Friday, October 30, 2015

Season 4, Episode 6: “Wedding”

UK airdate: May 18th, 2007.

"I’m going to be one of those men women read about in their magazines!"

Mark and Sophie’s wedding day has finally arrived.

Special note: This episode shares a title with season 2's finale, if you keep track of that sort of thing.


Again, solid episode and in many ways the culmination of the first four years of the show.  Thinking about it now, this could have served as a series finale if the show hadn’t continued.  It takes care of the long-running Sophie plotline, and nicely cements Jez and Mark’s friendship.
Observations:


  • This episode makes reference to Mark’s very first scene in the first episode, where he says he prefers brown toast to white.  Being the best friend that he is, Jez knows Mark’s preference.
  • Reference here to Jez and Nancy’s marriage.  I can’t recall if that has ever been properly dealt with since, although Jez suggests at the end of this episode that he might divorce her.
  • One of many episodes where Jez faces a life living without Mark.  This seems to come up more often in later seasons.
  • This really has to be heard to be appreciated, but Super Hans’ puking noises are probably the best I’ve heard on TV.
  • Jez drives his car to the wedding.  The car shows up now and again, but I’m only now wondering just how he pays for it.
  • The woman at the coffee shop Mark proposes to is reading Jenkins’ Churchill.  I believe this is the last time the book shows up.
  • Speaking about the woman in the coffee shop, DVD commentary will let you know that at one point she was supposed to have been either Mark’s school reunion friend Sally Slater, or the student he nearly hooks up with at Dartmouth.
  • One of the very few instances where Mark shows any initiative, he tries to get hit by a car.
  • Jez and Sophie’s kiss from earlier in the season is brought up by Jez as a way for Mark to get out of the wedding.
  • Ever so briefly, a knowing look between Jez and Sophie’s mom, Penny, is exchanged.  Right after, she seems genuinely hurt to discover that he kissed Sophie.  I really thought they would make more of that little affair the two had but this is the last time it comes up.


  • Sophie in her wedding dress, crying, is one of the series’ most memorable images.
  • Sophie’s brother shows up for two seconds to throw rice at Mark.  There must be some deleted scenes with him somewhere.  Come to think of it, her dad (surely one of the better secondary characters) doesn’t say anything in this episode, either.
  • Mark’s parents are in the background of a few shots, played by different actors than the ones we finally see in the later Christmas episode (if indeed standing in front of a camera can be considered “playing” a role on TV).  Obviously Bain and Armstrong wanted to save Mark’s parents for another episode, but it would have been very odd not to acknowledge them at his own wedding.

Mark's parents that we never see again

Quotes:


Super Hans, being kicked by Mark to get up: Alright, keep your wig on.


Jez, to a puking Super Hans: You said you were on the dry heaves!  That wasn’t a dry heave, that was a wettie!


Mark: Ugh, this isn’t how I imagined it: scrubbing my puke-stained wedding wear in a public toilet.


Mark, looking around in desperation at all the people at Sophie’s parents’ house: Oh god, look at all the wedding stuff.  Everyone’s getting ready for a wedding.
Jez: Well, you did basically arrange a wedding.


Jez, on how to stop the wedding: Personally, I think we should just leave a note and get the fuck out.


Jez, looking for a place to pee in the church: Let me piss in that prayer bucket.
Mark: “Prayer bucket”?  There’s no such thing.  That’s just a bucket.


Jez, protecting Mark from the rice throwers: Come on!  He got married, didn’t he?  Leave him alone!


UK stuff:


  • Wikipedia says that Dr. Jonathan Miller “is a British theatre and opera director, actor, author, television presenter, humourist, and medical doctor [as well as a] … well-known television personality and familiar public intellectual in both Britain and the United States.”

  • Mark: I actually find it quite comforting that our entire relationship can be reduced to an online speech template.  I mean, Kenneth Halliwell and Joe Orton couldn’t do that.

Once again, Wikipedia puts it very clearly: Kenneth Halliwell was a British actor, writer and collagist. He was the mentor, boyfriend and eventual murderer of playwright Joe Orton.


  • Super Hans pukes in a public washroom beside a parking lot.  I cannot think of any such public facilities here outside of a park or a beach or something.

  • Mark: Tell them I’m doing a Stephen Fry.  We’re in Brussels, I’m eating chips and mayonnaise… I’m on the edge!


