Peep Show (2003) /15 Storeys High (2002)

Peep Storeys. 15 Peeps High. I’ll stop now

– Anyway, Two shows you may have missed

How to recommend tv comedy? Blimey, I don’t know what you like, how could I?

Sure, some universal comedic constants remain throughout cultures. We can all appreciate a small child being hit by a car on “You’ve Been Framed” or “Kids Do the Funniest Things”, or (what we now call) the Internet, but some other people might not enjoy it quite as much as you do.

Some people laugh at your Frankie Boyles, some people laugh at your McIntyres. Some people go to events desperately looking to laugh at anything, as long as the other people laugh with them. Laugh to drown out the misery of the office, friends and so called loved ones. Validate their laughter with a crowd, why are we laughing?

Some other, more discerning people watch underrated television comedy shows, merely to badger people into agreeing with them, wearing them down, agree with me, go on agree, agree to stop me, agree to stop the vicious night terrors screaming, always screaming.

Anyway… about these two telly shows. One was secretly popular… the other, not so much. Oh yes, you can watch them both for free. Click the links.

El Dude Brother

El Dude Brother

Peep Show’s not really underrated because anyone who’s ever seen it rates it highly. If you didn’t see it, you managed to miss 9 whole series, good work! If you have already watched it, now’s a good time to venture into your local library/clinic/sweatshop violently screaming “Peep Show was bloody great!”, the worried public will forever remember you and (more importantly) watch a thing called a Peep Show. Sadly I realise this isn’t so much as a retrospective, but a miserable berating to an already converted audience. People don’t click on names like Peep Show or 15 Storeys. It’s not exactly The Shield or S.H.I.E.L.D is it? Nice click-able links those. The masses don’t like clicking on links which might give them malware. 15 Storeys High sounds like a terrible documentary about judging people on benefits. It came out around the same time as Peep Show and I’m pretty sure the majority of the general public have never heard of it. I could go into details as to the setup, characters, and general themes of both shows, but that’s what Wikipedia is for…. sigh… fine. I’ll explain it for ya, you lazy sods.

Peep Show stars two terrible human beings, revealing their inner thoughts whilst “showing“ you the world through their eyes.  Every camera shot is from a single characters eye-line. This leads to nuanced eye twitches you don’t generally see on other shows, as you enjoy the duo’s depraved inner thoughts, as they stumble through breakfast. The series starts out quite reasonable but throughout the run it descends deeper and deeper, until you realise this is a real life documentary, showing you how people end up screaming on a bus at 10am.

Benedict Wong

Big Ben Wong


15 Storeys High is rather more conventional, as we have no fancy eye-tracking shots here. It does star an odd couple. Vince (Sean Lock) a man used to his own company and a gullible guy called Errol (bloke in everything now). This team isn’t as bitter or depraved as the Peep Show duo, but are impressively socially awkward. We explore the miserable dingy flats they inhabit, as skits about the residents regularly pop into the screen, giving us an odd, strong vibe of “rear window”.

Comedy tastes really are a bit of a sod to recommend. I mean the world loves The Big Bang Theory but dressing actors as stereotypical nerds, saying “Star Trek” as a punchline, leaves me pretty cold… Hmm…  Mentioning everyday words to a laugh track works pretty well doesn’t it… I should really invest in a portable laugh track machine for my everyday adventures. Maybe if Peep Show or 15 Storeys came with a laugh track it would have spread around the globe like a hilarious virus. Or perhaps changing their names to something friendly, like Peep Shield or 15 Shields would have worked equally as well. Maybe not, I’m guessing that generally only works for safe, easily syndicated, accessible comedies appealing to everyone and no-one.

Super Hans

Super Hans

I do believe the secret behind my love for these two shows, lie with a very simple fact. It’s strangely relatable. Even in its more (ok, mostly) extreme moments, a part of you feels like some of this insane shit could actually happen. We’ve met these people before, you’ve met someone as gullible as Errol. You’ve met someone off their tits like Super Hans…



… I suspect you might be Mark.

You will never meet the child’s doodlings that make up the characters of The Big Bang Theory or the family from 2point4children or that bloody Miranda or Mrs Brown ladyboy telly show thing. Have the laugh track washed and brought to my tent, you bastards. You can never relate to the sexy lady in Big Bang going out with the actually quite handsome bloke in glasses, pretending to be a nerd because he made his voice all awkward and squeaky. Hah! The nerd played a board game!

You can relate to Errol’s new job as a walking paper towel at Billingsgate Fish Market at 5am. We’ve all had the potential to smell of fish.

Comedy works really well when it understands that you may, or may not smell of fish.

Billingsgate Fish Market