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The Daily Beast: "Scott Pilgrim Gets a Life"

Okay, it's not quite television-focused but given that it does deal with one of my favorite all-time television series ( Spaced ), I figured that I had to plug it here. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, entitled " Scott Pilgrim Gets a Life," where I talk to Michael Cera, Edgar Wright, and Bryan Lee O'Malley about their feature film, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World , which hits theatres on Friday. Based on the graphic novel series by Bryan Lee O'Malley, the film stars Cera as the titular hero and features a huge cast that includes Brandon Routh, Chris Evans, Jason Schwartzman, Aubrey Plaza, Mae Whitman, Alison Pill, Kieran Culkin, and more. Plus, Edgar Wright and I talked about Spaced and the similarities between the British comedy series Spaced (which Wright co-created with Simon Pegg and Jessica Hynes) and Scott Pilgrim itself, part of an amazing half-hour interview at San Diego Comic-Con (which was itself interrupted by the appearance o

The Creators of "Spaced" Talk Future, "Doctor Who" Connections

If you're a fan of the geektastic UK series Spaced , then this was a holy week for you, between the release of the Region 1 DVD (finally!), events around the country, and the trinity itself--creators Simon Pegg, Jessica Hynes (née Stevenson), and Edgar Wright--appearing at Comic-Con. After a kick-ass clip package that tied into today's Star Wars -themed day at the convention (which featured many of the series' trademark sci-fi/action/pop culture homages and allusions), the trio appeared to rapturous applause and dove right into a discussion about the US release of Spaced on DVD. While there wasn't a lot of new information given away at this Spaced panel, part of BBC America's big push at the convention, it was bloody fantastic to see Pegg, Hynes, and Wright on stage together. This being a Spaced event, it was only a matter of time before the dreaded question--about a third season--reared its head. Pegg, speaking frankly about the future of Spaced , said simply,

TV on DVD: "Spaced: The Complete Series"

Today's the day. What's that, you're asking? The day for what exactly? After waiting and moaning and waiting some more, today is the day that loyal US viewers of the supremely hysterical and witty UK series Spaced --written by and starring Simon Pegg and Jessica Hynes (née Stevenson) and directed by Edgar Wright--finally is released on DVD in the States. For those of us who know and love Spaced with a zeal that knows no bounds, the DVD of Spaced: The Complete Series --which is released today with a suggested retail price of $59.99-- has been a long time coming. We've hoped, prayed, and made Faustian bargains to get those music rights cleared for use so that we can hold that box set in our hands. (Thanks to the good folks at BBC Video, I got mine early and have spent the last few days in Spaced heaven.) If you aren't familiar with Spaced , I feel for you, I really do. Spaced is the ultimate geek pleasure, a series so laden with pop culture riffs, comic book all

Where Pilots Go to Die: FOX's "Spaced"

Ah, schadenfreude . There is something innately satisfying about watching a terrible pilot project go down the tubes when it was doomed from the very start. And there were few more misguided and foolhardy attempts this past pilot season than that of the US adaptation of UK cult series Spaced . Created by Simon Pegg, Jessica Hynes (née Stevenson), and Edgar Wright, the original Spaced was a brilliant and hyperkinetic pastiche: at once a tongue-in-cheek satire of sitcoms, an inversion of social stereotypes, and a collection of astounding sight gags, blink-and-you'll-miss-'em pop culture references, and endearingly quirky characters. It was most definitely a product of its time as well, fused into the fabric of 1990s Gen-X slackers and offering a commentary on both American and British cultural sensibilities of the time. In a word, it was brilliant. Cut to 2008, following a rough development year, in which the stars/creators of Spaced spoke out against the US version of the s

