Just like films that keep us guessing in exasperation (I'm looking at you, Mr. Richard 'Before Sunset' Linklater!), television shows often tap into the curious determination of fandom. But often it's after a myriad of seasons and at least a few years worth of investment into a group of characters. But then there are shows that inspire rabid fandom without many years on the little screen, and not because of fan loyalty to a certain star, or director (like, say, Joss Whedon's Firefly). I'm talking about Spaced.
The show only has 14 episodes, dating all the way back to 1999, and yet it's become a huge phenomenon recently. Why? Because it's just that good. Centered on the idea that two almost-strangers decide to pretend that they're a couple to secure a new apartment, Spaced is a cornucopia of geek fandom, weirdness, and laughs. And intermingled in the buzz that the show has captured recently, there's been talk of a continuation. But the big question is: Will it continue on the boob tube, or on the big screen?
In a talk with MTV, the Spaced members can't decide. Jessica Hynes, who stars as Daisy Steiner, says: "I think it would work on a big screen and Simon thinks it would work on a small screen." Simon Pegg continued with: ""My feeling is that Spaced is about little people having big ideas and it worked as a TV show because the medium was small and seeing those grand cinematic sweeps on the television was fun. The minute you put it on the big screen it loses some of its power."
Could it really lose power on the big screen? While I often furrow my brow trying to guess how any television show will be adapted into a feature, I don't have a problem coming up with great options for Spaced. Personally, I can imagine an insanely great adventure story, sort of on the vein of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, where some mundane task or experience becomes an insane, geek-reference-filled adventure. As Pegg says, the characters dream of big ideas, so there's a million ways any one piece of the film can be skewed with big aspirations, or be experienced through the tinted glasses of geek fandom.
There are a lot of shows these days that are chock full of pop culture references, but not as many movies. (I'm excluding films that discuss geek culture, because that's not quite the same thing as living it or mimicking it.) Some of the best low-budget comedies are those that can immerse the audience and get them to react, so what would be better for a theater-going experience than seeing your favorite moments reimagined in a simple and cool story on the big screen with the likes of Hynes, Pegg, Julia Deakin, Nick Frost, Mark Heap, and Katy Carmichael?
Heck, if they wanted to get really creative, they could make a Paris, je t'aime-themed Spaced film full of shorts directed by the myriad of notable celebrity directors and writers who love the show. Each person could muse about where the cast would be now, eight years later, and offer many looks into a possible future. And heck, after that, one could even be picked to continue on the television series at a future date.
But these are just a few possibilities swarming in my head. Would you want more Spaced, and if so, how do you want it?