The British Version Of Friends You Need To Stream

By Robert Scucci | Updated

friends reunion

US-based sitcoms of the late ’90s and early aughts all have one thing in common: roommates. But while shows like Friends and How I Met Your Mother took place in New York City, there was an overlooked sitcom from across the pond that is worthy of your attention called Spaced.

Directed by the one and only Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead), Spaced has a familiar setup, but quickly launches you into completely unhinged territory while staying true to the beats we’re familiar with.


Running for only 14 episodes across two seasons, Spaced is set in a London flat full of charismatic characters, questionable behavior, and surreal imagery that will melt your brain in the most satisfying way.

Spaced centers on two primary characters, Tim Bisley (Simon Pegg) and Daisy Steiner (Jessica Stevenson). The two strangers meet by happenstance in a café, and both need a new living situation.

They find an apartment in the perfect location, and for the perfect price, but find out that the landlord only wants a young professional couple to occupy the unit.

Romance Involved

Deciding that the apartment listing is too good to pass up, Tim and Daisy pretend to be romantically involved even though they know nothing about each other.

One of the primary sources of humor in Spaced is the fact that their perpetually chain-smoking landlord, Marsha, lives in the upstairs unit and is quite nosy.

Their ground-floor neighbor is an eccentric visual artist named Brian, who has a questionable relationship with Marsha.

A Cast Of Characters


Other characters in Spaced include Tim’s best friend, Mike, who is always brandishing a firearm, and Daisy’s best friend, Twist, who is a fashion designer.

On its surface, Spaced sounds like your typical run-of-the-mill sitcom. But what sets it apart from its contemporaries is how it’s presented.

Shot primarily with a single camera and using editing techniques primarily used in films rather than in sitcoms, every single frame in Spaced is jam-packed with visual gags, making it seem more like a live-action cartoon than anything else.

Single Shot Camera


One noteworthy recurring gag is how the camera seamlessly pans from one scene and perspective to another within a single shot. This innovative use of visuals makes for some pretty bewildering transitions but still keeps you grounded in the storytelling without skipping a beat.

Throughout its 14-episode run, Spaced pushes itself into increasingly surreal territory as the unlikely group of friends navigate through adult life, engage in recreational drug use, go clubbing, and even get chased by secret agents after picking up the wrong bag at the airport.

Simon Pegg And Edgar Wright


If you’re still not sold on the series, it’s worth noting that writer/director Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg worked together on Spaced before eventually moving on to create 2004’s Shaun of the Dead.

The third episode (“Art”) of the series was the primary inspiration for the cult-classic comedy-horror film. The episode involves Tim hallucinating a number of extremely violent encounters with zombies after taking a bunch of speed and playing Resident Evil 2 all night.

Utilizing shock-cutting and frantic close-up shots, the parallels between the series and the movie are obvious.

Binge Spaced


Spaced takes the tried-and-true sitcom formula that you’d see in shows like Friends and elevates it into high art with its presentation, quirky humor, and a keen eye for minor details that are often overlooked in other series.

Though there were once talks of Spaced getting renewing for a third season, the sad reality is that too much time has passed since its initial run for its premise to be convincing.

Simon Pegg has gone on record stating that when the show originally aired, everybody involved was the right age for their roles. In other words, there was an underlying line of truth that can only be properly captured through the youth of its principal characters.

Now that everybody is over 20 years older, it’s unlikely that a third season will ever materialize.

The good news, however, is that Spaced can be binge-watched rather quickly. You can even blast through the series in a single afternoon if you’re brave enough. And we strongly suggest that you do so because you’ll never look at sitcoms the same again.