Peep Show may have aired its final episode almost five years ago, but that hasn’t stopped it from keeping up with the latest developments in today’s world.
Within minutes of a major political or cultural event hitting the headlines, Peep Show memes start popping up to lampoon it courtesy of passionate fan communities.
Take a quick scroll through Facebook’s most popular Peep Show groups and you’ll find jokes about everything from the struggles of self-isolation to Netflix’s Tiger King – all of which feature iconic lines from the series (written many years ago).
Isy Suttie played Dobby on the acclaimed sitcom, an IT technician who wins the hearts of both Mark (David Mitchell) and Jeremy (Robert Webb) over the course of the series.
Speaking to RadioTimes.com as Peep Show joins the BritBox library, she said: “I am really happy that it lives on because I don’t think that happens to every show. Sam [Bain] and Jesse [Armstrong, series creators] seem to really capture the stupidity of humanity in a way that’s quite timeless, and in a way that they probably wouldn’t have realised fully at the time.
“They wouldn’t have known that it was going to live on in these specific ways; that a pandemic would happen and people would be quoting Jez or Super Hans. I’m sure they’re really happy about that because it’s a testament to how strong the writing is, really.”
Peep Show remains hugely popular, both with people who watched it when it first aired and a new generation discovering it now – some of whom weren’t even born when it debuted in 2003.
Suttie believes there are several reasons why it has such broad appeal, but a vital element is the odd couple at the heart of the series.
“I think that everyone is a Mark or a Jez to some extent, hopefully not an entire extent,” she said. “But everyone is more Mark-like or more Jez-like, so I think for a start people either recognise themselves or their best mate or their housemate in one of them.
“I think it didn’t shy away from addressing topics like sex and drugs and politics. It just did everything quite boldly but quite unselfconsciously and I think that’s another reason why it’s survived the test of time, because there’s no shyness about it. It just goes for it in quite an unaffected way writing-wise.
Suttie added: “When something lasts it’s due to a lot of different elements coming together. But I think the main thing is that they got the dynamic completely right between Mark and Jez, because if those two didn’t work the whole thing would fall down.”
Beloved though it might be, the chances of a Peep Show revival seem, at the moment at least, slim – co-creator Jesse Armstrong is busy with HBO’s acclaimed series Succession, Olivia Colman (who played Sophie) is an Academy Award winner and Suttie is currently writing her second book due for release next year.
That said, Mitchell and Webb will return to television together soon in the second series of Channel 4’s Back, a sitcom created by former Peep Show scribe Simon Blackwell.
As for Mark and Jeremy, fans will have to decide for themselves where the misfit duo are today, but Suttie has some ideas about what might have happened when the cameras stopped rolling.
“I suppose, in real life, Jez would probably still be writing poetry,” she said. “Maybe with quite a young girlfriend and living in Brighton doing his poetry on the beach. Or maybe Goa or something, teaching English as a foreign language. And Mark maybe would have settled down.
She added: “But I don’t really want to imagine them like that, I just want to imagine them together to be honest. I think we’ve got to imagine them always in Apollo House – in self-isolation whether there’s a coronavirus or not.”
Peep Show is now available on BritBox. Visit www.britbox.co.uk to sign up for a 30 day free trial.