PictureNo, the picture isn't too good - there is an overly soft bloomy sheen to the image. Saying that, Spaced is a little surreal, so perhaps this is on purpose in order to lend an ethereal feel to the series? Even so, the soft picture omits fine detail and sometimes makes fast moving scenes look smeary. What isn't done on purpose, though, is colour definition. Herringbone distortion is present on edges of strong colours, like aforementioned Rave scenes, which is quite off-putting. The second series fares better, but not by much.
SoundNot bad at all. As Spaced is a bit weird there is licence to use outré sound effects and OTT bass registers. Zombie shootings, bass thumps from garage tunes or unsettling sub-base undertones - all are handled very well indeed and give your sub a workout. Again the second season seems better put together, but both fare very well. This is even more remarkable as Spaced is Stereo only, so sound was played through PLII Movie mode.
ExtrasAll of the extras are very good. Commentaries invariably include lots of humour with technical details normally supplied by Director Edgar Wright. Cunningly, a lot of the commentaries refer to scenes included in outtake sections, so the viewer gets a more homogeneous look into Spaced. The outtakes themselves are laugh out loud funny, making you wonder how any work got done at all. What is clear is that all the main cast and crew are aware of what extras work on DVD and what content people are interested in. Even the in-character biographies are good, and who bothers with reading those?
The reson d'etre of this boxset is the Skip to the End documentary. Skip to the End reunites the cast for a retrospective on Spaced and how/why the series was such a hit. The documentary is nearly chronological in nature, moving from past projects the cast were involved in to analysing Spaced. Edgar Wright, Jessica Stevenson and Simon Pegg re visit the sets and locations from the series, reminiscing about the inception of Spaced. Other cast members offer insight from other locations, but are nevertheless interesting in themselves.
Skip to the End does not contain the overly pretentious reasons some documentaries have, but real motivation to make a genuinely funny sitcom for 20-somethings. Looking at the documentary, you can see the Spaced humour bubble to the surface as the trio enthusiastically talk about Spaced. A visit to the famous house in which Spaced is set showcases just such an example: Simon and Jessica are told that some Spaced fans are taking photos of the house, obviously unaware most of the cast are inside - why would they? Without missing a beat, they both decide to “freak them out” by rushing out to meet them. The looks on their faces are utterly priceless.
For those waiting for third season info, then there is very little here. There is, however, a short sneak peak at what a third season may be about, but you will just have to get the boxset to see.
VerdictSpaced is perfect for any 20-something person who enjoys well written and acted humour. For those with a more geekish nature (like me) the cultural and movie references are worth the price alone - The fact that Spaced is really really funny is almost just a bonus.
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