Now that the cynical, honest and hilariously awkward sitcom that is Peep Show has reached it’s final season, it marks the end of what was a witty satirical critique of the voyeristic, self absorbed modern naughties man.
Peep show has spanned over a decade and is finally coming to an end, the “El Dude” brothers are signing off, and so it’s a good time to reflect on everything that made the show great. Mark and Jeremy are so perfectly written so that they provide two extremes that almost anyone can relate to in some way or another. Most people know a Jeremy; a slacking stoner lay-about with an obsession with sex and hedonism, described by Mark himself as a “selfish moral blank, whose lazy cynicism and sneering ironic take on the world encapsulates everything wrong with a generation”. Everybody has also met a Mark, who Jeremy himself describes as a “sweater-wearing, spirit-crushing, no-fly zone with a ten-foot carrot up his arse”. They are both staggeringly delusional; Jeremy thinks all women are “giving him the eye” and Mark, although more logically grounded, likes to see himself as a historical boffin with an eye for the arts, when after a season or two, it is clear that all he wants is to sit on the sofa, watch a bond film and enjoy some Tescos larger and a Twix with the ever fading possibility of a long term girlfriend. They represent the insecurities of modern life, the day to day trials. The front that they put on for themselves and the further front that they feel they need to wear to fit in with the “norms” is perfectly identified by the narrative voice of each others thoughts. Mark knows Jeremy, and only Jeremy knows Mark- the views can join in and laugh at the amazing power of male denial.
The “El Dude” brothers, like the theme tune alludes, are in an ongoing love hate relationship, where they are constantly dragging each other down to their little sections of “hell”. Their lives are tragic but the show manages to make that comforting, because the viewer can relate, but rightly identify that their lives aren’t quite that bad. Everybody has had an awkward moment or two, but they haven’t quite been forced into getting married because they were too polite to break up with a long term partner, after she found the ring. A feat that only Mark could manage. Most people have told a few porkies to try and get someone to like us, like Jeremy all so often does with women (the phrase I love you springs to mind), but not many people would go as far as eating barbecued dog just to keep up the pretence that they had not run over their potential lovers dog, and attempted to burn the meat. Not only can most viewers relate to the characters in general, but also the relationship; perhaps a friend, or a past partner, maybe even a current partner- it’s the solidarity and the bromance that keeps the oddballs together, like two balls on a Newtons Cradle.
The finale of season 8 saw the pair abandoned in a field by their combined love interest Dobby. Their relationship had truly hit rock bottom and the final series signifies the end of an era, Mark has moved on to his new found banking career with his new flatmate Jerry, whilst Jeremy predictably attempts to pick up the pieces of his pathetic excuse for a life, that found him squatting in Super Hans’ bathroom. The pair have grown up, or at least Mark has attempted to, and even Super Hans is having a go at being an adult. The narcissistic, self absorbed, awkward, useless, totally unreliable (Jeremy), but predictable pair of loveable losers will be moving on to the realms of adulthood and away from UK screens forever.
Although I’ll be sad for it to be over, I’m excited to see where the season will take it’s viewers, although it’s been suggested that it won’t end well for the dysfunctional pair.
To tell the truth, I can barely bring myself to watch the first episode.
Now seeing as Peep show is one of the most quotable British sitcoms ever made, I will leave you with more of the all time classic Peep Show quotes: