A Sandwich of Fun on Ecstasy Bread, Wrapped Up in a Big Bag like Disco Fudge
July 23, 2009 10:15 AM   Subscribe

Spaced - the beloved pop-culture-reference-laden British comedy from Simon Pegg and Jessica Hynes - is now on Hulu in its entirety.
posted by pokermonk (61 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite

 
My wife and I just finished watching Spaced a couple weeks ago. We liked it, although I think we must have missed most of the references either due to being elderly shut-ins or being USians.

Sadly, there's no way I'll get my wife to watch Pegg's later work, especially while we are eating.
posted by DU at 10:20 AM on July 23, 2009


Ha! I just started watching it this morning. I'd heard good things about and was bored. It's pretty alright.
posted by Science! at 10:23 AM on July 23, 2009


On behalf of Canadians, and all other people outside the US: Fuck you Hulu!
posted by WinnipegDragon at 10:24 AM on July 23, 2009 [17 favorites]


Hulu is either run by very smart people, or it is run by people who are advised by very smart people.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:25 AM on July 23, 2009


Except for the whole US-only thing.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:25 AM on July 23, 2009


Dear Hulu: Please complete this phrase: _______ Wide Web.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:32 AM on July 23, 2009 [20 favorites]


You can't drink a pint of Bovril!

Hulu being US-only, UK people can watch it on Channel 4 On Demand.

DU: the DVDs have a special "Homage-O-Meter" subtitle track to explain all the references and in-jokes.
posted by Electric Dragon at 10:33 AM on July 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


I just borrowed the DVD set from my sister; I enjoyed it quite a bit. It doesn't all hit, but there's some good stuff in there.

Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz are better by miles, though.
posted by defenestration at 10:33 AM on July 23, 2009


Oh, this is fried gold. No more hunting around for torrents or bootlegged Region 1 DVDs. I think the clubbing episode is probably the best one they did, with the possible exception of the bizarre One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest takeoff.
posted by Spatch at 10:33 AM on July 23, 2009


If you like Spaced, be sure to check out Black Books. If it is not the sister show to Spaced, it's surely in the immediate family. Most of the cast of Spaced make guest appearances at some point.

"My oven can cook anything! My oven can cook... BITS OF OVEN!"
posted by robocop is bleeding at 10:39 AM on July 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


Spaced, in pieces, on YouTube. And somehow, the complete first episode is available as a single video.

See also: Spaced, Season 1: Deleted Scenes - part 1 of 2 and part 2 of 2
posted by filthy light thief at 10:40 AM on July 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


Also also: Spaced via google video search (filter: 20+ minutes long), and a few random episodes on Veoh.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:45 AM on July 23, 2009


No more hunting around for torrents or bootlegged Region 1 DVDs.

The official region 1 release has been out for a year.
posted by kmz at 10:48 AM on July 23, 2009


Spaced was the whole reason I got a region-free DVD player years ago... one of the best purchases of all time, for many, many reasons. Personally, I think it's one of the best ever tv shows, probably even #1. I intellectually acknowledge that lots of people don't like it or get it, but emotionally I'll never understand.
posted by Huck500 at 10:50 AM on July 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


I was on acid the first time I saw this show. As such it'll always have a special place in my heart.
posted by Jim Slade at 10:51 AM on July 23, 2009


By the end of the show's run, I had a terrible crush on Jessica Hynes.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:52 AM on July 23, 2009 [5 favorites]


(From Season 2, Episode 1, aired Feb 2001)

Daisy: "So how are you then, you big bloody man?"
Tim: "I'm good, I'm good ... I just ... I've had a few things to work through ... you know"
Daisy: "With Sarah?"
Tim: "No, with George Lucas"

(cut to scene of Tim in the forest in the dark, using a flaming torch to light a large bonfire labelled "Star Wars Stuff", while the slow Star Wars theme plays....)

(cut back to Tim in the kitchen looking lost, distressed)

Daisy: "Tim, its been over a year..."
Tim: "Its been 18 months Daisy ... and it still hurts."
Daisy: "Well, I didn't think Phantom Menace was that bad."

(zoom in on Tims face, looking increasingly angry)
posted by memebake at 10:56 AM on July 23, 2009 [7 favorites]


Oh good, this makes it easier to evangelize.
posted by Pronoiac at 11:00 AM on July 23, 2009


Black Books? It has a laugh track. Does any truly funny show have a laugh track?
posted by orrnyereg at 11:03 AM on July 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz are better by miles, though.

