You've gotta laugh at the antics of these two sex-obsessed, neurotic child-men. Or at least you do if you live in London.
Sometimes I speak to people who tell me that they don't like 'Peep Show'. To them, I say this: how can you NOT like it? What's the matter? Acutely observed moments of human fuckwittery too close to the bone? Tell you what, let's all cower behind our sofas as soon as anything vaguely challenging comes on screen. From now on, we'll only emerge for the warm glow of simple, uncomplicated viewing. Things like 'Teletubbies'. Or the comforting embrace of a DFS ad. Mmm. Discount sofas. Lovely, unchallenging, discount sofas.
No thanks. There are several reasons why 'Peep Show' - beginning its final run this week (Wednesday, 10pm) - is Channel 4's longest-running sitcom: dialogue so sharp it'll have your arm off, characterisation rounder than a beach ball, etc, etc. But its real beauty? It perfectly encapsulates the plight of the average Londoner.
Sure, 'Peep Show' is through-the-fingers viewing at points. The lives of deluded musician Jeremy and uptight dork Mark are miserable. They're total losers. But aren't they just living the classic London existence? Aren't we all financially doomed to sharing with an irritating flatmate who we sort of can't stand, but also sort of can't live without? We're all either wage slaves or frustrated, penniless creatives, right? And we all go on barge trips, kill someone's dog, set fire to it and eat it in front of them, no? Hahaha. The last one was a joke. Really. Really it was.
The genius of 'Peep Show' is that deep down, you know that you could be Mark or Jeremy. Obviously you don't actually section your mates out of spite or bang your friend's mum for free jam. But you could, couldn't you? That moment you're made redundant and the thought of trashing the office pops into your head. When you've got mates over and you think about locking your irritating flatmate in their room so they don't whine about volume levels. Then making them poop out of the window! Like the miserable sod they are! Hahaha. Sorry. Joking again.
You know what stops most of us from going a bit 'Peep Show', though? Being able to laugh at the shitty things London makes you do. Jesus: this city gets us so het up that just using a central London pavement leaves us genuinely furious at any other human with the audacity to exist in our vicinity. It's absurd. You need to laugh to release the pressure cooker or you'll explode horribly - like Krakatoa or Ronnie Pickering. And, actually, it's notable that you almost never see the El Dude brothers giggle. Which is mad given that they live in Croydon: a place in which - I shit you not - a local paper recently ran the story: 'Half-naked "world's grumpiest woman" glues her bum to Debenhams.'
If you can't bear to watch 'Peep Show', you've got a far bigger problem than not liking a C4 sitcom: you're not able to laugh at people on the edge. In other words: Londoners. And yourself. In which case, you need to get out of the city. You're a walking timebomb. A stress volcano. Quick! You're about to blow! There's only one thing to do! Behind the sofa with you.
Illustration: Nate Kitch
Want more ranting and raving? Read David Clack's column on why £7 pints are nothing to complain about.