Peep Show: Series 9, Episode 1 – The William Morris Years

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Huzzah! The best British sitcom of the last ten years is back on our screens at last, for its ninth and final series. When we last saw Mark and Jez (David Mitchell and Robert Webb), they were beating each other with sticks and rocks in a battle over Isy Suttie’s Dobby, before she ran off to New York.

Episode 1 sees the pair meeting up again for the first time, 6 months on from that fateful picnic in the Quantocks. The occasion is Super Hans’ stag-do, and the two are eagerly anticipating an evening of degeneracy. But this is a new, juicing, detoxing, ‘micro-nutrient’ obsessed ‘Sober Hans’. Can our heroes tempt him back to his old, wicked ways? Perhaps a small lager, just to ‘wet the whistle’ will do the trick….

The 6 months have seen Mark and Jeremy’s lives drift far apart, with Mark ostensibly successful and happy with his new job at a bank, and new flatmate Jerry (Tim Key), a bookish intellectual with a penchant for 19th century textile king William Morris. Meanwhile, Jeremy is…well, he’s sleeping in the bath at the flat of Hans and his new fiancée Molly (Franc Ashman) .

But if there’s one thing that Jez does understand, it’s his erstwhile flatmate. And soon enough, ‘the Aldi detective with a CBBC magnifying glass’, as Mark dubs him, begins to expose the cracks in Mark’s façade, and sets about reclaiming his place as the rightful second tenant of 5 Apollo House.

Fan favourite Johnson (Paterson Joseph) makes a brief appearance and delivers a classically impenetrable metaphor about a sausage dog – it’s good to see him back. Matt King is great as Super Hans, and his early scenes, in his still-clean phase, offer some of the biggest laughs.

Overall, there’s nothing too new in this series opener, and by the end of the episode (spoiler alert!) it looks like things are going to be pretty much back to normal for the El Dude brothers as Jeremy moves back in. Peep Show is back, and it’s just the same as ever– but then why would we want it to change? As Johnson, would say, ‘it feels just like slipping on an old pair of jeans’.

Peep Show is on Channel 4 on Wednesdays at 10pm. Episodes can also be watched on All4.

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