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TV sitcoms may never be the same again.
While there are some things people will never say or do, there’s nothing they’ll never think. This, at least, is the premise behind C4’s new sitcom, Peep Show, starring the latest comic talent to emerge from the Cambridge Footlights stable, David Mitchell and Robert Webb.
Set in Croydon, Peep Show observes the utterly miserable lives of Mark and Jeremy, two twentysomething flatmates who hate each other, themselves and the lousy modern world in equal measure. Their day-to-day activity - which revolves around the unhealthy pursuit of the fairer sex - is shot from the character’s point of view, turning the traditional sitcom format on its head.
“It’s quite honest in terms of how dismal everyone’s thoughts are,” believes David Mitchell, who plays the socially inept Mark. “The way it’s shot and the fact that you can hear the character’s inner monologues allows things to be expressed that you couldn’t easily put into dialogue. I really hope that everyone will acknowledge that they have awful murderous and completely self-doubting thoughts all the time as well, too.”
These interesting and cleverly written inner monologues explain every mucky, dark and twisted thought travelling through the boys’ dysfunctional minds, exposing the characters’ true inner demons while throwing up some outrageously funny lines and scenarios along the way. Much of the humour here is concerned with the sleazy nature of Mark and Jeremy’s pathetic existence, and the baffling thought processes that get them through the day. “Yeah, the characters are pretty strange,” continues Mitchell. “Hopefully, everyone will see parts of themselves or people they know in the characters.”
If exposing the darker side of human nature is the objective here, then Peep Show has achieved absolute success. It’s original, often very weird and always very funny. Darker than Guinness but just as refreshing. Chris Wilson 19 September 03
Peep Show begins on Channel 4, Friday 19 September 03 at 10.35pm.
useful link: channel 4: peep show
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