Peep Show

Photograph: Channel 4
Rating 9.2
Streamers All4, Amazon Prime, Netflix
Seasons 9
Episodes 54 x 20 mins

This fourth-wall-breaking show was a cult comedy of the noughties, and has now become one of the most quoted shows on dating app profiles, and arguably the most meme-d series of all time. Welcome to the world of the internet, Jeremy.

David Mitchell and Robert Webb are ticking every British comedy box in this sitcom, which is wry, hilarious and sometimes, a little bit weird. Mitchell plays Mark Corrigan, an uptight, socially awkward loan manager, who lives in a dingy Croydon flat with his equally dysfunctional friend, Jeremy, a lazy, immature slacker who is unemployed. Whilst bum Jeremy passes the time shagging about and chatting with his crack addict mate, Super Hans, Mark is busy at work obsessing over his colleague Sophie (Olivia Coleman). Over the show’s nine seasons we follow the pair as they bumble through life, constantly cocking things up for themselves and growing exasperated with each other’s dysfunctional behaviour.

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All of this we watch from Mark and Jeremy’s perspective, with the entire show filmed in a point-of-view shot, much of it voiced over by the internal monologues of our neurotic protagonists. And this intense, first person perspective only increases the hilarity of this out-of-the-box show. The jokes keep coming, and few shows are so consistently funny. We can also say, without doubt, that this is one of the top five most quotable shows of all time, so much so that even six years since it came off air you’ll still see Peep Show memes fly about in the wake of any political scandal, with lines like “Hitler promised not to invade Czechoslovakia, Jeremy. Welcome to the real-world Jeremy,” and “This is my chance to be a proper human being,” still being dropped into conversations in the pub.

It also, like very few shows, is one of those things you can watch over and over without getting bored of it. In fact, we might even argue that it gets funnier the more you rewatch it.

Mitchell and Webb came Back with another comedic treat in 2017

Peep Show won two BAFTAs during its time on air, and The Guardian’s David Pollock in 2007 called it “the best comedy of the decade,” adding “Where The Office relied on its actors’ interpretation for the best scenes, a Peep Show script will, guaranteed, have more punchlines per minute, a testament to the criminally underrated writing team of Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong…. the Mitchell/Webb/ Bain/Armstrong axis deserve their place in posterity for creating the richest, most human, enduring, and hilariously quotable sitcom of the decade.”

First shown September 2003. You can watch a clip of the show by pressing play on the show image, by clicking here.

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