This isn’t a UK thing really, since Stephen Fry is known in North America, but less well-known (at least to me) is that he suffers from bipolar disorder and has on at least two occasions tried to commit suicide.  


  • Women wearing large, elaborate hats at weddings must be some UK thing, because you certainly don’t see it here.  


  • Mark tells Sophie that getting married is serious business, “not applying for a Nectar card.”  A Nectar card is a loyalty card programme (or “scheme,” as they delightfully call things) in the UK.


War stuff:


  • Mark: Nobody wanted to drop the bomb on Hiroshima, but in the end it probably saved more lives than if they hadn’t!

A rare Pacific theatre reference from Mark.

Season 4, Episode 5: "Holiday"

UK air date: May 11th, 2007

NA air date: Never
Jeremy offering Mark some turkey

The El Dude Brothers get up to all sorts of dead dog-related hijinks on Mark’s stag weekend.


I try not to say this too often, but this really is one of the better episodes - marred only by the outlandish 3rd act nonsense with the dead dog.  At any rate, Mark and Jeremy hanging out in an unusual location is a good setup for an episode, even without the stag party aspect.


Some thoughts:


  • Jez taking Mark out for his stag is a nice reminder that these two aren’t strangers always after each other but are, in fact, good friends.


  • Sophie and Mark are probably the most believable, dysfunctional couple on television.  Like, not in a “funny ha ha” sort of dysfunctional, but the kind you might encounter in real life.  You can almost see the rickety house of cards their weird relationship is made of.  She, the desperate, aging woman who knows she needs a man with ten times Mark’s energy; and Mark, the man in search of a respectable, presentable wife at all costs.


  • It never truly dawned on me until watching this about twelve times, but Jez is trying to engineer a foursome with two sisters and Mark.  How bizarre.  Even more bizarre, it seems the girls were up for it.


  • Roy Jenkins on Churchill again.  Mark’s still plugging away at that.


  • Gerrard mentioned, back before he was a more prominent character.


  • As I mentioned, the whole situation with the dog is just a tad too outlandish, particularly the part where they have to eat it.  I mean, it’s funny, but still at-odds with the tone of this series.  I really do think this is one of the strongest episodes of the show, but the ending does push things a tad.


  • In his youth (we must assume), Jeremy was a paperboy for one of the Murdoch papers.


  • Jez’ and Superhans’ band’s name this time: Various Artists (“Just to fuck over people with iPods.”)


  • Pedge mentioned once again.  Evidently married.  Gave his wife an aggressive yeast infection after having sex with a hooker in Estonia.  Will we ever meet Pedge?


Quotes:


Jez: You know how depressed you are about being married?
Mark: Let’s not drag that out now.  ‘I’m looking forward to it.’  That’s the line.  Besides, it’s possible I might find a way out.


Jez: Look, no matter how unpalatable it may be, the fact is I’m your best friend and I know you don’t want to hear it, but I love you.  And in your own dried up, dessicated, weird and unfriendly way, you love me too.  


"No, I'm definitely not one of those."


Mark, haltingly, in couples’ counselling: Right, well, I thought maybe that Sophie might be one of those people who find it difficult - or even impossible - to attain… to achieve…
Sophie, without hesitating: No, I’m definitely not one of those.
Mark: Right…


Sophie, when prompted to open up about their difficulties in bed: Right, well… I’d say that often, Mark, you ejaculate quite a long time before I’ve had time to feel like I’ve started to enjoy our sex.
Mark, stunned: Uh huh.  Thanks for that, Soph.  I’ll make a note of that.

Captain Corrigan


Jez, disappointed the canal isn’t as exciting as he expected: Right, but this is just it - this is totally it?  There’s not going to be any waves, or… mad shit?
Mark: No.
Jez: Can I waterski off the back?
Mark: You’re very welcome to try!


Jez, on his time with Mark: This weekend is going to be one massive dry hump.  Maybe the pressure will build until we actually try to fuck each other.
(one gets the sense that Jeremy has done something exactly like this in the past)


Mark, after Jez forces him to the pub: Oh god, I wish I lived with the chess computer.  The chess computer wouldn’t make me do things.


Mark: Oh, god, it’ll be an orgy.  Great.  Disappoint three people instead of just one.


Jez: Just don’t think about the dead dog.  If I don’t think about it, there’s always a chance it didn’t happen.


Jez: Mark, if I just get rid of the dog corpse, there’s a chance I still might get laid here.

