Get Lost in Spaced – The Hot Fuzz Duo’s DVD

Get more from the men behind Shaun of the Dead with their new-to-DVD television series.

One of the funniest movies of the past decade was made because Simon Pegg got tired. After cocreating, writing, and starring in two seasons of the popular BBC sitcom Spaced, “We needed a break,” he says. “The break happened to be Shaun of the Dead.” That cult-hit zombie-flick parody was the first time most Americans saw Pegg’s ruddy face, but Spaced, which aired in 1999 and 2001, had already honed his brand of droll, self-deprecating humor. Now, with all 14 episodes finally being released on DVD, stateside fans can play catch-up.

The premise—a pot-smoking aspiring comic book artist (Pegg) and a procrastinating aspiring writer (Jessica Hynes) pretend to be a couple so they can rent the flat of their (humble) dreams—wasn’t groundbreaking. But the show, co-created and directed by Edgar Wright (who also helmed Shaun and its follow-up, Hot Fuzz), was. “We wrote it because nobody was speaking to us on TV,” Pegg explains. “You would watch sitcoms and think these people didn’t exist.” Spaced was the opposite, capturing a certain type of twentysomething who relates to the world through movies and games. They were people you didn’t necessarily want to hang out with—because you already did.

Whether it’s a heady allusion to The Conversation or a bitter reference to Star Wars: Episode 1—The Phantom Menace (“Jar Jar Binks makes the Ewoks look like fucking Shaft!”), the pop culture fixation made Spaced stand out. The DVDs acknowledge this with features such as the Homage-O-Meter, which tallies up the show’s references, and commentaries from fans who make today’s pop culture, including Kevin Smith and Quentin Tarantino. So, does all this fresh fanfare set the stage for Spaced’s triumphant return? “We had loads of ideas for the third season,” says Pegg. “I’d love to pick up where we left off, but I have less hair and more stomach now, so it’s a bit impossible.”