I have just started rewatching Peep Show. And it reminded me just how much I bloody love Peep Show. It is packed full of endlessly quotable lines and hilariously uncomfortable moments. I genuinely place it up there with the very best of TV comedy.
Well, series one to three that is. For me, it kind of went off the boil from series four onwards. While it continued for another six series after what I consider to be its peak, these episodes lacked the magic of the first three series.
It has definite parallels with The Simpsons in that the earlier series are amazing. Whereas in the later episodes, the storylines become more contrived and the humour often feels forced. And they both keep characters together who would have gone their separate ways years ago in normal circumstances.
In terms of rewatching so far, I’ve seen one episode from each of the first three series and laughed out loud numerous times. I’ve also watched an episode from the later series and didn’t laugh anywhere near as much.
There’s probably an element of nostalgia at work, as I watched the earlier series multiple times with my housemates in my student house. But I’m going to persist with the later series anyway, in the hope that I haven’t judged them too harshly.
Anyway, because I didn’t enjoy series four when it first aired in 2007 and there were rumours that series five would be the last, I took it upon myself to write an entire script for an episode. The naïve 23 year old that I was then sent it off to the production company in the hope it would somehow get made. It didn’t.
A simple sort-of copyright trick I learnt on my degree was to post a copy of the script to yourself at the same time as you send it elsewhere. That way, you have a sealed and dated record of your work if anyone steals it. That sealed script sat in a drawer for almost 14 years, until today.
As Peep Show finished almost five years ago, I think any potential opportunities for plagiarism have safely passed now. My storyline was that Mark gets promoted to Johnson’s position and is running things at JLB Credit. Mark also hires a cleaner, who is a sweet old lady that becomes Jeremy’s nemesis and he starts plotting ways to get her sacked. Then the episode ends with Sophie having an awkward meeting at work with Mark where she’s asking for maternity leave. Mark thinks the baby is his, but it turns out that Jeff is the dad.
Reading it through now, there are a few things I would have done differently. But I don’t think it’s a bad effort for a 23 year old novice. And that awkward work meeting between Sophie and Mark did happen in a later series, as well as her pregnancy. Although I don’t think I really have grounds to pursue any legal action.
What hasn’t changed 14 years on is that I still have very little idea about how to get scripts commissioned. Then again, I don’t think many professional writers do either. And I’ve no doubt that there are thousands of other scripts around the world just sitting in drawers, although they’re probably not all for Peep Show.