Just a couple of yardies.


UK Stuff:


  • This episode has introduced me to the UK’s extensive canal system, converted now for tourist use.  Mark and Jez are on the Shropshire Union Canal.  I believe a specific town is mentioned by Aurora, but I couldn’t make it out.




  • Where are my yards of ale?  We should have these here, although I think there’s a limit to how much beer can be served to one person at a time (which you’ll discover upon ordering a pitcher for yourself).


  • Jeremy mentions Yardies, which I know isn’t remotely a big deal but I’ve come to view that as one of the more hilarious terms Peep Show has introduced to me.


  • Alan Sugar comes up once again.


  • Jeremy Clarkson is mentioned.  I should say that since I started this review blog many moons ago, Jeremy Clarkson has become well-known enough up here that I don’t really feel the need to explain who he is anymore.


  • It’s become increasingly clear that people in the UK call “doing the dishes” the “washing up.”


  • “The Great Egg Race” is mentioned.  A bit difficult for me to understand just what this show was, precisely, but Wikipedia will tell you that “the show featured teams creating [overly-complicated] mechanical creations in an attempt to solve a problem set at the start of the show. The series obtained its name from the initial challenge of making a device capable of transporting an egg the furthest possible distance without breaking it.”

  • Everyone here knows what a "stag weekend" is, but "bachelor party" is overwhelmingly favoured.

WW2 Stuff:

- Mark, talking in his sleep: I’m not wearing them.  They’re Hitler’s boots.  I’m not wearing Hitler’s boots.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Season 4, Episode 4: "Handyman"


"I thought you were just a man... in a shirt... sitting on a chair!"

Mark meets up with an old friend from high school (or whatever it’s called in the UK), while Jez discovers that his job comes with certain strings attached.

(Yes, it's been more than a year and a half since I last updated this blog, but I swear that it's back and better than ever (and by "better than ever," I mean "much the same as before")! 


I'd like to point out that I recently bought a copy of Roy Jenkins' "Churchill," (which Mark reads with his supper this episode) and will get to it someday.  Evidently Jenkins was an MP in Churchill's 50s government!  Who knew?!


Also, if anyone's wondering, the Internet tells me that Peep Show's 8th season will be filming this summer, to be broadcast in the fall.  That's a two year break!  I think the Peep Show withdrawal pangs are what spurred me to get back into the blog.  

And now...)
  
As usual, a good one, although a tad dark in both main characters' storylines.  I’m unsure as to whether it’s good or a cop-out that Mark doesn’t go through with the affair with Sally.  I suppose we all like our characters to have an edge to them now and again, but perhaps that might have been a bit too much.

- The invitation to Mark’s class reunion indicates he graduated from (the fictitious) Polefield School in 1991.  Assuming they finish this stage of their education at the same age in the UK as we do in North America (18), that puts Mark’s birth year at 1973 (one year before David Mitchell’s).  This makes Mark 34 in this episode, which is older than I’d pictured but works out (it also means his sister, at 29, isn’t older than him after all, as I had thought).

(It also means that this is a 16th anniversary reunion, but we’ll just ignore that.)

- Lisa is mentioned.  Good ole background character Lisa.

- Jez is out at the pub with Super Hans, the Orgazoid and Laura, Carrie and Mike.  Who the hell are Laura, Carrie and Mike?

- The Orgazoid says that he’s “a friend of Bob’s mate, Kev.” Could that be European Bob?

- In a DVD commentary, it’s mentioned that Sally was at one point going to be the woman in the coffee shop that Mark spontaneously proposes to later on on his wedding day.

- Nancy shows up again and doesn’t really do anything.

- Some amusing paedo jokes in here.  Peep Show’s always good for a paedo joke.

- It’s amusing how Jez is excited to see some of his qualities reflected in Mark when the latter brings up the possibility of an affair with Sally.

- An older man paying a younger guy for hand jobs isn’t something you’d see on an American sitcom, I don’t imagine.’

- Not that it’s remotely believable that Sally would be interested in Mark, but I’d be interested in seeing more of her character.

- JLB Credit employees are often making trips to Germany.  This perhaps foreshadows (in an extremely broad sense) the takeover of JLB by a German company at the start of season six.  Let’s just say that they didn’t pull the German takeover completely out of thin air, at least.

- As usual, Bain and Armstrong come up with great song titles.  Here, one of Orgazoid’s notable tracks is called “Borneo Function.”

