If, like us, you're an outsider, then it might help you to think of the humour in Peep Show being a bit like The Office. That's not to say the shows are similar, they aren't at all, but in both there is a reliance on making the audience feel fairly uncomfortable. This kind of humour can work well, as long as you can get past your discomfort. With Peep Show, we think the writers manage to tread the line expertly, you never feel so utterly mortified that you have to switch off the TV. It's certainly got a much lower mortification factor than The Office and it's also a walk in the park compared to the horror of The X Factor.
It does seem in modern comedy that you're lucky if you get one or two really good chuckles out of a 30 minute comedy. What struck us most about Peep Show was that it was incredibly amusing for quite a generous percentage of its total running time. Certainly, there was a more consistent amount of good laughs to be had than most scripted comedy shows. Not only is it generally funnier than most, but it can also generate some proper belly-laughs. You know, the kind that we used to have on British TV when the likes of Fawlty Towers reigned supreme. We hooted like sea-lions at a bit in this episode with fire extinguishers, it's a piece of comedy that has everything; innuendo, physical humour and most of all a sadness at what pass for thrills in Mark's rather pedestrian existence.
After six seasons, we would have thought that Peep Show would have lost its magic, after all, the number of comedy shows that have done five series' and kept their edge is minuscule. But thanks to clever writing and talented actors Peep Show still offers a rare treat: comedy that's actually funny and doesn't need a laughter track to remind us where the jokes are. If you're already a fan, you won't need our encouragement to watch this new series. If, like us, you've only dabbled in the past, then you'll still find an enormous amount here to enjoy. If anything, watching this episode is probably just going to persuade you to watch the previous five series'. The good news is, should you feel so inclined, they're all available on Channel 4's catch-up service, 4oD.
Will you be watching, are you a long time fan--or have we talked you into it? Let us know in the comments section below, we love hearing what you think about top British shows.