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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this British sitcom is fairly heavy on strong language, sexual innuendo, and sporadic drinking and smoking. The main characters are young adults, down on luck and love, who are disillusioned with their lives and pretending to be a couple so they can hold onto their apartment. One character hops from one short-lived job to another but rarely seems bothered by her lack of direction (or affected by her presumably unreliable income). It's not exactly a realistic view of the world, but teens and young adults who understand that will get some laughs over the show's funny take on life's challenges.
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What's the story?
British sitcom SPACED follows the highs and lows of young adult life for wannabe journalist Daisy (Jessica Stevenson) and former skateboarder Tim (Simon Pegg), two directionless Gen-Xers who, after meeting in a café, find they have a lot in common. Unlucky in love and desperate for a new place to live, they hatch a plan to feign couplehood -- and a professional lifestyle -- to qualify for a knockout flat. To their amazement, they get it, and they quickly set up house below their lush of a landlady, Marsha (Julie Deakin), and above eccentric struggling artist Brian (Mark Heap), who's quick to suspect that things aren't exactly as they seem with his new neighbors. But maintaining their pretend relationship is often the least of Daisy and Tim's worries. What with Daisy bouncing from one unfulfilling job to the next (she is, after all, too "creative" for just any form of work), Tim losing his own job when he gets worked up over a Star Wars movie and scares off a young customer, secret agents tailing Daisy after a mysterious stranger swaps bags with her, sexual tension on the rise in their apartment, and "Robot Wars" (sort of like cock fighting, but with remote-controlled gizmos) a frequent distraction for Tim and camo-clad buddy Mike (Nick Frost), there's hardly time to wonder what might happen if Marsha discovered the truth about her tenants.
Is it any good?
Spaced will strike a chord with young adults who can empathize with the characters' disillusionment about "real life" and appreciate the humor this attitude is played for. Pop culture buffs in particular are sure to revel in the show's multiple references to everything from Star Wars to zombie movies. That said, the show does have its fair share of strong language, as well as some innuendo and the kind of relationship and drinking content typical for sitcoms about twentysomethings -- so check it out before giving your teens the OK.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about starting out on your own. What challenges do people face when they leave home? What new skills do you have to acquire to succeed on your own? What parts of this show do you think are accurate? Which aren't? Teens: What are your plans for when you're independent? Where will you live? Will you live alone or with a roommate? Where will you work? What excites you about independence? What frightens you? What will you do if things don't go as planned?