I couldn't disagree with you more. Spaced is comedy gold. The films are great, but they don't reach the pure genius that was the clubbing episode of Spaced. Best ever.
posted by Lleyam at 11:03 AM on July 23, 2009 [4 favorites]


The official region 1 release has been out for a year.

And it looks well done, adding more content to the existing R1 package.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:04 AM on July 23, 2009


Does any truly funny show have a laugh track?

Didn't Monty Python's Flying Circus have a dubbed laugh track?
posted by hippybear at 11:35 AM on July 23, 2009


The Muppets had a laugh track too, lest we forget.

Spaced = glorious.
posted by Pallas Athena at 11:41 AM on July 23, 2009


oh i love this show! i must tell friends it is on hulu.

though, year one was much better than two. same to be said for black books. first season made me laugh like an idiot; second season, not so much. but both are totally worth watching.

(ahem. neither are best tv show, evar, however. sorry but that title belongs to the wire.)
posted by lapolla at 11:42 AM on July 23, 2009


Both Black Books and Monty Python were filmed in front of a live studio audience. I never notice the laugh track in Black Books anyway because of the all the live laughter from my mouth.
posted by minifigs at 11:58 AM on July 23, 2009


Spaced is the first DVD in years that I bought on the day it was released. I was heartened by the fact that I had to go to three different stores because it was sold out in the first two.

The Spaced gunfight is my preferred clip to show because not only is it perfect, it has the component of two characters trying to bring someone into their nerdly club, and that is exactly what I'm trying to do by trying to get people to watch the show.

Also; Pegg's awesome slow-motion "Oooh shiiiit" is a way of entertaining myself when the wife ambushes me with 'something fun to do'.
posted by quin at 12:00 PM on July 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


orrnyereg: "Black Books? It has a laugh track. Does any truly funny show have a laugh track?"

Mash had a very annoying laugh track but was(is) still funny.
posted by octothorpe at 12:01 PM on July 23, 2009 [1 favorite]



Monty Python [was] filmed in front of a live studio audience


Yes, of course, the audience was clustered in behind the cameraman out on the moors.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:06 PM on July 23, 2009


I'm impressed at all these people who can get to grips with calling her Jessica Hynes! She's still a Stevenson to me...
But no, I do love Spaced. When it was on TV, I tried to watch it, and was quite taken by the bit I saw with Tyres in, but beyond that it just didn't really grab me, and then a little later on Pegg showed up on something and they played a clip from the opening of season two and I thought, I have to give this a proper chance, and it became one of those things that was just pitch perfect the whole way through.
Only happens with the odd TV series- Peep Show being the other one, I just didn't like when it was on at first, and now I think it's just brilliant.
posted by opsin at 12:07 PM on July 23, 2009


Mash had a very annoying laugh track but was(is) still funny.

I know that MeFi has its share of sound people -- can someone tell me if MASH's laugh track is considered infamously bad? Because it should be. I've never heard a laugh track that sounded less like... people laughing.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:15 PM on July 23, 2009


Tyres dancing to the sound of a kettle scarily hit the mark and took me back to my 20's.

Genius.
posted by Frasermoo at 12:19 PM on July 23, 2009


Does any truly funny show have a laugh track?

Sports Night started off with a standard-issue laugh track, which got quieter and quieter through the first season. By the second year, it was absent altogether. Make of that what you will.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:22 PM on July 23, 2009


Both Black Books and Monty Python were filmed in front of a live studio audience.

I would seriously like to know how they did that with MPFC. Sure, some of the pieces are obviously filmed on sets, but FAR too much of it isn't even filmed in a studio.

I could see them perhaps creating an episode, splicing and editing it into final form, showing THAT to a studio audience and then adding audio of the live audience reaction to what they were watching... But I highly doubt there was an audience present for most of the actual creation of each episode.
posted by hippybear at 12:31 PM on July 23, 2009


I could see them perhaps creating an episode, splicing and editing it into final form, showing THAT to a studio audience and then adding audio of the live audience reaction to what they were watching.

That's how How I Met Your Mother gets its laugh track, based on what the producers have said.
posted by kmz at 12:42 PM on July 23, 2009


orrnyereg: "Black Books? It has a laugh track. Does any truly funny show have a laugh track?"

