Author Topic: Jez or Mark?  (Read 3779 times)

Jez or Mark?
« on: August 12, 2019, 08:30:04 AM »
Who is your favourite?: I have to admit, I reckon as an asocial geeky teen I probably found Mark funnier but on a recent rewatch, Jez has me howling. Not even just his lines, Robert Webb's performance is hilarious, his shocked or embarrassed or disgusted facial expressions are brilliant.

Anyway, how do we all like Peep Show, looking back?

Re: Jez or Mark?
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2019, 08:39:59 AM »
Not so much "favourites", but when I started watching Peep Show aged 13 or so, I absolutely identified with Jez more.  By my mid-twenties, I couldn't imagine identifying with a character more than Mark.  That came to a head when telling some rowdy hipster neighbors to shut it down and realising I basically delivered the same speech as Mark does when he's trying to get those pillheads to "stop smoking their drugs" and fuck off.  Now, nearing 30, I strangely find myself identifying with both Mark and Jez ... and a bit of Super Hans to boot. 

As for which one I prefer, I'd still say Mark edges it for me overall - by the final few seasons, he'd essentially become the protagonist while Jez got the same love triangle plots over and over again - and I think there's just more potential for someone as straight-laced and "square" as Mark to be funny in situations which make him uncomfortable, whereas Jez is far more predictable.

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Re: Jez or Mark?
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2019, 08:55:56 AM »
Jez just seems so loathsome whereas Mark has some redeeming features.

Re: Jez or Mark?
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2019, 09:00:37 AM »
I hate them both. Mark's absolute jellyspine makes me detest him. Wanton hedonists annoy me too. Funny show though! I'm more like Sophie's dad.

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Re: Jez or Mark?
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2019, 09:15:01 AM »
Early series: Mark. Later series: Jez. Mark's antics just got more and more hapless and he became more pathetic. Jez tends towards chaos. They are both very easily influenced though, just by different people.

I do slightly idolise Alan Johnson and regularly used his stock phrases at work.

Re: Jez or Mark?
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2019, 01:50:32 PM »
Mark is clearly the worst character overall. Jez is merely a bit of a dick.

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Re: Jez or Mark?
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2019, 01:58:12 PM »
Mark is clearly the worst character overall. Jez is merely a bit of a dick.

Mark is everyone you don't want to be, but rainbow rhythms? fuck that.

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Re: Jez or Mark?
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2019, 02:05:08 PM »
Without a doubt I am Johnson.

Re: Jez or Mark?
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2019, 02:10:35 PM »
Without a doubt I am Johnson.

Love that this could be an actual quote from Johnson.

grassbath

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Re: Jez or Mark?
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2019, 06:24:29 PM »
Both are horrible people really, Mark probably worse.

I've often thought the genius of Peep Show is that your average bloke does have both a bit of Jez and a bit of Mark in them, that's why the interior monologues are so infectious and even their most mental thoughts are strangely relatable - at least in the first three seasons or so before the characters became too cartoonish. It's a kind of sitcom actualisation of Peter's Mad Thoughts. Everyone contains the duality, a feckless man-child clinging onto youth and irresponsibility, balanced out by a wearied, pedantic conformist. Except obviously in reality there's enough of a balance between the two that most people aren't quite so tragically unequipped for adult life. Look within yourself - you know it to be true.

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Re: Jez or Mark?
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2019, 10:20:26 PM »
Yeah I think they've both got enough terrible and redeeming qualities for it to be almost impossible to have a 'favourite', unless you either resemble or have a particular fondness for either extremes of them, which given they"d be total caricatures you'd hope was unlikely.

I rewatched the whole lot very recently and I think it's stood up really well, although what the hell they were thinking having Dobby/Issy Suttie was more noticeable than ever. Virtually every line she delivers is fucking excruciating, she absolutely stinks.

Re: Jez or Mark?
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2019, 10:27:23 PM »
I'm 50% Gerard 50% Elena, baby!

Chollis

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Re: Jez or Mark?
« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2019, 01:04:37 AM »
Jez is most definitely a bigger piece of shit than Mark

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Re: Jez or Mark?
« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2019, 01:05:47 AM »
#TeamBigSuze

Re: Jez or Mark?
« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2019, 01:43:36 AM »
I rewatched the whole lot very recently and I think it's stood up really well, although what the hell they were thinking having Dobby/Issy Suttie was more noticeable than ever. Virtually every line she delivers is fucking excruciating, she absolutely stinks.

I've rewatched the whole thing at least three times start to finish, and I think there's an enormous drop in quality after season 4 or 5, with diminishing returns until the end.  Of course there's the odd good line or episode even, but not really enough to redeem the rest of it existing after season 4's perfect ending (see also: Curb ending with season 7). 

