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Full Version: How Good was Beginnings?
Spaced Out Forum > Archive > Rewind > Episode 1.1: Beginnings
Raven
This is probably going to end up Excellent across the board, but in the vague hope that there may be some objective opinions . . . tongue.gif
Chapman Baxter
I'm going to have to go for good. It did a great job in setting up the situation, but I don't really think it hit the comedic heights of some of the later episodes.
Finn Lad
QUOTE (Chapman Baxter @ Jul 31 2005, 07:57 PM)
I'm going to have to go for good.  It did a great job in setting up the situation, but I don't really think it hit the comedic heights of some of the later episodes.
*


Precisely. Unfortunately didn't see it yesterday though sad.gif My DVD-player is still being repaired.. Probably I can join you around episode 1.3 cool.gif
Sir_Robin_the_brave
I'll go for a solid 'Good' as well, however as most sitcoms struggle to reach 'Average' at best with the difficult first ep I believe this is no bad thing.
spacegurl
I went for 'good' too; it is still superior to a lot of other sitcoms, but in ep. 1 it felt as it Simon and Jess were holding back a bit, spaced really bloomed after that episode.
Hobbes
I also said 'good' due to the fact that despite featuring some ace moments, it never quite reaches the level of humour that our beloved Spaced is well-renowned for. Despite great moments ("do you mean, am I gay?" gets me every time), it's never quite as good as other episodes of the series, such as Art.
Jessopjessopjessop
I think it's excellent.

It sets up the characters and the situation perfectly, while being packed with classic funny lines and the ever-present film references.

Edgar Wright's (now trademark) creative camerawork is apparent immediately, producing a dynamic and exciting visual experience, which I remember distinctly from first viewing as being unlike anything else I had seen, and therefore bloody brilliant. The opening scenes for example, cutting between Tim and Daisy are very cleverly filmed and streets ahead of any other sitcom.
feckless_dykey_prostitute
i voted good for the same reason as most people, that it sets up the backgrond information and current situation very well but lacks the comedic value that other episodes have e.g Art, Chaos.

it has got some great one liners and moments within it though ("So you had sex...before you kissed" "SHIT!")
KingoftheFunkingZombies
Yeah, it was a good episode...but definately not the best.
Hehe, happy.gif I love the ending though.
Wife Of Rolex
I said excellent as I went for the cleverness of the writing rather than the level of funniness. It's writen incredibly cleverly. It's almost as if the comedy is a bonus of the process.

Jesus, that was an anal answer!


Wife Of Rolex
Stella MM
QUOTE (Wife Of Rolex @ Aug 1 2005, 06:17 PM)
It's writen incredibly cleverly. It's almost as if the comedy is a bonus of the process.
*

V. true. It doesn't feel as though everything's shoe-horned in, unlike many introductory shows. You're lead through everything you need to know really smoothly and yet stuff actually happens too.
whixie
QUOTE (Stella MM @ Aug 1 2005, 06:41 PM)
V. true. It doesn't feel as though everything's shoe-horned in, unlike many introductory shows. You're lead through everything you need to know really smoothly and yet stuff actually happens too.
*


Yes, I like that too. Little things that would be throwaway lines in other shows actually lead to other things. Bad example but Daisy's comment about the rubbish after seeing The Bear is pretty funny and you might think that was it until Tim meets Brian straight after while taking the rubbish out. There are lots more but I can't really think right now. Does that make sense?
too_orangey_4_crows
5 years, 8 months, 3 days!and the spider mouse thing! oh and them both cryin in the cafe and the scooby doo gag

happy.gif
thirtyhelens
QUOTE (Chapman Baxter @ Jul 31 2005, 08:57 AM)
It did a great job in setting up the situation, but I don't really think it hit the comedic heights of some of the later episodes.
*


Absolutely agreed. (I'd only append that in a very minor way - setting up the situation and the characters, whom you get an unusually strong sense of for a first episode.)
sweetbutinsane
I gave it good, because it's brilliant, but not as brilliant as some of the later episodes. I love the synchronised crying bit, it's so funny! laugh.gif
too_orangey_4_crows
QUOTE (sweetbutinsane @ Aug 1 2005, 06:58 PM)
I love the synchronised crying bit, it's so funny! laugh.gif
*



lol yeh thats the bit i ment, wacko.gif cryin in the cafe duh!
constantly bored
I'm curious who voted average.
super_horse
I voted Good, but when i got home and watched it i wished i'd put excellent, as it is at setting up the characters and settings. Also watching it with this 'rewind' topic in mind it reminded me of the first time i watched it and how i wanted More that just a 30 min show, i'd pin 'beginnings as being one of the best in the 1st series.
Zissou
I rate this one good as it doesn’t have the edge of the other episodes, but it does have some of the best camera work. Like when they are sitting around the table with Marsha, the camera work is superb, It is one of the best Sam Raimi rip offs ever.
ipse dixit
I voted excellent. Because I think it is. I can't be bothered to justify it right now cos I need to leave the frickin house - grrr. Sorry, I'm annoying myself by not moving.
maian
I voted excellent because it truly is a brilliant piece of comedy.

I agree that it isn't as strong as the later episodes but, if viewed as a singular episode, it is excellent. It introduces the characters but only tells us enough about them to keep us interested, it doesn't instantly tell us everything there is to know but it does let us know that there is more to these characters but their stories can be set aside for the moment. The background is set up brilliantly and the way it is done feels natural and totally unforced.

Furthermore, even though this is basically an episode designed to explain what is happening, it's not lacking in jokes.

This episode is excellent because it is balanced; if Simon and Jess ahd crammed in too many jokes at the expense of the story then the audience wouldn't know what was happening or feel any connection to the characters, but if there was too much exposition then the show wouldn't be funny. It is the perfect springboard for the series to achieve the comedic heights that it would later achieve.
KingoftheFunkingZombies
Are we comparing Begginings to other Spaced episodes, when we vote? or other programmes?
Because if it is the latter, then I'll change my vote to excellent biggrin.gif
Sean of the Dead
I stayed over at my mates last night and so, of course, I brought my Spaced DVDs and showed them to him, his brother, his brothers friend and his 9 year old sister (awkward laughs at the fake sex noises from the older ones, upon watching most of the 1st series...).

It had been a while since I saw it, and I fell in love with it once again. Not the best episode for comedy but for the introduction then it is sheer brilliance. The whole 'getting to know you' part, where they say facts about each other was a genious way to find things out about the characters. The whole introduction of Brian is so simple, he's a weirdo, yet it still makes us laugh.

On an emotional level we also learn a lot about the characters in this too, from Tim's break-up to Daisy's relationship with her boyfriend, it all fits in well with the whole situation of the type of comedy.
Ade
I voted Good.


I agree with others comments about it being a great introduction, plenty of gags, and more than enough back-story without overdoing things.

One of the things that always got me were Tim's facial expressions, and there are plenty on offer in the cafe scenes alone - notably trying to placate Daisy when she bursts into a fantastically unchecked fit of sobbing and, following the brilliant call-and-response crying sequence, is his 'penny drop' expression when he realises that he is Daisy's "homeless male friend". We also see the same expression in Episode 2.2, when he realises Bilbo has just given him the sack.

The episode certainly prescribes to the 'less is more' comedy ethic, more than later episodes do - no sense bringing out all "the good shit" too soon, after all. But it is a fantastic episode by virtue of these seemingly 'lesser' gags, and there are plenty of them to keep it ticking along nicely; like Tim's sudden telepathy and Daisy's confused expression, one of the entire series' best 'repeated' gags with Tim's "whayadoin'!?", Brian's defensive "do you mean 'Am I gay?' " quote, and his subsequent pause-for-thought when Tim blantantly asks him if he is.

So many things that strike me about the episode on re-viewing, including the wonderfully varied music soundtrack, the daring camerawork and visual tricks (wonderfully punctuated by sound effects), and generally cinematic feel to it all - something I'd never experienced with anything on TV before (nor since), least of all in a comedy series. I think that is why, even 6 years on, it is still feels so fresh and original.

A brilliant start to the series with plenty of smatterings of otherworldly oddness about it, paving the way for the later bizarre happenings we all know and love. So, to reappraise my 'Good' vote, I didn't want to be blindly voting 'Excellent' across the board, but if there had been a 'Very Good' option I would have picked that for this episode. smile.gif
thirtyhelens
QUOTE (Ade @ Aug 3 2005, 04:05 PM)
One of the things that always got me were Tim's facial expressions, and there are plenty  on offer in the cafe scenes alone


You mean Chapter 1 of The Art of the Comedy Face by Simon J. Pegg (first edition)? laugh.gif (I was actually going to post an illo but Harmony's gallery is down...dammit!)

Jess's "Uhhh-huh, yeeeeah, you big boy!" face is fantastic, as well.
Cult_Status02
I gave it an "Excellent" because I would not have kept watching Spaced had it not.
I'm rather sad though becuase I remember I had to download the episodes and I watch about 2 a day after, and then after my 2 months of being COMPLETELY addicted, I felt a void in my life...I've been bored lately I need to watch Spaced again!
I was so happy then! biggrin.gif
claire
Excellent, very excellent. I love this episode sooooo much! Especially the 'Getting To Know You' scene. When Simon does his Spiderman impression, cracks me up everytime.
clubbing_it_is_then?
Nothing is better than the rat/spider hybrid on the 80's computer! cool.gif
Ade
QUOTE (thirtyhelens @ Aug 4 2005, 01:57 AM)
You mean Chapter 1 of The Art of the Comedy Face by Simon J. Pegg (first edition)?  laugh.gif  (I was actually going to post an illo but Harmony's gallery is down...dammit!)

Jess's "Uhhh-huh, yeeeeah, you big boy!" face is fantastic, as well.
*

Heheh, yeah that's the one.

Jess' pronunciations of "fuckin' psychic house-hunters" and "cold, infested rat 'oles" always crack me up too.


I've got to say, watching the episode again, I got goosebumps - roughly when the title credit rolled across the screen accompanied by the "the weekend...starts here" music - I was also struck by a very profound wave of nostalgia. Episode 1 suddenly seemed such a long time ago - it reminded me of a much happier and simpler time of my life. *sigh*



Edit:
PS - it currently looks like a relatively even split across the "Good" and "Excellent" votes so far - a fair division, I reckon.
nixygirl
I had to hit 'excellent'...how could I not?
For all the reasons everyone else has posted.
Because as a premise to a series...it is fucking excellent!
luvs nix
Sir_Robin_the_brave
I wonder who voted 'Average'?
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