Spaced: Gatherings   Rewatch 
February 8, 2015 3:39 PM - Season 1, Episode 2 - Subscribe

​Daisy has the brilliant idea of throwing a house-warming party on the very same day she's experiencing writer's block. "It's a bit short-notice, isn't it?"​ Right you are Tim but that never stopped a writer looking for an excuse. Aluminum foil flies in this episode. Introduction proper of Twist into the series.

The party downstairs competes with Amber's party upstairs (stroppy teenage daughter of Landlady Marsha) - and loses. ​Sexual tensions continue between Marsha and Bryan, Twist is in "Fashion" you know, and Daisy finds the paperboy alluring, or at least, conveniently there.​ Everyone's safe with Mike providing party security.

​Fans of slapstick comedy will enjoy the hitting routine between Tim and Mike, suitably over-the-top. And here is the best rant about The Rocky Horror Picture Show's "Time Warp" song ever, from Tim (played by Simon Pegg):
"They were playing the Time​ Warp, I hate the Time​ Warp!​"

​"​Daisy likes it.​"

​"​So what? ! I ​HATE IT​! It's boil-in-the-bag perversion for sexually repressed accountants and students with too many posters of Betty Blue, the Blues Brothers and Big Blue on their blue bloody walls​!"

"​It's just a song.​"

​"​DON'T CARE - I hate it, I don't wanna hear it​, ​I don't wanna hear it at a party, ​LEAST​ of all a party I'm supposed to be throwing!​"

YouTube clip of the scene (with Spanish subtitles).

Trivia time!​
  • "​​Edgar Wright​​ was originally skeptical of casting ​​Nick Frost​​ in the role of Mike, as at the time, Frost was a waiter with no prior acting experience. In fact, the character of Mike was born out of Frost making ​​Simon Pegg​​ (his flatmate) laugh, and Wright later said that Frost was brilliant in the part.​" (imdb)
  • "The series is full of references to, and pastiches of movies/TV series, some quite obvious and some amazingly obscure. The more prominent references include The Star Wars Trilogy, The Shining (1980) The Evil Dead (1981) Evil Dead II (1987), Scooby-Doo (2002), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), "The A-Team" (1983), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), The Matrix (1999), One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), Taxi Driver (1976), Pulp Fiction (1994) and The Omen (1976)." (imdb)
  • Director Edgar Wright was notorious for doing many takes. (imdb)
​​Originally aired October 1, 1999​.​​

​The song so hated by Tim.​
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome (11 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Also hated by Tim and loved by Daisy: Prefab Sprout's The King of Rock and Roll.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 3:48 PM on February 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

Tony Way, who plays the paperboy, is also in Edge of Tomorrow and a bunch of other stuff. I just watched this episode the other day and saw the Cruise movie for the first time today and recognized him - "Oh yeah - he had "Daisy" on his lap kissing him.."

So I guess that's at least two Spaced cast members that have been in a Tom Cruise movie, kind of amazing given the humble nature of this late-night Channel 4 program.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 7:14 PM on February 8, 2015

[Way was also in The Fast Show, Black Books, and more recently, Game of Thrones (as Ser Dontos Hollard)!]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 7:19 PM on February 8, 2015

What was the influence for not showing the party, only glowing lights? Close Encounters?

I'm fairly sure that the first time I saw this I didn't realize Daisy and Tim had had sex. Oh, youth.

I loved that the party was cringe-inducing enough to be funny but not so much that it was unpleasant. I remember Coupling (UK) and the IT Crowd also walking that line pretty well but The Office (UK) often crossed over.
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 7:41 PM on February 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

What was the influence for not showing the party, only glowing lights? Close Encounters?

Yes, the contact with the ship in Close Encounters: the spaceship opens to blinding white light and the abductees and the spindly aliens ("they're so thin") emerge silhouetted by it. (Can't find that scene on YouTube, but this clip is shortly after and shows the same bright light.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 8:02 PM on February 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

"I'm fairly sure that the first time I saw this I didn't realize Daisy and Tim had had sex. Oh, youth. "

What? No, the joke is that it's AS IF they had sex, lying smoking on the floor (weed? or a regular ciggie I'm not sure), but what they really did was CLEAN UP THEIR FLAT. The shared common area, if you recall, that they were arguing about. THAT released the tension.

Or maybe I'm just reading it wrong. Oh, middle-age!
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 8:49 PM on February 8, 2015 [5 favorites]

Yes, the post-coital smoke is such a clichéd trope -- and very much a product of the 60s and 70s culture that Spaced riffs on. What's more likely, that Wright's using it as a "just had sex" signifier, or that he's subverting it for a quick joke?
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:55 PM on February 8, 2015 [4 favorites]

How old is Amber meant to be? Because it's always struck me as slightly creepy that they all go upstairs to a teenage girls party at the end of this episode. We get to meet Mike here: apparently Nick Frost felt very awkward about guns in general, which is amusing giving his character. My wife works with his cousin, who they all call "Nick Frost's less successful cousin".
posted by Cannon Fodder at 12:14 AM on February 9, 2015

Yep! All they did was clean up their flat. Which also funny because it was physically intense and cathartic for them, and more than a little momentous/unusual because they likely don't tidy up often (more than tossing out takeout boxes and rinsing out the tea things in the sink).

I like how Nick Frost's character gets increasingly endearing over the series, and he does this in pretty much everything he's in.
posted by mochapickle at 5:06 AM on February 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

The Scooby Doo visual gag, although ridiculous and not really a part of anything, is the best gag ever for me.

It's not just that they look freakishly like Velma and Shaggy, it's that they spent the past five minutes talking about how they were the cooler kids, the popular ones, but, in reality, they are the dweebs, even if, in their minds, they're still the cool kids.

And that is perfect.

(Also, oh my god, they were all post-coital because they cleaned the house. That is the joke. They had to do something about this "tension" and it keeps building up to be a sex joke, a "well, they're single and pretending to be a couple, we better have them fuck" gag, and, instead, they've cleaned the flat. That's it. That's the joke.)
posted by Katemonkey at 7:17 AM on February 9, 2015 [4 favorites]

Yes, there was no sex, just cleaning (confirmed in the DVD commentary). Also from the commentary, a list of movie references both obvious and subtle: I didn't understand "Longest way up, shortest way down" is the description of a salute until listening to the commentary. I loved that Mike brought a landmine as a housewarming gift.

If you were wondering, here are the lyrics for Prefab Sprouts - "The King of Rock 'N Roll" as linked upthread.

I agree that the bit of Tim and Mike saying "let's join the teenagers' dance party" was a bit skeevy, but if it makes you feel any better/worse, Simon Pegg sort of flirts with his sister, Katy Pegg, AKA Amber's Friend. But I think the general vibe was more of "let's strive to be cool and young again" when everyone joined went upstairs together.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:29 AM on February 9, 2015 [2 favorites]

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