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Posts Tagged ‘Peep Show’

 

Any Gary and Miranda kiss is heartwarming. image credit BBC

image credit BBC

The internet tells me it’s National Kissing Day. This senselessly manufactured day of swapping spit prompted me to devise a list of cheer worthy TV smooches. You know, the kind that take forever to actually happen and warm your heart when you finally witness them. For example, any kiss that ever transpired between the constantly on again off again Miranda and Gary.

 

So without further ado, here are a few more telly kisses you might remember fondly…

Caroline and Mac proposal kiss – Green Wing

 

 

2.  Mark and Sophie first kiss at a wake – Peep Show

 

 

3. Tim and Dawn Christmas party soulmate kiss – The Office

 

 

4. The Doctor and River Song first and last kiss – Doctor Who

 

Which kiss will you try out on your loved one today?

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Colman and Mitchell as Sophie and Mark in Peep Show

Colman and Mitchell as Sophie and Mark in Peep Show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, that  David Mitchell. The one who has disastrous luck with women and constantly finds himself in awkward dating scenarios on the sitcom Peep Show. The one who rants about all the minutiae that annoys him on panel shows like Would I Lie to You and QI. 

 

Who knew that Mr. Mitchell actually had something to say about matters of the heart? Well, here are just a few examples of his over-analyzed musings on topics that fall into the realm of romance…

 

The Definition of Passion

 

The Audacity of Giving Flowers

 

The Psychology of Paying Compliments

 

Consider it my Valentine to you…emotional guidance from a cynical realist with confidence issues.  A better gift than chocolate, I dare say!

 

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This past weekend we loaded up the old SUV and helped our children move their most important belongings back into their college living quarters.  For my daughter that meant lots of clothes for different weather and occasions, various musical instruments, and plenty of plastic organizational containers.  My son, on the other hand, only required his t-shirt collection, a Foreman grill, and his X-box.  He insisted he really didn’t need much more since his apartment is furnished and his four other roommates were bringing items as well.  I met these young men briefly yesterday and couldn’t help wondering how my mild-mannered, couch-dwelling son ended up with these jock-ish, party guys.  (Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there’s more to them than a trash bag full of empty beer cans and skateboards in the kitchen would indicate.) But it did get me thinking about how non-related adults end up sharing a domicile.

I mean after the summer camp and university years, do many grown-ups still room together?

There is no better example of an odd couple than Vince and Howard (The Mighty Boosh)

Apparently on television, they do.   Aside from the obviously humorous situation possibilities, these characters have financial or companionship reasons to share a home and find it feasible to live together despite the obvious potential for domestic skirmishes otherwise known as “television bread and butter.”  Take, for example, Tom and Roy (The Old Guys).  When pensioner Roy’s wife moved out, his friend Tom moved in.  How these two men were ever in the same social circle in the first place never seems to be explained.  Roy, thoughtful, intellectual and careful is in stark contrast to Tom who is self-centered, unsophisticated and indiscreet.  One thing they do seem to have in common is a similar taste in women.  From their neighbor Sally, to Belarusian escort, Katia, to the new librarian, Barbara, these two mature men behave like teenage rivals when it comes to the fairer sex.

 

On Peep Show, a similar situation exists between two twenty-something friends with not much in common.  Mark and Jez met at university and when Jez, an aspiring musician, breaks up with his girlfriend, financially stable Mark takes him in as a flatmate. They are opposite sides of a coin; Mark is responsible, pessimistic and socially awkward while Jez is careless, more optimistic than he probably has cause to be and is marginally more social and successful with women.  This shopping trip is a great illustration of their very different outlooks on life:

Coincidentally, the same writing team created both Peep Show and The Old Guys .  Therefore, we must conclude that Jez and Mark will eventually become Tom and Roy.

Some roommates not only live, but also work, together.  It obviously cuts down on commuting, but does it really increase productivity? Or does all that time together just fuel the fire for more disagreements?  Take an eccentric flatmate like Sherlock and his far more normal collaborator, John Watson.  Holmes’ boredom-induced target practice and severed heads aside, if these two are going to constantly tiff and storm out, how many crimes are actually going to get solved?

 

While I couldn’t think of any female roomies, there are some male-female pairings that I’m aware of, notably Tim and Daisy from Spaced and Lee and whichever woman owns the flat he’s living in from Not Going Out.  However,  I don’t feel the mixed gender duos have the same odd couple vibe.  Instead they are usually dominated by jealousy, unrequited crushes and sexual tension.  Some would say Sherlock and Watson fit the bill on that last one, but I’m not buying it…yet.

I leave you with one of my favorite odd couples, Lou and Andy, from Little Britain.  It’s never actually stated that they are roommates, but Lou seems to be Andy’s full-time companion and caretaker.  Andy is an apparently handicapped individual with a talent for manipulation while Lou is his endlessly patient yet naive nurse and servant.  The perfect ingredients for an extreme co-dependant relationship!

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Recently I discovered a new series called The Book Group.  Set in Scotland, each episode is loosely centered around a different novel, genre or literary movement which a member of the book group has chosen to discuss.  But what I find most intriguing about this series is that a central character, Clare Pettengill, is American. While poring through my ever-growing list of British television experiences, I realized that an American character in a featured role is very rare.  Sure, in any given episode of a British show you might see them in a guest spot – Americans portrayed as boorish tourists, reckless cowboys, religious zealots or corrupt business moguls – often played with cartoonish accents. It’s only fair of course. We typecast British characters as upper class posh twits, dastardly villains or drunken yobs.  Here are the very few examples I could come up with of recurring American characters on UK television:

Rich Fulcher as Bob Fossil from The Mighty Boosh –  He’s manager of the Zooniverse, yet knows nothing about animals.  Aside from being stupid, he’s also loud, childish, and at times, vulgar.  Bob Fossil is a surreal version of the “ugly American”.

 

Rachel Blanchard as Nancy from Peep Show – Nancy is the object of Jez’s affection in series 2.  While her character traits do contradict one another, they still align with American stereotypes.  She is very religious/spiritual, yet she is uninhibited and always looking to break social taboos in some very kinky ways. And is it possible she’s selfishly using Jez as well?

 

John Barrowman as Captain Jack Harkness from Doctor Who – Here things get a little trickier since I’m not sure that Captain Jack is human, let alone American.  Even John Barrowman is not so easy to classify since he was born in Scotland and then moved to the US when he was 8.  But for the purposes of this topic, he speaks with an American accent and, for awhile, took on the identity of a WWII air force pilot.  More importantly, he possesses some very American traits. He’s daring, forward and quite gregarious. Although his character becomes darker and more complex in Torchwood, Jack appears to be the epitome of the all-American guy. I know what you’re thinking, even that statement is complicated.  Did I mention he flirts…with everyone?

 

Which brings us back to The Book Group.  Clare has relocated to Glasgow from Cincinnati “which is a pretty big American city, even if you’ve never heard of it”. She wants to make some new friends and so decides to start up a book group.  Her reaction to the disabled man, three footballers’ wives, egotistical grad student and creepy football groupie who show up for the first meeting is less than warm.  She is condescending, a bad hostess and outright rude.  But because she is a main character and the impetus for the book group, we get to see beyond the surface and learn that Clare is defensive because she also very lonely, insecure and more than a little socially inept.  She is more than a stereotype because we get to see multiple dimensions to her character.  And to be honest, everyone else in the group has their quirks and issues as well.

 

Let me know who I’ve missed by commenting here.

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