The plotting and characterisation went all over the place, to the point where some of my former favourite characters were somewhat spoiled - Johnson, Big Mad Andy, even Super Hans to an extent.  The absolute nadir of this is that one with Gerard's funeral - that whole scene would've been a bit much in an episode of Father Ted, let alone a series which is more or less grounded in reality.  And they completely fucked up the perfect ending of that university episode from series 2 by bringing whatsherface back seven seasons later. 

Dobby was fine for a temporary love interest, but really started to grate after a while because they'd pretty quickly run out of interesting things to do with her and just made her another vessel for romantic disappointment and drama, similar to Jez's various conquests.  Looking back on it now, I think it was probably a mistake to continue having these romantic storylines as the main thrust of each season.  They didn't do anything with Dobby that hadn't already been done (more effectively) with Sophie, and Jez got virtually the same love triangle subplot three seasons in a row.  Mark had a child for the last three seasons, and yet he's basically only mentioned/seen in passing.  Why introduce something as big as that if it has virtually no bearing on the way the story or character develops?  Hacky as it can be, there was a lot of potential for Mark to struggle with fatherhood, and yet it's more or less brushed off the episode after his birth with Mark saying "Yeah, it's great, I like it."

I do love the show, mind you.  One of the best.

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Re: Jez or Mark?
« Reply #15 on: August 13, 2019, 01:57:17 AM »
Someone get organized and reboot the peep show rewatch

Re: Jez or Mark?
« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2019, 02:57:24 AM »
I may be one of the few who thinks there's no real drop in quality in Seasons 5-8, although it does finally dip a bit in the revival Season 9. As relatable as various scenarios are throughout, I never watched the show for consistent characterization as long as the characters fit together to produce comedy. And S01E01 is the only episode that comes to mind which seems genuinely "realistic" (much like there is almost nothing realistic in Seinfeld after Seasons 1-2 despite the show's reputation/ostensible premise).

Re: Jez or Mark?
« Reply #17 on: August 13, 2019, 03:54:37 AM »
I may be one of the few who thinks there's no real drop in quality in Seasons 5-8, although it does finally dip a bit in the revival Season 9. As relatable as various scenarios are throughout, I never watched the show for consistent characterization as long as the characters fit together to produce comedy. And S01E01 is the only episode that comes to mind which seems genuinely "realistic" (much like there is almost nothing realistic in Seinfeld after Seasons 1-2 despite the show's reputation/ostensible premise).

It's not so much that it was ever kitchen-sink realistic, and I'm fine with some of its more bizarre elements - even the divisive dog-eating moment - but it was always grounded in reality just enough to be relatable.  Later on, you had scenes, interactions and even entire subplots in which people weren't acting or reacting like anyone actually would.  Johnson's speech at Gerard's funeral is one of the more egregious examples, but there were also a lot of plot points or conflicts being raised and never resolved.  I don't think this was all in service of "the comedy", because quite often the poor scripting resulted in it being less funny too.

I realise I'm sounding incredibly harsh, here.  It was rarely the case that I didn't enjoy watching later seasons to some degree, despite the decline in quality being pretty apparent to me.

Re: Jez or Mark?
« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2019, 04:05:55 AM »
It's not so much that it was ever kitchen-sink realistic, and I'm fine with some of its more bizarre elements - even the divisive dog-eating moment - but it was always grounded in reality just enough to be relatable.  Later on, you had scenes, interactions and even entire subplots in which people weren't acting or reacting like anyone actually would.  Johnson's speech at Gerard's funeral is one of the more egregious examples, but there were also a lot of plot points or conflicts being raised and never resolved.  I don't think this was all in service of "the comedy", because quite often the poor scripting resulted in it being less funny too.

I realise I'm sounding incredibly harsh, here.  It was rarely the case that I didn't enjoy watching later seasons to some degree, despite the decline in quality being pretty apparent to me.

No you're not harsh, those are all fair criticisms. I guess for me I see it as the show evolving but changing into something that was still just as funny (at least until Season 9). Actually it is very reminiscent of the series arc of Seinfeld, which became increasingly over-the-top and bizarre in later seasons. I'm one of the few Seinfeldheads who seems to actually prefer those later (post-Larry David) seasons, so maybe I'm just strange. Though I do still agree that peak Peep Show was 1-4 and the Wedding episode would have been a perfect series finale.

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Re: Jez or Mark?
« Reply #19 on: August 13, 2019, 09:58:51 AM »
Not so much "favourites", but when I started watching Peep Show aged 13 or so,

Blimey if you were 13 years old so recently you must be about 6 now.


