Have A Peep

Peep Show is endlessly watchable. Shot entirely from the points-of-view of various characters, it's a brilliantly observed browse through the thoughts inside our heads which we'd really rather not admit we have: the deeply rubbish dark side of human nature. Remarkably, 30 episodes of Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong's top sitcom now exist, and the latest six are out now on DVD, under the collective heading of Series Five.

Commissioned at the same time as Series Four, it's a fine collection, offering all the uncontrollable belly laughs we've come to know and expect. There's only the slightest of story arcs, as Sophie slowly falls to pieces, having been jilted by Mark at the end of the previous run. Mark and Jeremy's drug-crazed mate Super Hans features quite prominently, which is a good thing as he tends to bag some of the best lines ("Jez, you can tell me, as someone who knows me well... is the bottom half of me on fire?").

As usual with Peep Show DVDs, there's a healthy collection of extras (and there has to be, given that you can watch all five series of Peep Show for free with this little beauty). One behind-the-scenes piece is of particular interest to us writers: Bain and Armstrong guide us through the production process, including ideas generation, cast rehearsals and readthroughs, all the way to shooting on set.

Then there's a relationship guide for all five series of the show, some deleted scenes and, interestingly, some unused Series Five scenes from Sophie's POV.

Bain and Armstrong will be appearing at next week's Screenwriters' Festival. For which a mere 75 tickets remain available.

UPDATE: Bain and Armstrong have had to cancel, due to work commitments. Gah! And 53 tickets are now left...

9 comments:

dwlt said...

They were also on The Culture Show last night, although I haven't watched it yet. An alternative for those of us that can't make it to Cheltenham (insert sad music here).

Hannah B said...

I forgot they were coming to Cheltenham - huzzah! (Sorry, dwlt...)

John said...

"...and there has to be, given that you can watch all five series of Peep Show for free with this little beauty..."

Not if you don't live in the UK.... Boo!

Colin McBride said...

I too have been foiled in getting to 'Nam this year. So it's 09 or bust.
Love the blog's new look by the way, Jason...

Lee said...

""...and there has to be, given that you can watch all five series of Peep Show for free with this little beauty..."

Not if you don't live in the UK.... Boo!"

Or use a Mac...Boo! Booooo!

Jason Arnopp said...

Hello all! Cheers Colin!

Lee: I did not know this. Not to capitalise on your loss, of course, but the next time one of those Smug Mac Owners says, "Oh dear, not still using a PC are we?", I shall say, "Oh dear, not still having to watch Peep Show on TV or DVD, are we?". That'll learn 'em.

Stevyn Colgan said...

A well-deserved promo for an under-regartded series. The late night slot doesn't help. But where else could you place a sitcom that involves Super Hans' obsessions? It could run forever ... but not enough Big Suze in this series for my liking.

Jaded and Cynical said...

It's everything you say it is, Jason - funny, clever and well executed.

I agree with Mr Colgan, and wonder why the show is generally below the radar; some weeks it doesn't even make it into the top 30 on C4.

Perhaps we just have weird tastes. Or maybe the channel is more interested in promoting its cheap reality crap.

Either way, as a last resort, the whole thing is available on Youtube.

John Soanes said...

Agreed - a fab show, and maybe they offset the hmm ratings with the DVD sales, which I think are pretty solid? Whatever it takes to keep the episodes coming...

I thought the Culture Show bit with them was all right, but too brief - and I haven't watched that show before, so I have to ask: Does it always look like a cross between The Late Show and Later with Jools? Very odd.

J