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Peep Show: Series 8 - Television Review

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by Katie Thompson (subscribe)
University of York Graduate, aspiring to be a journalist with dreams of one day publishing my own novel. Blog: twotwothompson.wordpress.com/ Published work can be seen at www.theyorker.co.uk and www.yorkvision.co.uk
Event:
The El Dude brothers are back
Two years after the awkward duo were crawling their way under a fence to get into a New Year's Eve party, Mitchell and Webb are back with the eighth series of Peep Show. I for one wondered whether the geniuses at Channel 4 would fast forward to 2012 and play out series 8 in 'real time' but, judging by a couple of minor clues such as the age of Mark's baby, it's clear that this series has picked up where it left off, maintaining its comedy gold status.

peep show channel 4
Three's a crowd: Mark, Dobby and Jeremy


Last time we checked in with the lads, Mark's quirky IT geek girlfriend Dobby had agreed to move in with him. At present day (or perhaps, 2011 for argument's sake) there is doubt from the word go as to whether or not Jeremy will move out and Dobby will indeed move in. Jeremy is thus still as much of a loser as he ever was, this time round lamenting the breakup of 'Thirteen Bastards', the millionth name for he and best mate's Super Hans' band. Talking of Hans, the lovable junkie has now sold out and become a 'suit' selling bathroom appliances, and there's a comical role-reversal as Mark finds himself receiving career advice, as Hans informs him "you get to work with toilets, which are obviously funny."

Still unemployed and angry that both his best friends have begun to pursue roles in the bathroom industry, Jeremy seeks therapy on Dobby's advice. There's a brilliant moment of tension early on as Mark discovers that Jeremy has chickened out of therapy, choosing to go for a curry instead, causing Mark to force-feed him lamb pasandas until his final confession. The scene is hilariously written and still firmly cements the mother and son role between the two protagonists, proving that Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong are still getting it right nine years later.

Episode one of what I'm sure will be another eye-wateringly brilliant series seems a little weighted towards Mark, who has no end of trouble regarding his conflict with Gerrard, the other geek who is vying for Dobby's affections. On the upside however, this does make for some absolutely hilarious scenes and storylines, the biggest shocker of which I shall leave to viewers to find out for themselves.

With Jeremy finally agreeing to get therapy and Mark securing himself a job, the episode marks the beginning of potential career progression and inevitable mishaps for the cringey pairing. While Mark's personal dramas move episode one's narrative in leaps and bounds, the general hilarity of Jeremy continues to affirm Peep Show as one of the most hilarious shows on television. Hats off to Armstrong and Bain for this strong season-opener, for bringing back lovable characters such as Dobby, Super Hans and even Jeff for a brief moment. Closing on somewhat of a cliffhanger, episode one leads us to question the intentions of the rest of the series will Dobby move in? What will Jeremy take from therapy? And what of Mark's estranged wife and mother of his child, Sophie? Guess we'll have to make the ultimate sacrifice and watch the rest of the series.



Peep Show airs every Sunday evening in the UK at 10pm on Channel 4.
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Why? To see what the awkward duo are up to in series 8
When: 25th November and Sundays thereafter
Where: On TV, out on DVD in the future
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