Peep Show series 8 episode 5: Chairman Mark

Review Louisa Mellor 23 Dec 2012 - 22:30

The penultimate episode of this run of Peep Show is another belter. Here's Louisa's review...

This review contains spoilers.

8.5 Chairman Mark

After a handy restatement of this series’ plot arc in the opening few minutes (Jez loves Dobby; Mark’s attempts to get her to move in are being foiled at every turn), Chairman Mark quickly became what’s known in technical circles as a bit of a corker.

Mark lost his job and Jeremy - briefly - moved out, but as ever with Peep Show, the big stuff was incidental next to the characters’ humdrum victories and defeats. The next time you put a t-shirt on a coat hanger or very slowly ease open a bottle of Cava, think of Jez and Mark, brothers in banality.

Mark proved, once again, that not only is he not an honourable man, he’s a petty, desperate, selfish, and brilliantly awful one. (We always knew Peep Show was smart, but this week’s nod to Shakespearean irony when Mark Corrigan channelled Mark Anthony and used the phrase “an honourable man” to describe a complete Brutus was nothing short of swotty).

Having misjudged last week’s cat adoption, Mark was in need of a new Dobby trap, so opted to abuse his new-found power as chairman of the freehold committee and blow the sinking fund on his mouldy wall. In the continuum of bad things Mark’ has done, it’s no almost-jilting or desk-drawer urination, but it was a pretty low blow.

Speaking of lowness, Jez surely reached his nadir inside Big Mad Andy’s landfill bin-bag, proving himself to be as helpless as a new-born mouse pup without Mark. Forced to dance like an inflatable mascot on a car forecourt for Mark’s nephew and be the punching bag of his angry divorcee sister, the Corrigans have helped and humiliated poor Jez - a man who has measured out his life not in coffee spoons but in limited edition Tango cans and old-school pornography – in equal measure.

Welcome back to Sarah Corrigan (Eliza Bennett), incidentally, whom we last saw being rebuffed by Jez in last series’ wonderful Christmas Day episode. Her “Did Mummy do well? Yes Mummy did very well. Do you like the man Mummy got us? He’s funny isn’t he? Yes he’s very funny” monologue to son Joshie was terrific stuff.

Another welcome is in order for this week's lead writer, Fresh Meat and The Armstrong & Miller Show’s Tom Basden, who didn’t fumble the ball. Chairman Mark had plenty of great lines (“as wet as an eagle”, the celeb triumvirate of Jools Holland, Mark Ronson and Werner Herzog, that wry dig at The Killing...), as well as satifying continuity with previous episodes. Not everybody loves bees, Mark.

The series three reference in the title of the next episode - Quantocking II - may not deter accusations that the current run of Peep Show is re-treading old ground, but really, when the ground’s this much fun, it can stand a re-treading or two.

Peep Show's series eight finale will air on Christmas Eve.

Read Louisa’s review of the previous episode, Big Mad Andy, here.

Follow our Twitter feed for faster news and bad jokes right

Disqus - noscript

With respect to the author of this article, I think the author must be an exceptionally easy laugher and is far too forgiving. I've watched every series of Peep Show and am so disappointed with the current one. Tonight's episode, in particular, was just boring and flat. There were so few laughs - is "as wet as an eagle" really that amusing??? Or remotely clever? The show is lacking direction, depth, and characters! Since the demise of JLB, it's clearly been hard for the writers to come up with funny material. Each show is just a series of clunky scenes banged together. And the odd amusing quip isn't saving this series.

Where is Sophie and the baby? Wouldn't that at least open up an avenue to explore?

Loved Joshy with his deadpan looks. Especially when sitting on the display toilet. A total innocent caught up in this mad world.

I definitely agree with you. I found episodes 1,2 and 4 of this season to be pretty good, but overall, it's not as good as previous seasons. I'm rewatching the entire released series right now for the fifth time and there's more of a charm in Jez's failed attempts at becoming a successful musician (and more passion) than a life coach and Mark should have atleast been able to get an office job (I hope he does starting with the next episode). It was also nice seeing interaction with antagonistic recurring characters like Gerard and Geoff. I do understand that those actors have moved on and so has the story, but the status quo has changed too violently since the season began. I like where they're going with the Dobby/Jez/Mark triangle thing though.

Really disappointed with this season of Peep Show. The writing has been sloppy and aimless, and at times even Mitchell and Webb's delivery has been off.
The plot arc has been way too flimsy this season, the jokes thin and padded with callbacks (Hans' "bag", the life coaching) that were OK for one-off gags but not recurring ones.
No interesting new characters this season was the real killer.

Wouldn't be a dig at "The Killing", but rather at "Borgen", the more political counterpart.

I kind of agree with you. However, is it more to do with the fact we always end up getting bored with things we love?

Regardless, the paintball one was mega.

I agree Kent, even if Olivia Coleman wasn't on board for the series, the single reference to the kid is disappointing and ever since Dobby replaced Sophie as the love interest the series has gone downhill. It's still one of the most watchable things on TV (that's not saying much), but it's so far from the heights that it once scaled that it's a pale imitation of what it once was.

I think the review is too easily impressed. That's possibly a requirement for any TV reviewer these days.

Sponsored Links