It is the last Friday in June, which means we have come to the final installation of Brits to Binge, a four-part series focused on British television shows that are easy to binge over summer. I focused on shows that are a little more obscure compared to more well known comedies, such as Spaced, IT Crowd, etc. I also selected shows that have completed their run, which means you can binge the whole series without having to wait for the next to come out.
During this series, we looked at Green Wing, an hour-long medical sitcom that really has nothing to do with operations or health, but the dysfunction and antics of its staff. Then we moved on to Black Books, which takes place at a book shop (Black Books). It contains over-the-top situation thanks to a misanthropic shop owner, his long-suffering assistant, and female best friend who also considers wine a meal. Last week, we met Gavin & Stacey and how friends and family can be the much needed support or road block in any long distance relationship, especially when there is a cultural divide.
Today, we wrap up with a show I adore, but rarely gets any recognition when the topic of British sitcoms pops up. It has danger, complicated relationship, humor, and a ten year old who acts more adult than his parents. Today, I present to you Spy (2011-2012).
Spy aired for two seasons on Sky1 in the UK The premise was simple:
Tim Elliot (Darren Boyd) decides he needs to gain the respect of his son Marcus (Jude Wright), by making some life changes. Marcus prefers to wear suits, reads Elizabeth Gaskell to relax, and is more adult-like than both of his parents.
Tim makes his first move to win his son's admiration by applying for a civil servant position in data entry, but in the process, Tim stumbles into the wrong room. He is handed an exam, which he passes and is offered a job as a trainee for MI5. So, now in addition to dealing with a custody battle with his ex-wife Judith (Dolly Wells), and her boyfriend, Phillip (first played by Tom Goodman-Hill, then Mark Heap), the principal of Marcus' school, and trying to earn the respect of his precocious son, he has to keep this huge secret, which of course, he tells his best mate, Chris (Mathew Baynton). Throw into the mix a boss that goes by name The Examiner (Robert Lindsay) whose training appears to be too many James Bond novels, the potential for love with the smart, beautiful co-worker Caitlin (Rebekah Staton), and the awkward addition of insane custody caseworkers who exacerbate every situation, and you have yourself a really fun romp.
The show has heart, humor, and the perfect mix of characters to make it easy to binge from one episode to the next.
The entire series (2 seasons) including clips are currently available to stream for free on Hulu. I have included a few clips below, including the wonderful intro title sequence, which is a comedic take on spy culture.
I hope you will give all the shows in Brits to Binge a chance. I know it is summer and the outdoors are calling, but for those rainy days or when recouping from too much sun, these shows are the perfect cure to turn your day around. Happy Binging!
We will be back next we for a new series, which will embrace summer in a completely different way. Hope to see you then!