Incidentally, I see that there’s now a UK indie group called Borneo Function.

- I don’t know much about the UK school system (there’s a lot of private schools alongside the public ones, but they’re not as big a deal as they are here?  That’s my take-away), but Jez’ outfit at the reunion indicates he went to a private school.  I assume?  Again, not my area of specialization. 

"So, as it stands, I’m failing to find work as a prostitute."

- It seems unlikely that free-wheelin’ Jez (who has had sex with at least four men) has a problem with giving the Orgazoid handjobs, although maybe it’s the “for money” aspect that he’s uncomfortable with.  (That seems even more unlikely, though.)

- Jeremy’s t-shirts are extra amusing this episode.
  
- Mark’s excuse to Foz for being in the house while Sally "cleans" is another great example of him making up a completely embarrassing scenario in order to get out of a difficult situation.  (“Yes… yeah, that’s what I’m doing.  I’m spying on her and… wanking over her.”)

- In a deleted alternate ending, Mark and Jez return to Orgazoid’s to fetch Mark’s signed first edition of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe.”  Superhans is still working there, doing some gardening among other things.  It’s a pretty funny scene and must surely have been cut for time.

(I also notice now that quite a few episodes have deleted scenes available on the DVD that I haven’t noticed until now.  So you’ve been spared my thoughts on those up till this point.)

Quotes:

- Mark: “Hmm, maybe I should just go on my own.  Sally Slater will be there … It would be good to see her again, and I’m sure Sophie won’t mind – in fact, she’s definitely not going to mind because I’m not going to tell her.”

- Mark, on Jez’ unbelievable new job: “No, there’s got to be a catch.  He’s gonna sell your organs, or invite a German around to eat you.”

- Jez: I thought they hated you at Polefield.
Mark: The vast majority, but there were some… small crumbs of comfort: the chess players, the musicians, the poor and the posh-voiced.  We formed a sub-strata – a secret society, below the radar of the norms.
Jez: “The norms”?
Mark: The Normallos.  The Norman forces.  Our oppressors.
Jez: Right.  Well, this I’ve got to see.

- Jeremy, on his working arrangement: “Oh yeah, that’s really going to break his balls if I roll in an hour late.  Mark, this is Russell Orgazoid.  He’s a creative, I’m a creative.  We don’t make steam engines out of… pig iron in this country anymore, yeah?  We hang out, we fuck around on the Playstation, we have some Ben and Jerry's.  That’s how everyone makes their money now, yeah?”

- Mark: “There she is: Lovely Sally Slater.  I should speak to her, but what the hell can I say?!  Anything that doesn’t mention I masturbate over her memory is probably good.  I mean, I think that’s a compliment, but women just don’t seem to want to hear it.”

- Mark: “Most of my rivals from school have probably perished in Blair’s oil wars.”

- Jez, after getting some rare Borneo Function remixes: “Wow, Superhans is going to shit a brick when I show him this.  Finally, something to beat that car battery he nicked off The Prodigy.”

- Mark, keeping it together: “Shit, this isn’t good.  There are lions.  There are lions everywhere!  Where are they?  Is there one behind that… tree?”

- Mark, anal retentive to the end: “Christ, what do you do to avoid lion attack?  Soil yourself?  Or is that grizzly bears?  Hate to shit myself for no reason and get eaten.  The final humiliation.”

- A reluctant Jeremy, wondering if he can keep jerking Orgazoid off for money: “Could I start wearing a mitten? Or maybe chuck a flannel over it?”

UK Stuff:

- At his reunion, Mark talks about a high school bully, saying: “That’s Terry Carpenter, one of the more sophisticated bullies.  Pretended I was Thatcher and he was Heseltine and that I needed ousting.”

Michael Heseltine was the backbench Conservative MP responsible for Thatcher’s resignation in 1990.  Read up on it, if only on Wikipedia; good political maneuverings.

- Sutton Hoo: A celebrated Anglo-Saxon ship burial mound, discovered on the eve of the Second World War.  They found a bunch of cool things there.  Look that one up, too. 

- The Bishops Avenue (where the Orgazoid lives): A London street so posh it has its own Wikipedia entry.  There, I discovered that the smallest house on Bishops Avenue goes for $10 million.  Emil Savundra once lived there (among other super-wealthy); he’s a very curious person who’s worth looking into.  Some houses are owned by the Saudi royal family and the Sultan of Brunei (good people).

