Minor British Institutions: Peep Show

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The Independent Online

In one respect, Channel 4's Peep Show is simply a revival of Neil Simon's original (and brilliant) Odd Couple idea; slob lives with neat-and-tidy type giving rise to much hilarity. But the brilliance of Peep Show lies in taking that promising core and smothering it in rich new stuff: superb writing, innovative point-of-view filming, wonderful acting and the violent juxtaposition of the very contemporary and mundane world of JLB Finance with, say, a roast-dog barbecue.

David Mitchell and Robert Webb, who play "tight-fisted cock-muncher" Mark Corrigan and "work-shy freeloader" Jez Usbourne (as we hear them secretly describe each other), certainly owe the show's writers Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain a great deal. Peep Show's producers also seem to have a knack of finding astonishingly pretty love interests for Jez (Big Suze, Toni and Nancy) and slightly less stunning ones for Mark (Sophie, Dobby, Heather). Six series of small ratings, big talents and huge audience appreciation.