“No, I’ve started being a boss. What about my Danish sofa and my new keyboard?” says Mark (David Mitchell) after learning that he’s just lost his job at JLB in the first 10 minutes of the new series of Channel 4’s peerless award-winning comedy of errors. It’s been six years since Peep Show hit the screens and if this opener is anything to go by there’s no sign of it losing any momentum as it remains as pant-wettingly funny as ever. Suddenly staying on a Friday doesn’t seem so bad after all.
Peep Show Series 6
After the scene where all the staff, including Jeremy (Robert Webb) who has only been at the company for three hours yet pretends to be deeply affected, are told by Johnson (Paterson Joseph) of the office closure Mark sets up a JLB survivors group and performs a skit where he dresses up as the German boss of the company, complete with a permanent marker Hitler moustache, only for said boss to turn up and offer Mark a tidy redundancy package if he calls off the protest.
It’s hard not to laugh as his initial giddy thoughts of “I’ve single handily re-launched the satire boom” suddenly becomes the pop-culture referencing awareness of: “I’m Russell Brand and Steffan is probably Andrew Sachs”. There’s also something pleasantly schoolboy about seeing David Mitchell running around with a Hitler moustache for half of the episode.
Super Hans (Matt King), last seen joining a Scientology-like cult and destroying Mark’s precious new HD ready television set, is back to his typical useless druggie self and offers the boys a bit of cash-in-hand work as “men with ven”. There were better moments of course but some of the funnier quotable lines contain language unsuitable for a family website such as this one. Suffice it to say the dark tones are still undercurrent.
Peep Show Style not for Everyone
New viewers (where have you been?) who stumbled across this or were still glued to their chairs by Derren Brown may be put off and a little confused by the point-of-view style, and the absurd yet strangely realistic internal monologues, but honestly stick with it as Peep Show just wouldn’t be the same without it and helps to differentiate the show from other similar sitcoms.
Also far from being a gimmick the POV stuff brings you to the forefront of these people’s lives so you can relate to them more easily by hearing their paranoid ideals without them just repeating the same lines out loud.
However, it doesn’t matter if this gains higher ratings or not as this is something written for fans and creators Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain know exactly what they’re doing, they know who their audience are and how to please them, i.e. with clever dialogue and intricate plot lines that build to fitting conclusions. For everyone else who wants cheap non-laughs with attractive 20-somethings spouting fart jokes can wait for the new series of Two Pints of Lager… to come out.
The Best of Channel 4 Comedy
The strange thing is although Peep Show is consistently brilliant, perhaps the best sitcom of the decade, it bizarrely doesn’t get the viewing figures it so richly deserves. At one stage there were once rumblings that the bigwigs at 4 prepared to sharpen their axes but thanks to the Family Guy rule of TV shows making an impact on DVD and gaining profit it was saved.
One suspects too that Channel 4 feel it’s actually good to commission a programme simply on the grounds of high quality when the rest of the schedules are largely filled with trash. Such is Channel 4’s faith in Peep Show that a seventh series was put in motion even before this one was finished. That’s more than enough reason for fans of intelligent and witty comedy to celebrate. Ratings, pah who cares?