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Season 4, Episode 3: "Gym"

Mark joins a gym to avoid Sophie, while Nancy comes back into Jez’ life.

- I don’t particularly enjoy this one, possibly because it involves Nancy, but more likely because the way in which Mark and Jez deal with Matt, the personal trainer, is pretty awful, even by Peep Show standards. Funny, but awful.

Consequently, I don’t have much to say about this episode.

- Jez’ doodles reappear in this one. He has an amusing, though limited, artistic side that is hinted at occasionally. I guess he’s a bad musician and a bad drawer.

- Mark refers to his “misshapen scrotum” for the first time in a long while. This used to be a staple of the first season.

- Nancy works at a health club. When we last saw her, she had to leave her sham wedding early to go to an interview for a job at a health club. The only trouble is that, prior to working at the club this episode, she evidently went about and worked elsewhere. Perhaps she got the job back at the end of the second season, and they kept it on-hold while she went on sabbatical? In any case, again, the show is very good about staying consistent with the most minor details from years-old episodes.

- Toni is referenced, along with the Robin Williams movie nights Jez and Nancy used to enjoy.

- Once again, in desperation, Mark will do crazy things, like, say, claiming that his personal trainer sexually assaulted him. The scene in which Mark does this is one of the show’s most awkward.

- Mark making the assault story up on the spot is reminiscent of his Hofmeister/kettle chips/”not even a proper cocktail” speech at the drinking support group. Both are funny.

- This one ends on a bizarre note. Just how do the main characters resolve the situation (Matt about to beat them up while they hide behind Sophie and Nancy)?

- Nancy comes back in this one, and for a few more episodes scattered across the season. I’m not entirely sure why she’s back, though, seeing as how she has very little presence in any subsequent episodes.

Quotes:

- Jeremy: "I don’t need to pay money to join a gym. The world is my gym. The hills, the trees, the rivers – they are my gym."
Mark: "Yeah, well, the world is my gym, too. It’s just the bit of it that’s actually a gym, that’s gonna be my gym."

Mark, watching someone (revealed to be Jeremy) setting the mail on fire: “Jesus, what’s that man doing? I should do something. If decent people like me do nothing, then what? Then they’ll come for the trade unionists – although that, to be honest, wouldn’t bother me too much.”

- Mark wants to marry Soph because it’s his “chance to be a proper human being.”

UK Stuff:

- Alain de Botton: A Swiss writer and TV presenter who lives in the UK, according to Wikipedia. I take him to be a philosopher of some sort.

- Edward and Mrs. Simpson: A TV show from the late-70s about the Abdication Crisis.

- Punnet: A basket to keep fruit in.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Season 4, Episode 2: "Conference"

“Great, now I’m getting an angry lap dance. Brilliant.”

Mark tackles “Project Zeus” while Johnson makes a move for Big Suze.

- This is a fun one, perhaps in large part because it does a good job of integrating secondary characters like Big Suze and, best of all, Johnson. Also, Mark and Jez have distinctive, amusing plots of their own.

- Project Zeus is inherently an unworkable, terrible idea. This is, perhaps, a hint at the unhinged Johnson we encounter in season six.

- This episode introduces us to Gerrard, who plays minor, yet amusing, roles in upcoming episodes.

- Lisa first shows up here. She’s an employee at JLB who shows up in a very limited capacity from time to time.

- Jez and Johnson, obviously, still hate each other. This is the first time they’ve had any sort of meaningful confrontation, and it’s very appropriate that it leads to Johnson stealing the love of Jez’ life.

- This episode continues to portray Mark as a character who reacts very poorly to stress. With Project Zeus a shambles, he alienates everyone around him, including his fiancée, with his poor behaviour. Once it all starts falling down around him, he tries to make a desperate escape from civilization. In previous episodes, we’ve seen him pissing on a supervisor’s work and cutting his forearm to get attention, in reaction to stress.

- Mark is such a complete cock when dealing with people when his job is at stake. That’s funny.

- Suze’s place isn’t the same one as seen in season three, episode one. I suppose she’s moved out from Michelle’s.

- Again, this show is very very good at casting incidental characters. Johnson’s friends that go to the strippers’ are very believably, as Mark says, “literally the worst men in the world.”

- There are actual tits in this episode. Real-life tits. Such is UK TV.