I don’t think I will ever stop being astonished by how young people can be.

Re: Jez or Mark?
« Reply #20 on: August 13, 2019, 10:11:43 AM »
Mark or Jez?
Neither of them are that bad - we would all come across badly if all our innermost thoughts and gut reactions were exposed to the world.
They are two "very ordinary weirdos".

Everyone relates to Mark more surely? He has the thoughts of a real person. Jez is more like someone else.

The series itself was brilliant.

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Re: Jez or Mark?
« Reply #21 on: August 13, 2019, 10:58:59 AM »
I agree that Johnson's eulogy at Gerrard's funeral is something of a low point, in that it doesn't seem realistic at all.  If Gerrard was active in LARPing societies, surely he'd have known at least one person well enough who could have given the speech?

I think seasons 5-8 are a bit of a mixed bag, although I enjoyed series 6 and 7 a lot mainly because they hang them around the Gail/Elena and Ben/Zara characters which worked well.  I actually quite liked it that they didn't feature Mark's baby much, it seemed a more original move rather than make the whole show about the baby.  Similarly the relative lack of emotion, or even matter-of-factness about Gerrard's death was very different to how many mainstream sitcoms would have dealt with it.

Re: Jez or Mark?
« Reply #22 on: August 13, 2019, 12:12:03 PM »
I actually quite liked it that they didn't feature Mark's baby much, it seemed a more original move rather than make the whole show about the baby.

Same. Genuinely thought it was going to be a boring baby-centric Series 7 so was relieved when it wasn’t. Also love the bleakness of Mark basically coming across as a barely-present father by Series 9 and little Ian hardly recognising him at that indoor play world. Feels like a fitting Peep dynamic.

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Re: Jez or Mark?
« Reply #23 on: August 13, 2019, 01:05:54 PM »
Can't believe anybody thinks that Jez is worse than Mark. I mean Jez is a selfish dick, but Mark is fucking horrible.

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Re: Jez or Mark?
« Reply #24 on: August 13, 2019, 01:38:58 PM »
I always feel like Mark is the main character; I don’t know why.

neveragain

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Re: Jez or Mark?
« Reply #25 on: August 13, 2019, 02:27:42 PM »
Can't believe anybody thinks that Jez is worse than Mark. I mean Jez is a selfish dick, but Mark is fucking horrible.

A friend of mine summed it up quite well I thought by saying, "if you were dying in a ditch and Mark discovered you, he would probably consider just walking by and ignoring you but wouldn't actually go through with it whereas Jez definitely would without any qualms." For all the idiosyncrasies and neuroses Mark has, Jez is certainly more of a sociopath.

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Re: Jez or Mark?
« Reply #26 on: August 13, 2019, 03:23:40 PM »
It's fitting that Jez screws people over on a low cunning level, mainly self preservation whereas Mark has the one big and far more profound fuck up of entering a marriage that is obviously wrong out of duty, vague notions of it being the thing to do to be a real human being, and partly due to potential financial benefits. Also probably to make a point after Sophie was unobtainable for so long.

Very different forms of arseholery.

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Re: Jez or Mark?
« Reply #27 on: August 13, 2019, 03:25:43 PM »
A friend of mine summed it up quite well I thought by saying, "if you were dying in a ditch and Mark discovered you, he would probably consider just walking by and ignoring you but wouldn't actually go through with it whereas Jez definitely would without any qualms." For all the idiosyncrasies and neuroses Mark has, Jez is certainly more of a sociopath.

That is definitely true but it doesn't sum anything up. It just outlines that specific scenario.

If you wanted someone to look after your belongings while you were away, you'd arrive home to find them safe and sound with Mark, used abused and sold/ruined with Jez. Regardless of sentimental value.

Mark would probably report a crime, Jez wouldn't.


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Re: Jez or Mark?
« Reply #28 on: August 13, 2019, 06:25:51 PM »
I'm Finchy.

Oh sorry, wrong show.

grassbath

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Re: Jez or Mark?
« Reply #29 on: August 13, 2019, 06:38:37 PM »
Mark or Jez?
Neither of them are that bad - we would all come across badly if all our innermost thoughts and gut reactions were exposed to the world.
They are two "very ordinary weirdos".

Everyone relates to Mark more surely? He has the thoughts of a real person. Jez is more like someone else.

The series itself was brilliant.

Yeah, the innermost thoughts thing is why it works so well - you're laughing at the same public/private disparities in yourself. I dunno about Jez being less relatable - I've certainly heard 'I'm a musician'-style self-martyrdom inside my own head when really I'm just looking for an excuse to get out of something, and I think the childlike jealousy and need to be loved and looked after is something common to a lot of people.