Episode 3. "Art"

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"Skip to the end..."

The one where Daisy tries to get a job and they go to see some performance art.


David Walliams as Vulva
('Little Britain').

Paul Kaye as Hoover
(Paul Kaye was 'Dennis Pennis' 'It's all gone Pete Tong').

Claire Rushbrook as the 'Flaps' Editor Yolanda
('Doctor Sleep' 'Under the Skin' 'Shiner' 'Secrets and Lies' 'Linda Green' 'The Stretford Wives').

Melissa Lloyd as Linda
('Casualty' 'Eastenders').

First appearance of...

Daisy failing to get a job Tim playing on the Playstation Brian going to an art show Tim's aversion to Twiglets Tim and Mike remembering the 'incident' when they were young and "...up that tree."


Every zombie film ever made, namely 'Evil Dead' 'Dawn of the Dead' 'Night of the Living Dead' and 'Army of Darkness' 'Psycho' The computer game 'Resident Evil' 'The Conversation' 'It's a knockout' Leigh Bowery Suzi Quatro Patrick Cox's shoes The Spice Girls 'Girlpower' 'Taxi Driver' 'The Magic Roundabout' (theme tune) Damien Hurst 'Fatal Attraction' 'Showgirls' (waving one's hands in front of one's face before performing on stage) Twiglets.

"...thumping tunes, kicking bass..."

  • The Magic Roundabout theme tune.
  • 'Theme of Luxury' by the Fantastic Plastic Machine
  • 'Smash it' by Fuzz Townsend
  • 'Rodney Yates' by David Holmes

"...a super race of mice-spiders..."

Tim has a very strange and mocking image of the 'valuable work' that Vulva and Brian did together. He sees them prancing around in a park in clown outfits holding up meaningless placards. Strange then that this is also Brian's memory of what he and Vulva actually did together. There are a number of weird imaginations flying around in this episode, Brian's dream meeting with Vulva has him coming up with a whole bag of witticisms and clever one-liners to outwit his former art partner. The reality is very different. When Tim and Mike muse about their childhood together, young-Mike has a moustache.

And I quote...

Daisy to Tim: "You don't like him [Brian] do you?" ,
Tim: "I do like him I just think he's a bit pretentious."
Brian then walks in wearing a hideous costume (see below) and asks "How do I look?" ,
Tim: "A bit pretentious?"

Vulva: "Oh Brian you came!"
Brian: "No I just spilt my drink."

Brian: "People don't want to hear about a love affair between two straight men, one of whom is the most beautiful women alive."

"What a bitch!"

Daisy tells Linda that she should buy her own shoes in the future instead of borrowing them from Patrick Cox.

Tim to Brian: "Are you gonna go?"
Brian: "I dunno, it's been such a long time."
Tim: "No I mean are you gonna go; now."

Brian describes himself as a "Big fucking looser!"

Vulva to Brian: "I can't believe some of the shit I used to do with you!"

Give that man a BAFTA!

There's some nice camera work in Daisy's job interview as the music builds and her drug-induced confusion prevents her from hearing what's happening. The camera performs a 'contra-zoom' such that the actor's face remains in one place as the background comes closer (Stephen Spielberg uses this a lot) as the theme tune from 'The Magic Roundabout' fades the interview out of Daisy's brain. You have been warned, try to avoid smoking dope before a job interview.

"Do you rent downstairs?"

Vulva (Brian's old art partner) is described by Brian as 'non-gender specific', but he insists that "... her real name is Ian." This confuses Tim, he asks if he's a tranny, Brian says "... she much more than that." Tim: "A big fat tranny?"

"Ooh Mamma!"

Tim and Mike got a load of cheap speed off a Scottish bloke in the pub in a move that Daisy describes as "... so tacky." Tim recons that if they had refused to take it he might have got offended and beaten them up. Mike is still very much stoked up on the stuff, running around a tree pretending to be a motorcycle. They don't seem to learn anything from this incident though, in order to 'help' Daisy with her interview Tim suggests that she "... have a big toke on this South African drugs-reefer-style spliff doobie." Daisy worries that it might make her paranoid, she's not wrong (see 'Finally a word from your author' below for musings on Tim's subconscious evil).

Tim has an ability to get high on Twiglets, which is nothing if not a cheap night out. He starts to hallucinate about zombies attacking Brian before acting out a cut scene from his Resident Evil game. See, video games do cause violence.

"Fuck off Twist!"

'Shit' is used 9 times (3 times in one sentence by Daisy: "Shit! Shitting shit it!" and another time when she says "This is shit! This is so shit!" ), 'fuck' is used twice as well as there being one 'piss off'. There is a lot of swearing in the DVD commentary, including Jessica Stevenson telling Edgar Wright not to "... wank on about bollocks!" , whatever that means.

