Peep Show series 7 episode 3 review

New character, Kenneth, provides one of many belly laughs in one of Peep Show’s finest episodes...

If you had to name a dildo, what would you call it? I’ll confess, until Friday night’s episode of Peep Show had aired, it’s not really something that had crossed my mind, but damn the scriptwriters for planting the seed, as I just can’t shake it off.

Mark Corrigan calls his dildo Kenneth, you see, which brings to light the radical notion that he has a rather saucy side to his bedroom antics. I always had the impression that sex for Mark was something of an alien concept.

But, no, it would appear that he does have some rampant desires hiding away in his mind locker. Good for him, I say, although this was naturally tempered by the fact that he couldn’t bring himself to call a spade a spade, leading to the brilliant naming of the dildo as Kenneth. “I find it quite intimidating as a man. It’s like a leg of lamb. So, I’ve decided to call it Kenneth. Meet my sexual associate, Kenneth.”

Kenneth came to pass as Mark and Dobby’s relationship continues apace, although Mark’s obvious self-doubt and worries about Dobby returning to former boyfriend Simon resurfaced. There was a particularly nice scene where Jez’s obvious admiration for Mark’s dildo-owning prowess came to the fore.

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The conversation between the pair about the average amount of time sex should last was just a delight. “I want the average amount of time. The mean. No, the mode or median. Sting’s probably thrown the mean out for everyone else.” This was just one example of the heights the writing reached this week, which delivered more belly laughs for this writer than in any comedy I’ve seen in the past few months.

The best scene of the lot, though, was arguably Mark’s obvious boyish delight at having bought ‘a big dildo’ and Jez’s good humour at seeing his friend take a leaf out of his book. The chemistry between Mitchell and Webb just seems to get stronger and stronger with every series and the softening of the relationship between Jez and Mark, something I’ve covered previously in my reviews of Peep Show, is touched upon here.

It’s obvious that, as they’ve grown older together, Jez has developed much more respect for Mark, instead of viewing him as beneath him. He seems to appreciate the stability and near-father figure that Mark brings into his life and his reaction to the sex toy, while before might have been ridicule, was clearly one of amusement, but he also seemed heartened by his friend’s purchase. It brought the pair closer together, in the strangest way imaginable.

In the meantime, Jez’s blossoming relationship with Zahra is going well. Just a pity it’s a) built on a pack of lies, and b) going on despite Zahra having any knowledge about it whatsoever. This episode cranked up the loathing for her boyfriend, Ben, however, with a particularly nasty scene in which he thanks Jez for warming her up for him before they retired to the bedroom. I guess the idea behind all of this is that when Jez and Zahra do eventually hook up, you won’t feel in the slightest bit bad for former coma victim Ben.

Inevitably, though, it will all blow up in Jez’s face when Zahra realises he’s not actually into films like Amelie and the last book he read was Mr Nice. Oh, and his response to Zahra’s “À demain” of “No, you da man”, wasn’t actually meant as a joke at all. “Why is that funny,'” Jez pondered. He’s clearly on a man-mission to nab Zahra now, despite that fact that they have literally nothing in common.

The episode’s glorious third plot strand came courtesy of the always brilliant Super Hans, who had decided to give up drugs entirely. “But you love crack. It’s your favourite,” Jez pleaded. To help him cope, Super Hans had taken up running in quite a serious way, leading to one of the episode’s funniest lines, when he found himself accidentally running to Windsor. He’s a scene stealer whenever on screen and I can only hope that his appearance in every episode thus far continues going forward.

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The week came to a close as Jez hosted a book club to further woo Zahra and Mark stepped in to save his mate, showing Ben up in the process. Jez can’t read, you see, and Wuthering Height‘s 300-plus pages was a deception too far. Fantastic, then, that Mark should step into the breach and showcase more of that mutual respect between the pair.

The episode upped the ante on what has already proved to be a strong series and the development of the relationship between Jez and Mark is working a treat for me. I wonder if we’ll ever see Kenneth again, though?

Read our review of the second episode here.

Peep Show airs on Channel 4, Friday nights at 10:00pm.

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