The vast expanses of the great Netflix offer our population, for a monthly fee, an opportunity to take in more television shows and movies in a month than ever before in human history. This comes as no surprise to the average binge-watcher who would be hopelessly lost in a world without Netflix.
The toughest part of navigating this seemingly unlimited world of choice is to actually pick a series to watch. Picking a movie is hard enough, let alone picking a series that will take up a great deal of time, whether that be experienced all at once (Set aside 24 hours and you can watch a season of Lost) or over a period of time.
A series that is advertised in the comedy section of Netflix is a show called Peep Show. It should be plastered onto the front page of Netflix and for good reason. It is easily one of the most consistently entertaining shows on the stream.
The name is in reference to the fact that the show’s shots are all point of view. This only makes you feel closer to the characters as they are always making eye contact with the camera.
The show features two men, Mark and Jeremy, aka Jez, who live in South London. Yes, the show is British and it is a comedy. This should excite those who love the subtle humor found in British comedies; the type of show where the dialogue is far more intricate than the plot itself.
The thing that makes Peep Show so special is not just the dialogue itself, but the internal dialogue. The point of view shots allow the camera to focus on another character while Mark or Jez’s thoughts are heard out loud, but hidden in their minds from the other character. A perfect example comes from a scene where Mark is jogging with a character passionately known as “Big Suze.”
It is tough to gauge just exactly how perfect that scene is without watching previous episodes, but it does provide a sense of the humor that is exhibited on the show.
The type of humor varies between both main characters, Mark and Jez, but it is equally effective in garnering laughs. As evident by the clip above, Mark’s humor comes from his constant neuroticism from everyday life. Half the things he says cause one to turn away from the screen in a feeling of total embarrassment (a la every episode of Louie), as if you were Mark and you just made a fool of yourself. This is not a bad thing, as the fact that the show evokes feeling shows how powerful it can be in serving as an entertainment option. If you cannot feel anything while watching a show, it is not worth your time.
Jez’s humor comes from his personality of a carefree spirit who has very little talent whatsoever in his current profession as a “professional” musician. His music is so bad that it almost makes you feel bad as a viewer, although his confidence in his creations makes it somewhat tolerable.
Although I am not a paid representative of Peep Show, I feel that any fan of clever comedy should give the show a chance. The first episode provides more laughs than most pilots can ever imagine giving an audience.
The audience it most relates with is one of those who find everyday life full of unnecessary stressors and situations that evoke great feeling, when to others they may be seen as routine. Such a thing as seeing a girl may cause great stress in Mark, while Jez may seize the opportunity. So if you find yourself living a life that you may classify as weird and perhaps “not normal,” give this show a chance. It will show you that your life is not all that bad, as long as you aren’t a Mark.