A fine bromance

Everyone has a point of view, Barry Took could tell you that. A way of looking at the world, and the people in it, that is unique to us.

By Philip Cunnington
Friday, 13th November 2015, 5:00 pm
Robert Webb as Jeremy (left) and David Mitchell as Mark (right) with Marks new flatmate Jerry (played by Tim Key)
Robert Webb as Jeremy (left) and David Mitchell as Mark (right) with Marks new flatmate Jerry (played by Tim Key)

Watching the TV, for instance, we shout our opinions at the telly, instruct the characters in a horror movie not to go down into the basement, scoff at someone putting their fondant icing in the oven, when we all know it should go in the fridge.

And you know, from your point of view, that you would never hit on your mate’s girlfriend, then break up that mate’s relationship, not speak to that friend for six months, then – when you’re desperate for new digs – wrap your mate’s new flatmate in his sleeping bag, waterboard him with a can of beer, then dump him in a lift.

From Jeremy’s point of view in Peep Show (Channel 4, Wednesdays, 10pm), however, all this is perfectly reasonable.

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It’s the last series of Peep Show, and the previous eight have been consistently among the funniest things on TV, each episode seen from the points of view of feckless, wannabe ‘artist’ Jeremy (Robert Webb) and staid, stick-in-the-mud Mark (David Mitchell), who always tries to do the right thing, only to end up doing exactly the opposite.

This week’s first episode saw the pals finally reconciling with the help of Super Hans, their irredeemably drug-addled friend.

Even trying to stay sober on his own stag do, Super Hans ended up drunk in the toilets of the local boozer, singing filthy songs and begging Jeremy to find him some drugs.

Peep Show is filthy, scatalogical, sometimes childish, but always very funny. Underneath all that, maybe it also has a believable relationship – Mark and Jeremy, though they may not admit it, actually like each other, and have found a proper friendship.

A friendship that’s sometimes uncomfortable, or messy, or broken, but that’s what friendships are like, and it’s what elevates the show.

Another believable friendship is on show Detectorists (BBC4, Thursdays, 10pm). A sitcom that is calmer, lower-key, it has a charm and warmth that shines.