Absolutely Fabulous. Are You Being Served? Coupling. Fawlty Towers. The Inbetweeners. The IT Crowd. Red Dwarf. Spaced. What do these shows all have in common? They were hit Britcoms whose American adaptations crashed and burned. And it’s looking likely the next to be added to this list is the brilliant and bitingly funny Peep Show.
Vulture reports Starz is developing an American take on Peep Show with the hilarious show’s creators Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong on board as “consulting producers.” Wilfred’s Eli Jorne will be the showrunner. There is no mention of what comedic actors will dare step into the shoes of comedians David Mitchell and Robert Webb, who played ever-clashing roommates for nine seasons on the daring series.
For those unfamiliar, Peep Show follows the “El Dude Brothers”—as they embarrassingly call themselves—through their day-to-day lives. Mark is a pencil pusher always frantically searching for his Ms. Right, while Jez is a stoner who has grand dreams of rock stardom, and no work ethic. But what really sets the series apart—aside from the insane comedic timing of Mitchell and Webb—is its first-person perspective. See, the title refers to the show’s literal POV, shifting from what Mark and Jez see to what random strangers gawking at their antics see. On top of that, audiences get an inside look at the dudly duo’s hysterical and often self-loathing internal monologue through voiceover. Also it has a dangerous crackhead as a recurring character.
Mark desperately wanting a settled life of upper-middle class success. Jez wants to forever be the El Dude Brothers, that is unless he can convince some glorious girl to take him away from it all. This odd couple premise is ripe for conflict, which Bain and Armstrong plumbed for outrageous stories and side-splitting scenes involving porn confessions, kinky sex, and poo in a bag for more than a decade. Yet the characters—being thoroughly selfish and cowardly—could easily tip into detestable if not properly played. And without knowing the cast to come in Starz’s version, I’m highly dubious of this proposed American adaptation.
Sure, it could be like the American version of The Office, using star power and a sharp writing team to spin it into something unique.
Or it could be a stray excuse for post-Brexit UK to laugh derisively at us Colonies once more.
Peep Show is on Netflix. Watch the lot. Thank me later.
Kristy Puchko is just a normal, functioning member of the human race and there’s no way anyone can prove otherwise.