"Get off your arse!"

Daisy says that she's really depressed and that she needs to go and see Richard in Hull so Tim had better not stop her. This uncharacteristically energetic sentiment is soon forgotten as soon as she gets a letter from 'Flaps' magazine. Her entire preparation for the subsequent 'Flaps' interview involves buying a pile of 'aspirational magazines' and then asking herself what she thinks of 'current affairs', "I like them..." she muses.

"...pull my finger..."

Daisy has evidently never heard of the Patrick Cox designer label and clearly doesn't meet Yolanda's description of 'today's Woman' to whom their magazine is aimed. She also admits to having the occasional vodka and tonic! Clearly no half-decent post-feminist should be drinking anything less than 10 pints of beer on an average evening out. At the end of the interview she pulls a fantastic faux-pas, she stands up to leave but turns around and declares "Girl power!" in the style of a Spice Girls teen-bopper.

"...he's just a bit pretentious."

Brian thinks that Vulva's play is 'beautiful', an opinion which, given his memories of the art that he performed with Vulva, isn't surprising. The play in question invloves Vulva, standing in a spotlight, dressed in lurid green face paint, making unconnected statements while 'Hoover' jumps around in the background making equally incoherent noises. All the 'art' in the episode is, in my opinion, terrible and totally pretentious. Check out all the different outfits Brian wears while he's trying to work out a way to impress Vulva, if ever you wanted a definition of the pretentious artsy wanker it's right here.

"Let's play!"

Daisy goes to swing her bag over her shoulder in a rather suave and sophisticated way only to hit herself in the face with it. Pure slapstick.

"How's that for some Fried Gold?"

Brian sits down to read his letter, the camera zooms slowly in on him and a ticking clock cuts in on the soundtrack... Brian reads furiously for 10 seconds before we cut to a shot over his shoulder; the letter is a black page containing one word in the centre, 'come'.

At the end of Vulva's play the stunned audience tentatively begins to clap. Vulva doesn't even look up from his/her crouched stance to shout, "Is not finished!" , 5 seconds of silence later Vulva declares, "Is finished!" . Cue audience clapping; cue us laughing.

"Hawk the Slayer's rubbish!"

Tim describes 'Resident Evil 2' as "... a subtle blend of lateral thinking and extreme violence." He spends the entire episode (until going out for free booze) staring wide-eyed at a TV screen killing zombies. After going to Vulva's play, and eating far too many Twiglets, he begins to hallucinate and sees zombies in the theatre bar. He then begins to re-enact scenes from 'Resident Evil' and runs out screaming after flooring Vulva.

"That was kind of unbelievable."

Brian appears to take a good 10 seconds to read his letter from Vulva. The letter consists of a single word "come". In a similar lapse of common sense, Mike recons he fell asleep on the tube and ended up in Sheffield. That's what taking drugs can do to you kids.

"Big's in this year"

Daisy is wearing a rather odd light blue shirt with the word 'Duffer' emblazoned across the front of it. Brian's 'a bit pretentious costume' is one of the most hideous things ever to be created. With a waistcoat that looks like it has had paint thrown on it before having a keyboard stuck on and a red-stared beret on his head he looks like the most annoying 'arty' wanker in the world. In the commentary for the episode Mark Heap describes the outfit as 'gay communism', kind of a cross between Julian Clarey and Woolfie Smith.

Finally, a word from your author

An episode about Brian! Well; it's an episode about people being pretentious (Vulva, the people at 'Flaps' magazine) and the way that otherwise normal people don't want to discredit other people's 'art' in case they get accused of being stupid. Daisy is afraid to tell the 'Flaps' people how stuck up they are, everyone is afraid to tell Brian and Vulva that their art is rubbish. 'Art' is one of the archetypal episodes of Spaced; Daisy can't get a job because she's too lazy to prepare for her interview while Tim sits in front of the TV all day playing on the playstation, eventually they both give up an go in search of free booze. Throw in a pile of pop culture references and Brian stumbling over his words and you've got a decent 25 minutes of fun. Note an interesting moment in the episode though, just as Daisy is about to leave for her interview Tim persuades her to inhale deeply in a big spliff. Could it be that Tim is deliberately trying to stop Daisy from getting a job, see also episode 14 'Leaves' in which Tim is desperate to stop Daisy leaving for a job in Wales. There is an interesting subtext at work in the plot here, Tim subconsciously feels less bad about working in a dead-end job and wasting his life on the playstation as long as Daisy is no better off than him.

Note that the guy who plays the bouncer at the theatre is Brett Wilson, the same man who plays the clubber who decks Brian in 'Epiphanies'.