Misguided "Spaced" Adaptation Gets One Step Closer, Snags Aussie Lead

Aussie actor Josh Lawson has been cast as the male lead in FOX's comedy pilot Spaced . The project, based on the beloved British series created by and starring Simon Pegg and Jessica Stevenson , is about two strangers who pose as a professional couple in order to score the perfect flat. (For my feelings about what is bound to be a disastrous adaptation of Spaced , read my original reaction back in October about the news that FOX was developing this format, entitled " Must All British TV Series Be Adapted?: FOX Plans US Version of "Spaced" .) FOX has given Lawson a talent deal; this marks his first US role as he steps into the shoes formerly filled by Pegg, who went on to co-write and star in Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz with Spaced director Edgar Wright. Lawson is best known for his work on Australian series Sea Patrol, The Librarians , and the original Oz improv comedy format Thank God You're Here . Credit FOX casting head Marcia Shulman with discovering

Must All British TV Series Be Adapted?: FOX Plans US Version of "Spaced"

Yet another entry from the annals of what in the hell are they thinking: FOX has given a put pilot commitment to an American version of.... wait for it... Spaced . While, yes, The Office proved that you can successfully adapt a British television format for US television, it seems that no one was paying much attention to the recent crop of botched attempts like Viva Laughlin, The Thick of It , and The IT Crowd . Hell, does no one remember Coupling ? What you're seeing right now is my jaw spinning out of control on the floor. If there's one series that really shouldn't ever be messed with and transformed into a US comedy, it's Simon Pegg and Jessica Stevenson's brilliantly mordant series Spaced , which ran for two seasons beginning in 1999 on the UK's Channel 4. The series was an early pairing between actor/co-writer Simon Pegg and director Edgar Wright, who would go on together to bring us such feature films as Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz . Spaced, whic

TV (Not) on DVD: "Spaced"

I don't know about you, but I've been salivating over the sheer possibility of an eventual US DVD release of seminal Britcom series Spaced , starring Shaun of the Dead 's Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, and Jessica Stevenson, Mark Heap, Katy Carmichael, and Julia Deakin. Sadly, it looks like a US release isn't in the cards... at least not any time soon. I was lucky enough to attend a screening of Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright's new film Hot Fuzz (if you're a fan of Shaun or of Spaced , run--don't walk--to see this hilarious film as soon as it opens in the US) this weekend. As a HUGE, slightly obsessive fan of Spaced (which recently finished airing its second and final season on BBC America), I'm always on the lookout for news on a DVD release. (I met Pegg at the BAFTA/LA Emmys tea party last summer and stunned him by even having heard of--and being a fan of-- Spaced .) However, when asked about the possibility of a Spaced DVD release, Wright gave the audie

Pegg and Frost Shoot Up in "Hot Fuzz"

Okay, so it's not totally a television-related post, but I've been dearly missing Spaced , one of my favorite Britcoms lately and needed a Simon Pegg/Nick Frost fix. I ran into Simon back in August at a BAFTA/LA event and he was thrilled that someone over here in the States had even heard of his upcoming feature Hot Fuzz , let alone was excited to see it. Personally, I can't wait and might even have to fly over to England to see it when it's released over there on February 16th. As for those of us Stateside looking for a companion piece to Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright's follow-up to the gleefully gory Shaun of the Dead , the current release date is scheduled for March 9th. In the meantime, you can check out the teaser trailer for Hot Fuzz on You Tube here and here and the Working Title official site features video blogs from Pegg and Wright et al. While it's not Spaced (and BBC America STILL hasn't told us when we're getting Season Two), it'

From Across the Pond: "Spaced"

Here in the States, we've only recently embraced (to a certain extent anyway) the zany madcap nature that's found in a plentiful number of British television comedies. Shows like Arrested Development , Scrubs , Andy Richter Controls the Universe , and My Name is Earl come close to approximating that surreal humor of Britcoms like Brittas Empire , Black Books , or my latest favorite find: Spaced , a 1999 comedy that recently started its run on BBC America. The above three shows take simple concepts that could have easily lent themselves to traditional, mundane situation comedy--man runs a leisure center ( Brittas Empire ), man runs a failing bookstore ( Black Books ), couple moves in together ( Spaced )--but instead turns them on their heads, creating a topsy-turvy world for their obliviously, confused, or misanthropic characters to inhabit. The result is often pure comedy gold, the sort of thing that we Stateside are only just now beginning to experiment with, but which has b