selfishness, with Webb's finer work shining through in series three. Without question, however, the show belongs to David Mitchell's put-upon Mark, a uniquely English ball of wannabe-upper-middle class insecurity, whose obssessive need for order and success is thwarted at every turn more by his own foolishness then any single event thrown at him. Credit goes to the writers for serving up some delightfully dark speeches for Mitchell to use to justify his priggishness, delivered with such eloquent cadence by the actor that Mark becomes a fine, sympathetic, comic monster. The rest of the cast are filled in with admirable performances, special mentions going to recurring cast members Olivia Coleman, Neil Fitzmaurice and a brilliant Paterson Joseph as Mark's ever-so demanding seminar foreman-turned-boss.
And whilst the writing doesn't hold up all of the time by following through to seemingly forced conclusions (Jez's jury service plotline in series three for example ends rather unconvincingly), there is no questioning Armstrong and Bain's bravery in exploiting issues of race, sexuality, gender, homelessness and class (to name a few) in order to get some fantastically torrid laughs. Of note are episodes involving a disastrous double date at the bowling alley and one where Mark and Jez share a hilarious game of one-upmanship involving Jez's object of desire and Mark's own sister. With Mark and Jez at constant loggerheads with all of these issues, and the photography promoting a voyeuristic intent on the proceedings, the audience is forced to recognise the at-times inflammatory comments made and understand them for the comedy to work. It's an intelligent mix of the ribald and the political that refuses to sit still and give the viewer a single comfortable laughline, but the events onscreen are simply too funny to let something like values and political correctness get in the way. Moments like this elevate Peep Show beyond the traditional sit-com into something more progressive; more so than The Office, it is a bold, uncompromising joy even if it's a little rough around the edges at times.
However, with regards to this specific DVD collection and the supplemental material on each disc, the only good thing going for it is having all three discs for a slashed price. Though, with the fourth series' imminent arrival on DVD, as well as series five already being commissioned by Channel 4, this set will certainly be made redundant for the über-fan certainly. There's also the lack of extras on each of the discs, though what paltry amount of material there is still makes an impression. Series one and three have some specially filmed extra scenes for the DVD, including Mark's video CV and Jez's music video, whilst series two boasts a behind-the-scenes featurette showing rehearsal and B-roll footage along with talking heads from key members of cast and crew. The commentaries range from flat to amusing (mostly the former) and compared with packages for, say, The League of Gentlemen and Spaced, this does pale quite considerably. But extras aside, there's no reason why any British comedy fan shouldn't have this, one of the only genuinely funny shows still around, in their collection.
37 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on 6 October 2008
I'm not one for hyperbole but I'd be hard pressed to think of a better sit com in the canon of British comedy. You heard me!
Peep Show has earned its place on the vaunted Brit Com pedestal along with Fawlty Towers, Blackadder and Only Fools and Horses.
Starring comedy duo David Mitchell and Robert Webb the premise of the program is that it is shot entirely in the first person (actors use hand held or even head mounted cameras while they act through their scenes) and we the audience are privvy not only to their points of view but to their thoughts as well.
Peep Show centres around the lives of two flat mates, conservative loan manager Mark Corrigan (Mitchell) and out of work musician Jeremy Usbourne (Webb). While the "odd couple" field of comedy has been run into the ground it is no mean feat that the writers and cast are able to make this dynamic fresh and entertaining.
The dialogue which is consistently sharp and flawlessly executed by the entire cast contributes a great deal to this but where the real comeidic platinum lies is the characters' internal monologues which give us a private insight into their (and by association our own) little neuroses.
Take this little nugget from Jeremy when trying to co-ordinate his hastily assembled band in a music studio;
God this is terrible. I wish they were robots. I wish I was a robot. Maybe I could punch through a wall.
God, I'm even boring when I'm a Nazi.
These snippets provide a sense of surrealism and seem to be an incredibly liberating tool for the writers as they are able to articulate those silly, arbitrary and often hilarious thoughts that we all have which are pushed aside by our sensible conscious minds.
The supporting cast is also consistently spot-on and peripheral characters are always well written and superbly acted. Mark's macho love rival Jeff, Jeremy's ideologically confusied American girlfriend Nancy, alternately scary and sexy neighbout Toni, the entire supporting cast are lovingly crafted by all involved. Special mention should go to Matt King for his portrayal of Jeremy's band mate, Superhans. Superhans' ernest but ill conceived political doctrines and dubious charisma make him one of the most entertaining characters in the series and it is with great wisdom that the writers use him sparingly. Here are a few of Superhans' finest pieces of dialogue;
"The secret ingredient is crime!"
"What you're doin' there is, you're drinkin' an advert intcha?"
"He thinks there's a pigeon in Catalonia that's controlling his legs!"
And my all time favourite;
"People like Coldplay and voting for the Nazis, you can't trust people!"
Not only is Peep Show a flawlessly executed piece of high-concept comedy (without being overly pretentious or self referential) but it seems to tap wonderfully into that uniquely British neurosis
Shameless, profane, irreverent, endlessly quotable and accutely observed the quirky characters and brilliantly surreal dialogue very quickly transcend being merely funny and become hugely endearing.
As with all great comedy there are great moments of human drama in these five amazing series and the acting throughout is simply perfect.
I dearly love Peep Show and I'm quite certain that you will too should you ever come into contact with it!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 17 April 2013
I would rate this 4.5stars if there was an option- I do love it, but its not quite in top draw imo. Close tho, very close.........
After having not watched for a while this had me laughing, as well as cringing!
In the first episode the camera is choppy, but after that theres little bad to say; its an intelligently dumb script, switching from embarrasing to familiar- if I had to compare it to another comedy I'd say men behaving badly with Clunes character swapped for a starchier Mark- if you mixed MBB with Pete vs Life you'd be pretty close to Peep Show.
Extras aren't bountiful, but well worth watching in my view- trust me, thats a rare occurrence!
Blokey but not macho humour, insightful & fun. Buy eeet! (no, I'm not a seller!)