Yes.
posted by chorltonmeateater at 1:16 PM on July 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Graham Linehan's shows (Father Ted, Black Books, and the IT Crowd) are variations on a theme, all have a laugh track, and are some of the funniest things I've ever seen - don't knock 'em! Hell, at this point, half of IT Crowd is metacommentary on sitcoms anyway.

Good to see I'm not the only one who bought a region-free player for SPACED. Yay for Hulu, though!
posted by jtron at 1:28 PM on July 23, 2009


Graham Linehan (who wrote the aforementioned "Black Books" (season 1) and "Father Ted", as well as "The I.T. Crowd") explained on his blog once how audience laughter is recorded with the "filmed" sections -- apparently they're shown on large monitors above the audience and their laughter is in reaction to viewing that. I imagine this is how a lot audience to MPFC's filmed sketches worked as well.

(Yes, "Monty Python" had a live audience -- there was one sketch which the BBC only let them perform provided the audience were able to storm the stage to express their displeasure.)

Anyways, you can spot "canned laughter" from "live audience laughter" a mile away. Read the wikipedia article about the "laugh box" -- like a pipe organ of laughter for US sitcoms back in the day. I'd be very surprised if "Black Books" didn't have an audience.
posted by John Shaft at 1:37 PM on July 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


One thing I like about the Pegg/Frost/Wright work so far is that London is a recurring, key concept. Spaced is clearly based on experiences of London housesharing, Shaun of the Dead is a very London take on the Zombie flick, and Hot Fuzz riffs on the theme of a Londoner exiled into another part of England. I wonder if 'The Worlds End', the upcoming third episode of the Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy, will also be inspired by London life ...
posted by memebake at 2:17 PM on July 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


(sorry, meant to link to Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy)
posted by memebake at 2:19 PM on July 23, 2009


orrnyereg: Does any truly funny show have a laugh track?

We had this discussion not so long ago (it was in a deleted thread, mind you) but yes, there are many great comedies that have laughter tracks: Father Ted, Alan Partridge, Fawlty Towers, etc, etc. The difference is, you don't notice it because you are actually laughing. Unlike in some shows. Frankly, I don't know why they even put it in in the first place.

quin: That gunfight is so brilliant. For weeks if not months afterwards my friends would break into a slow motion gunfight whenever they saw each other coming. Even if it was in the middle of a busy high street.
posted by Acey at 2:58 PM on July 23, 2009


This is so fantastic!

I have been searching Hulu sadly for months, hoping Spaced would pop up.
posted by winna at 4:29 PM on July 23, 2009


Oh god, good timing. I'm getting through the show on DVD already! I have to say, though, so far the "let's go to a rave club!" episode is my favorite. nobody is surprised...

I would totally have crushed on Tim and still do crush on Simon Pegg. Smart, nerdy boys > everybody else.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 5:35 PM on July 23, 2009


I would totally have crushed on Tim and still do crush on Simon Pegg. Smart, nerdy boys > everybody else.

Now, see... I love the smart guys too, but damn, I have this stupid weakness for the big stupid ones. Sad but true, my crush object from this would have to be Nick Frost.

posted by hippybear at 5:59 PM on July 23, 2009


Durn Bronzefist: I'm pretty sure that when MASH played on English TV, it didn't have a laughter track. Can any other Brits confirm this?
posted by vickyverky at 6:06 PM on July 23, 2009


Add me to the ranks of people who do the Spaced-gunfight.

Also, I have only one thing to say about this: Hello, Vulva.
posted by WidgetAlley at 6:06 PM on July 23, 2009


Hulu posts suck.

Spaced is awesome, but the over-riding suckitude remains.
posted by pompomtom at 6:07 PM on July 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Durn Bronzefist: I'm pretty sure that when MASH played on English TV, it didn't have a laughter track. Can any other Brits confirm this?

Not a Brit, but I believe the rest of the world got the non-laugh track version. Here in the US, we got laugh tracks.

I'm told the DVDs allow you to choose.
posted by pmurray63 at 6:33 PM on July 23, 2009


There was an extra on US DVD of "The League of Gentlemen" that showed a scene without the laugh-track. It really affected the scene ("we didn't kill him!") and made it too heavy.

League of Gentleman was too dark without the laugh track, it was like a security blanket or something.