- This is perhaps not entirely a huge surprise, but I quite like the stripper who gives Mark a lap dance. Some bizarre part of me would like them to end up together. Moreso than most other women he meets, she, bizarrely, seems his intellectual equal.

- Jez and Soph kiss briefly in this one. This becomes a minor issue in the season finale, and is a precursor to them actually having sex later on.

- Jez calls Mark “Captain Corrigan.” This is the nickname Mark has for his penis.

- Jez, evidently, has been with more than four men.

- There’s a good Jeff scene at the end, where he gives Mark the finger after Mark comes to him in desperation. It reminds us that Jeff hasn’t had much to do in a while.

- Johnson stealing Big Suze from Jeremy is inspired. Their domestic life is fairly amusing, in season six.

Quotes:

- Johnson, providing motivation for Project Zeus: Hi guys. I just want to drop by and say “have fun.” Tonight should be a free-fire idea zone. Watch a DVD, eat some pizza… fuck each other. I’m serious. Fuck a chicken if that’s what it takes. Watch a chicken fucking a horse.

“That’s a great piece of real estate you’ve got there.”


- Johnson: In business, Jeremy, you learn that every man has his price and I judge yours to be, what… 530 pounds?
Jeremy: What?
Johnson: I’m not going to beat around the bush, Jeremy. I want to make you a real life… indecent proposal.
Jeremy: An indecent proposal?
Johnson: I want to sleep with your girlfriend, Jeremy. But I don’t like playing the game with women. I don’t like listening to them, I don’t like talking to them, but I do like some of the things… they do, so…
Jeremy: 530 pounds? To sleep with Big Suze?
Johnson: That’s my… indecent proposal.
Jeremy: Certainly is an indecent proposal!
Johnson: You have a property of which I which to make a use. Is that so very different from hiring a solicitor, or leasing out a Spanish villa?
Jeremy: Well it is a bit different because you’d be putting your dick right-
Johnson: What’s your answer, Jeremy?
Jeremy: Maybe you could finger her for 300?
Johnson: I’m not going to bargain with you, Jeremy.
Jeremy: He obviously thinks I’m some sort of skag addict bedroom DJ who can be bought off. But… no-one’s going to give me a medal for saying no, and I am pretty broke and… Okay, it’s a deal. Is this a terrible idea? It can’t be, it’s in a film. They wouldn’t put a terrible idea in a film, they’d get sued.

- Mark, expressing reservations about the strippers: “Wasn’t the last one a bit… thin?”

- Jeremy: What’s Johnson done for Black people lately?
Suze: You mean apart from his mentoring and charity work?
Jeremy: Yeah, apart from that.

- Mark says that his getting an erection during his lap dance is “grimly predictable.” That’s a saying I’ve come to adopt as one of my own.

- Mark, coming in on Sophie and Jez about to make out: "Why are they being so nice? Maybe they’ve been having a big chat about me and they’ve suddenly realized that I was right about North Korea, I was right about the European constitution, and by god I think I’m right about the congestion charge."

UK Stuff:

- Skag: Heroin! Who’d have thought?

- Bernie Winters and Schnorbitz: Bernie Winters was a comedian, and Schnorbitz was a St. Bernard in his act.

- Congestion charge: A not-insignificant toll on vehicles entering downtown London.

- I have a feeling that Jez and Big Suze are watching the UK Apprentice on TV in the hotel. With the oft-mentioned Sugar!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Season 4, Episode 1: "Sophie's Parents"

Mark makes a good first impression

Mark and Jez head to the countryside to meet Sophie's parents.

- Partly because this is one of the better episodes, I think I’ve seen it the most. I recall how fresh and different it felt the first time watching it, what with the introduction of so many amusing characters in Sophie’s family.

- This episode has a total of two Seinfeldian quirks. The first is Mark’s new facial hair at the start of the new season, not unlike Jerry and George’s at the start of season… eight, or so? Or Adama’s at the start of the New Caprica stuff. Always good for a laugh.

The second, and more important, is the notion that one of the main characters has entered into an engagement with a character he doesn’t actually love, but is determined to go through with it all the same. Seinfeld got a season of decent material out of it before Susan was killed off, whereas Peep Show takes the concept to the wedding day itself, and beyond.

- Jeremy being so pissed off at Mark for wearing the same shirt is pretty funny. I imagine Jez’ distinctive shirts are a large part of his identity, so to see someone else in the exact same one as he’s wearing must be quite an existential threat.

