Spy

91qbdihltl-_sy500_Spy (2011-2012) is a sitcom by Simeon Goulden starring Darren Boyd. There are two seasons with a total of 17 episodes. It’s available on Hulu and on DVD both region 1 and 2.



 

It wasn’t difficult for Tim (Darren Boyd) to convince the court that he deserved custody of his son, Marcus. All he had to do is sit back and wait for his ex to get caught with her pill addiction. But convincing Marcus that he deserves custody is going to be a lot trickier. Marcus’s mother is intelligent, organized, and is dating Marcus’s headmaster, who is in theory a good role model (though not in practice). Tim, on the other hand, has a lousy job, a messy apartment, and dangerous electrical work. He isn’t particularly intelligent and is making no strides in the dating world. It seems the only way to impress his son is to become an MI5 spy.

Or, this is what I understood the premise to be from the description. Actually, Tim falls into spying quite accidentally (his boss, played by Robert Lindsay, is a drugged-out idiot), and he spends more time trying to hide the fact that he’s a spy than bonding with Marcus.

If you don’t mind implausible plot lines and a smattering of insane characters whose motives are a mystery, Spy is actually a surprisingly funny series. The writing is tight, the jokes frequent, and the acting funny, albeit it over-the-top. I suppose it borders on surrealism. Although you don’t care about these sideline caricatured personalities, you do relate to Tim, and you even want him to hook up with his new MI5 co-spy Caitlin (Rebekah Staton). The little boy, Jude Wright, is really good. You don’t like his character—Marcus is a little snot—but he plays it really well. Occasionally, you are on Marcus’s side (like when he’s trying to win the school election to win the heart of the girl he likes) and it’s astounding that Wright keeps a straight face, especially with costars with as rubbery expressions as Tom Goodman-Hill.

Oddly, Goodman-Hill is replaced by Anglonerd favorite Mark Heap after the first season. They do make a note of the strange transformation Philip has undergone, brushing it off (several times) as being simply a change of hairstyle. Also in season 2, Miles Jupp joins the cast as a discombobulated social worker after the first one, Paula (played by Rosie Cavaliero), gets sacked for being delusional and in love with Tim. In fact, everyone is in love with Tim: Paula, Caitlin, Philip, and even Tim’s coked-out boss.

Like other traditional sitcoms, Spy has repeat gags and catch phrases. It relies on you taking for granted that you know who all is in the room, utilizing the pull-back-and-reveal technique to have Philip or Chris (Mathew Baynton) pop up unexpectedly.

 

jaimepond-ello
JAIME POND IS THE EDITOR OF ANGLONERD.COM. SHE LIVES AND WORKS IN NYC. FOLLOW HER ON TWITTER.
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