Very happy seeing this on the blue - thanks for posting it.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 7:02 PM on July 23, 2009


I made a terrible mistake and started watching the second season first! And I feel foolish because I thought I had watched one of the best pilots ever made - we just drop in on all of these fully formed characters and relationships in media res!
posted by moxiedoll at 7:09 PM on July 23, 2009


Awesome, hippybear and I can go on double dates!!!!
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 7:32 PM on July 23, 2009


For those of us in Hulu-less areas: YouTube playlist of every episode and outtakes.
posted by milquetoast at 7:35 PM on July 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yay! double dates! By the time one of us has talked either Simon or Nick into going out, we've essentially hooked both of them.

You get started on S, I'll start on N, and we'll get this worked out before we know it!
posted by hippybear at 7:38 PM on July 23, 2009


Until now, I had never, ever seen Spaced.

I think my life just got changed.
posted by dunkadunc at 8:10 PM on July 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


It just made me happy when I watched it.
posted by TorontoSandy at 8:39 PM on July 23, 2009


Not a Brit, but I believe the rest of the world got the non-laugh track version. Here in the US, we got laugh tracks.

Interesting. I'd like to follow up on that, because I remember it being a big deal to the producers that they'd have a laugh track running -- except in the O.R.. To think there's another version without any... that would be really different.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:18 PM on July 23, 2009


I've never heard of this but now I must go rent the DVD from LoveFilm. Thanks, Hulu!

posted by like_neon at 1:25 AM on July 24, 2009


MASH in the UK was without a laugh track. I remember watching an episode once which did have a laugh track and it was a weird experience. It just sounded fake, and actually made the programme less amusing.
posted by salmacis at 3:32 AM on July 24, 2009


We liked it, although I think we must have missed most of the references either due to being elderly shut-ins or being USians.

The region 1 DVD boxed set can help you with this: you can choose a subtitle option that details the film, television, and cultural references as they occur.

Don’t miss the commentary tracks, in which Simon Pegg, Jessica Stevenson, and Edgar Wright are joined by cult Hollywood luminaries including Kevin Smith, Quentin Tarantino, and Matt Stone. Originally, I dismissed this as a cynical tactic to bring in U.S. audiences, but in fact the chatter between the appreciative filmmaker-fans and the “Spaced” creators is not only charming and funny, but spurs the actors/writers to explain some of the more obscure in-jokes and Britishisms.
posted by Elsa at 6:35 AM on July 24, 2009


God, please, no Quentin Tarantino doing any talking. In anything. For any reason.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 6:59 AM on July 24, 2009


I'm glad I found that someone beat me to the punch this early on in my post preparation, as I was in the midst of crafting a post about this subject.

Instead, here's the linkage I would've included in one form or another.

Spaced Out is a fansite, which includes the A-Team theme song remix a lot of people Google for, which is damn addictive.

Spaced Jam, by Osymyso, as well as downloadable tracks Hello and Names, which were featured on the official DVD menus.

Thankfully, FOX's brief contemplation of an American version led to nothing. Considering how they've sociopathically mangled nearly any show I've ever loved ... *shudder*

In fact, the show's Wikipedia article (a subsection of which that past sentence linked to) is really pretty good. From it, I learned that "[m]usic rights issues long prevented the release of Spaced in Region 1 (U.S. and Canada)" — which is unsurprising, given the rather great soundtrack ... and gives me yet another reason to hate America's ubergreedy music rights organizations ...

And, only if you've watched the whole series, here is a clip from the very end of the documentary on the DVD, which is a bit of a surprise: a new epilogic scene of Tim & Daisy, showing what became of them ...
posted by WCityMike at 10:45 AM on July 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


Also, telling Hulu to fuck off is simply not thinking straight, and the constant repetitious spanning-over-multiple-comments-in-multiple-threads bitchspam every single freaking time someone posts a Hulu-linking FPP does nothing to improve the situation for the complainants. Hulu airs what it can: it's not their editorial decision. It's the rightsholders that cause the problem:
Our intention is to make Hulu's growing content lineup available worldwide. This requires clearing the rights for each show or film in each specific geography and will take time. We're encouraged by how many content providers have already been working along these lines so that their programs can be available over the Internet to a much larger, global audience. The Hulu team is committed to making great programming available across the globe.
posted by WCityMike at 10:56 AM on July 24, 2009


« Older Canadian actor Les Lye, who played many characters...  |  In 1990, the first BattleTech ... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments