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Spaced Out Forum > Archive > Rewind > Episode 2.1: Back
Chapman Baxter
While the Matrix parody is great fun to watch, it does seem to break down the reality of the show, which is normally grounded in everyday, believable situations. The scene where Daisy imagines beating up Tim and Mike is classic Spaced; the scene where she actually beats up the 'agents' seems like it comes from a different series. Simon and Jess are obviously aware of this - which is why they put in the joke about the day being a bit unbelievable at the end.

Does this bother anyone else?
They probably could have started the series with a different storyline. Perhaps not making the agents so over-dramatic to begin with but reveal the matrixness of them only at the pub. Or something like that.
le plat
At the time I think that this was a great way to start the series, because it instantly included new viewers with a recognisable pop culture reference. The Matrix has been done so many times since but at the time it was still fresh (a friend of mine went in to a bar called the Matrix which opened around that time and asked for a drink stirrer because "I assume there is no spoon", the bar staff weren't impressed).

However, it is still my least favourite episode of Spaced. It might be the unbelievability but also the overuse of the whole matrix thing, it takes over the episode rather than complimenting it.
It's extremely unbelievable - perhaps a more subtle dialogue-based reference to the Agents would have worked just as well, but I can imagine at the time it was a film parody they just couldn't resist. One other reason I'm not too keen on it, is that the fight choreography is rather embarassingly bad, and (despite Jess's rather impressive high kick) looks very amateurish compared with the usually perfect show.
I think the fact it's unbelievable takes something away from the episode. It's my least favourite episode and I'm quite sure that's got something to do with it.

And that's even counting the episode where Marsha finds out they're not a couple and I'm urging Marsha to forgive them straight away.
Breaking a dog out of Huntington life sciences (a dog that had been stalked I might add) and using make-up on the security guard (who was an inside man)so that it appeared he was beaten up...


The unbelievablity doesn't really bother me all that much. It may mean that the show moves away from the realism of previous and future episodes (though as m0r1arty pointed out there are some fairly out there episodes other than this one) but it is still quite funny to watch. The fight scene isn't great but they were hardly the biggest budget show and they did a decent job of creating a fight that was halfway between the ultra-stylised fights of the Matrix and an actual fight in a pub. Admittedly it leans closer to the Matrix but never mind. Plus they do send it up repeatedly in the episode; ''Did that just happen?'' ''Er, Yeah''; ''Slightly unbelievable?'' so it was knowingly being a bit out there but then again so are a number of other episodes.

Spaced was never exactly ultra-realistic, so it seems slightly odd that people would pick up on this particular episode, which has a fairly straightforward plot, (Girl comes home from abroad, lowlife at airport swaps bags to incriminate her, government try to arrest her for it) albeit done in an odd way, whereas 'Mettle' is really the episode you should be complaining about, since that one throws any sense of reality clear out the window.
This got me thinking about realism aspects, and while I agree that was a tad out there, that happens in other episodes to (imagine pretending to shoot a mugger and see how far it got you tongue.gif), it seems perhaps it's a second series trend.

But lets not forget, you can't have a sitcom without some situations and I still love them. wink.gif
I think there's a lot of unbelievable things in the first series too, not just the second.

i.e. The episode with breaking ada from the prison thing and the guard and also the big dog is pretty unbelievable.

The whole Mike stealing a tank and trying to invade paris but being caught at Euro disney is very unbelievable.

Having a guy that can miraculously jump from being out of his chair really angry to sitting in his chair real calm is pretty impossible in real life.

Correct me if im wrong here, but the unbelievable things are way more entertaining that things that are normal... Normal is boring to me!!
Exactly! The unbelievable things that occur in the series are what make it truly stand out as a brilliant comedy, and whilst it does at times blend immensely realistic and accurate depictions of life for people like Tim and Daisy, it is the slightly ridiculous moments of it that make the show worth watching. It is the brilliant blend that makes the show special.

Although I will admit that 'Back' does go a bit over the top, but only to the extent that the whole Matrix parody takes up a larger part of the episode than the references usally do. Maybe that is the off-putting thing, not that it is anymore unrealistic than other episodes, but that they just carry on with it for longer than they have done previously.
Having played in The West Sussex Pool League I can say, with some authority I feel, that the most unbelievable thing in this episode was Mike's pool playing! tongue.gif
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