My Life in Film (2004) is a sitcom that ran one season, totaling six episodes. It stars Kris Marshall, Andrew Scott, and Alice Lowe. Mortifying fact: This show never came out on DVD and is not available for sanctioned streaming.
But for the moment you can watch illegal uploads on YouTube.
Art (Marshall) is an aspiring film scriptwriter who has trouble coping with reality–that reality being that he’s not a successful scriptwriter (or indeed living inside a dramatic film) but instead works at the cinema and is forced to live with a roommate on his meger wages. Said roommate is the long-suffering Jones (Scott), who starts the series as a push-over but develops a character arc so epic in these mere six episodes, that alone makes the show worth the watch.
But the main draw here really is that each episode is a near replica of some famous film. Being film-obsessed, Art’s perspective of the real world bleeds into classic movies, giving us a trippy “genre” version of events, as seen through Art’s eyes. The budget goes into ballsy yet successful recreations of the famous shots in Rear Window, The Shining, Top Gun, Shallow Grave, 8-1/2, and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. It’s admirable to fill an entire series based around these films, but it’s even more admirable to keep an independent plot arc and character development underneath it. This is a most underrated show.
And you couldn’t ask for a better cast. Kris Marshall, who you’ve seen in Love Actually and Death in Paradise (and who I’ve seen in Treats in the West End), makes a great somewhat-unlikable slacker/dreamer. Sherlock‘s Andrew Scott sports his comedy chops in his dweeby, lovestruck role. Despite being the one holding the household together, Jones is rather incompetent himself. Alice Lowe, who you’ve seen in Sightseers and…well, everything else…enters the flat as a voice of reason, becoming Jones’ live-in girlfriend Beth, who Art claims he’s allergic to.