The British Community

Edgar Wright is one of my favorite directors. He’s one of the geniuses behind Scott Pilgrim v. the World, Hot Fuzz, and Shaun of the Dead, which are probably in my top ten or twenty favorite movies. I’m a sucker for pop culture parodies, British humor and non-sequitur; and Wright usually throws heavy doses of those devices into his works. That’s why it’s a little surprising that I’m just now getting around to watching Spaced, a comedy series Wright created with Simon Pegg and Jessica Stevenson back in ’99.

The show’s got a pretty classic sitcom premise, Tim (Pegg) and Daisy (Stevenson) pretend to be a couple in order to move into a nice, cheap flat. They, along with their friends and quirky neighbors, have adventures and grow as people. I loved the show almost immediately; following this joke from the first episode:

My love only grew after the third and fourth episodes, which dealt with zombies and paintball respectively. Sound familiar? Yeah, the third and fourth episodes of Spaced are similar to the two best episodes of Community. The pop culture parody continues in the fifth episode, where Tim, Daisy and friends break into a make-up testing facility to rescue some animals, and Wright turns it into a great heist sequence. This is as far as I’ve watched, but I’m really starting to feel the same zany excitement that happens when I watch Community.

The whole series is available on Hulu. I highly recommend it. It’s got that Community feel, but from over ten years ago, on a smaller budget and with a British accent.

I think that Edgar Wright just gets me.

(As a side note, not only did Spaced clearly influence the writers of Community, but it also influenced How I Met Your Mother. The way conversations are cut in the beginning of the first episode and the telepathic conversations are HIMYM staples.)

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