- Jez actually going along for the occasion of Mark’s first meeting with Sophie’s parents is a bit… convenient. That wouldn’t actually happen outside of a sitcom, I don’t imagine.

- Mark says that the doubts he expressed to Jeremy about marrying Soph were just “pub talk.” But, no, they weren’t! They were on the moor and totally sober when they had that conversation!

- Sophie’s dad, Ian, is one of the show’s better characters. He’s shown up in three episodes since, but not for too long. He really needs to be featured again.

- Sophie’s mom, Penny, is believably hot. She does a good job of seeming a tad frumpy at first, and then, you know, might have quite a bit of potential upon second glance.

- Sophie’s brother, Jamie, is a curious character. In an episode next season, a cousin, Barney, shows up (the one who idolizes Jeremy and eventually sucks Super Hans off). This cousin is exactly like Jamie in every conceivable way. Surely he was supposed to have been Jamie, but perhaps the original actor was unavailable. Either Jamie or Barney shows up, briefly, in the wedding episode, flinging rice at Mark as he leaves the church.

- Jamie mentions “Outrageous,” Jeremy and Super Hans’ song from way back in the first episode. Only massive fans of the show would get that.

- Mark ripping the bird’s head off is a fairly memorable scene.

- Mark and Ian have a few pints at The Round Bush. The Internet tells me that this pub is in Hertfordshire, about an hour (my estimate!) to the north of London. So I guess that’s where Sophie grew up. Hertfordshire.

- The whole thing with Jez and Penny is great. Even after having watched scenes where, say, two straight male characters suck each other off, I was still surprised they went for that. Perhaps it speaks more to my innate innocence than anything else.

- Tony Blair announces his resignation around the time of this episode. According to Wikipedia, that would have been on September 6th, 2006. The episode was aired in April the following year, indicating that the time at which the episode occurs and its airdate are not necessarily the same thing.

Of course, there was also snow on the ground in Hertfordshire during the episode, presumably in September. So that doesn’t work, either. In the end, maybe it’s best not to think of such things.

- I like how Mark figures out Jez has had sex with his fiancee’s mom just by looking at him.

- Jez, of course, is the one who has to drive the pair to Sophie’s. Mark’s inability to drive has been, and will be again, a plot point in a few episodes.

- A question to leave you with: If this is how Mark met Sophie's parents, how and when did Sophie meet Mark's? That would be an interesting "lost" episode.

Quotes:

- Mark, despondent about the turn his life has taken since becoming engaged: “How the fuck did it come to this?”

- Sophie, motioning to a shirt in a department store: “Try this on.”
Mark: “This is just a zip. There’s no pocket to this zip.”
Sophie: “So?”
Mark, internally: “That’s the way things are these days. ‘Let’s just put a zip here, a swastika there. Why not? Who knows what these things were once used for? Who the hell even cares?’”

- Mark, hunting: “This is what farmers do. They go around shooting crows and trespassers and eventually, because of the EU, themselves.”

- Jez, thinking Penny’s offer over: “Suck mommy’s finger? Do I suck the finger?”

- Jez, catching on: “Okay, it’s not going to be just about the jam.”

- Mark, reacting to Jez’ affair with Penny: “You’re not James Bond, you’re disgusting.”
Jez, internally: “I am James Bond.”

- Jez: “I’m a mother fucker. That’s literally what I am.”

UK Stuff:

- The Big Chill: Some music fest.

- Hollyoaks: “A long-running television soap opera.”

- Ian going around his farm with a metal detector seems odd, yet I understand this is something of a regular thing for such people. The past year alone, two major discoveries of Anglo Saxon loot have been announced.

- Scrumping: To steal fruit, usually apples.

- Café Nero: It offers, according to its website, “the finest Italian-style coffee in the UK.”

WW2 Stuff:

- This one is stretching, but Mark says that, after fiddling with his goatee, he eventually looked like an “evil overlord.” Hitler moustache, perhaps?

- Mark says that Penny “probably had a ration book,” although, since rationing in the UK went on into the mid-50s, this one, again, is stretching it.

- Mark’s dream is to live in the Ardennes. Given that I can find no information online to indicate that the Ardennes is some sort of tourist/rich person hotspot, I have to assume that his interest in living there is entirely related to its position as a key battleground in the Second World War.

Actually, all three of these are only tenuously connected to WW2, but I'm gonna put them in anyway.