Peep Show Series 8 – Episode 2 Review

Luke Owen reviews the second episode of Peep Show series eight…

I wasn’t overly kind to last week’s Peep Show. I felt that the series had started showing signs of growing stale, the characters were getting bored and the jokes were getting tired. However, based upon the feedback I received in the comments section (the one who insulted my career choice notwithstanding) seemed to really enjoy the episode so perhaps I was wrong. But with the damp fart smell of the first episode still hanging in the air, I walked into episode two with much trepidation. Could it make me change my mind?

After Jeremy’s successful stint with the therapist last week, he has decided that his new job career will be that of a life coach. To do this, he has to take a one week course at the end of which he’ll get a certificate (they have to be legit, they have a website). Meanwhile Mark is working on getting his book published by British London – a publishing agency who doesn’t seem to be on the level.

It seems weird that Mark of all characters would fall for such this fairly obvious scam but his attempts to impress Dobby seem to be more than he can handle. As she is the only one who likes his book (“you think it’s going to be really boring, but then you read it and you think – hmmm, maybe not?”) and with her leaving her IT job to work for her ex-boyfriend’s business start-up, Mark needs to whatever he can to keep her in his grasps. With this in mind, perhaps this character decision would make sense – but none of this was ever addressed and I am purely speculating. It could have just been lazy writing.

Unlike last week’s episode where I only had a handful of chuckles, this week’s episode brought out some laughs that reminded me of the early days of Peep Show. Well written dialogue exchanges, funny sexual encounters and Mark’s social awkwardness made this feel like the Peep Show I used to love. However, it did make me think – haven’t I seen this all before?

A lot of moments felt recycled from earlier seasons – Jeremy having sex with a woman who is into strange taboos, Mark in a nightclub hating hipsters and even Jez’s “get rich quick” scheme all felt a bit ‘been there, done that’. Not to say that they weren’t funny (Jeremy’s sex scene with his life coach tutor was a standout moment), but it backs up the argument I made last week about the show running its course. On the other hand, I do have to say that Super Hans’ character change has been a real highlight (“these percentiles are looking at me funny” he says looking over Mark’s book publishing contract).

One of Peep Show’s crowning achievements in the world of comedy is the final cringy scene that has you hiding behind your hands and peeping through your fingers. This series however seems to have missed this trick as, once again, the final moments of episode two felt rushed. The episode should build towards its final cringy scene so we have to sit through every agonising moment. Scenes such as Jeremy urinating in a church or eating a beloved dog where all given time for the comedy to breath with fantastic results – it’s why there are so remembered. In this episode however, Mark’s book launch is left to little more than a couple of lines and some half decent sight gags. It should have been the episode’s money shot, but instead it was just another scene with some funny lines.

This series has been far from perfect or even great. I didn’t really like episode 1 and episode 2 was sort of a mixed bag. There were some funny moments, but they all felt like rehashed funny moments. I am remaining hopeful that Peep Show will find its feet again and return to its former glory, but its recycled jokes are not going to help its cause. Sadly, episode 2 has not changed my mind on this series just yet.

Luke Owen is a freelance copywriter working for Europe’s biggest golf holiday provider as their web content executive.

  • CPC

    Really glad I came across this article, I am a Peep Show fan although the latest series just seems to be a re-hash of previous storylines. Actually thought episode 1 was better than 2 – last night's book scam was faintly believable and I hope they put the show to bed after this series.

  • I agree

    I agree wholeheartedly with this.<br /><br /><br />Such a shame a good show is going downhill, they should have ended it really.

  • Wiggly

    Don&#39;t agree with the review at all. I thought the first episode of Series 8 was absolutely brilliant and probably the best episode for 2 or 3 series. They went back to basics and there were so many great lines throughout. It felt like that episode would easily match anything from the first 3 or 4 series (where as I think series 6 &amp; 7 went a little off the boil). <br /><br /><br />I

  • WorldWary

    I have to mostly agree with Wiggly<br /><br />If you don&#39;t like the show now that&#39;s fine but you must realise its written for a mass audience and won&#39;t appeal to everyone the entire time…..I for one found the build to a climatic cringe period to be tiresome and boring!! Not to mention completely unrealistic….something that seems contradictary for a show that revels in the

  • http://twitter.com/CGLuke_O Luke Owen

    A very well argued point – thank you very much.<br /><br />Just to be clear, I didn&#39;t highlight the dog eating episode as a highlight of the series as a whole, I was merely pointing out that it was cringy scenes like that the show is remembered for. I happen to think that this series has missed that particular trick.<br /><br />Personally I, like you, enjoyed the more &#39;realistic&#39; and

  • http://twitter.com/CGLuke_O Luke Owen

    While I do see your argument, I guess the comedy just didn&#39;t work for me in the first episode. I did chuckle don&#39;t get me wrong, but I wasn&#39;t holding my sides like I used to when watching the show. <br /><br />I am glad that I&#39;m not the only one who thought Mark falling for the book scam was out of character!

  • http://twitter.com/CGLuke_O Luke Owen

    This was the argument I made last week – should have taken the Space, Inbetweeners and Office approach – quit while you&#39;re ahead.

  • http://twitter.com/CGLuke_O Luke Owen

    I do seem to be in the minority that thought this week&#39;s was better than last weeks it seems. I don&#39;t think they&#39;ll continue after this series.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mat.taylor.794 Mat Taylor

    It&#39;s already been signed for another series. And The Inbetweeners certainly did not quit while it was ahead.

  • WorldWary

    Hi,<br />I&#39;ve read your post again a few time and your comments here and I can kinds see where you are coming from.<br /><br />I suppose my only points in retort are that I agree the show has missed the boat from season 4 (at least). I think the descent into parody and a climactic ending was a bad path but I kinda seem to think they are getting away from that in the last 2 series and

  • jk

    i love the show….<br />but this series has definitely lost the momentum of previous years.<br />maybe my expectations were just too high, as this show is probably one of the funniest sitcoms i&#39;ve ever seen- but this series is just missing something.

  • donkey

    This guy is a genius, finally someone who can view things subjectively!<br />Thank you for seeing the truth and not just going on amazon and giving it 5<br />stars!! Keep up the good work.

  • JLB

    I read your review last week but didn&#39;t see this comments section, I think you&#39;re basically spot on. I thought last weeks episode was totally weak. This weeks an improvement, but just weak overall. One thing I hate from this and the last couple of seasons is the dialogue. Not only is it too perfect, in that characters aren&#39;t speaking in conversation, they&#39;re speaking the words

  • Pheno

    IMO, the dog-eating episode was among the funniest episodes in the series, and also the most f*cked-up story they&#39;ve ever attempted. I commend this show for not being afraid to offend. (Still haven&#39;t seen these latest episodes yet though)

  • El Dobbins

    i agree completely, especially since they have had blimin ages to come up with some good stories!