The sitcom Spaced is the creation of Simon Pegg and Jessica Stevenson, who are both the writers and stars of this surreal delight, which at the time of writing has just begun a second series on Britain's Channel 4. The first series didn't get a lot of attention, possibly due to its late-night slot in Channel 4's schedule, but developed what is commonly known as a "cult following", i.e. everybody who happened to catch it recognised its unique genius. The current series has been scheduled in the more sensible slot of 9.30pm Friday.

The plot, such as it is, centres around two twentysomething friends, Tim and Daisy (played by Pegg and Stephenson respectively), who pretend to be a professional couple in order to secure accommodation. In fact, they are neither a couple nor professional: Tim is an aspiring comics artist who works in a comics shop, and Daisy is a free-lance journalist who publishes the odd fluff piece in women's magazines. Other characters include Marsha, their chain-smoking landlady, Brian, the tortured artist who lives downstairs, Mike, Tim's military-obsessed best friend and Twist, Daisy's airhead friend and latterly Brian's girlfriend.

A typical episode involves a minor life crisis for one or more characters, at least one pastiche of a classic movie and several dream sequences. What distinguishes it from other shows with such lightweight subject matter is the generally high quality of both the writing and production. Although the action revolves around the sitcom staple of the main characters' sitting room, the show never appears studio-bound, unlike Friends or Frasier. Like BBC's The League of Gentlemen, the style of photography is more akin to film than television.

Of course, the show probably works best if you can identify with the characters, so if you are in your mid to late twenties, have been to university and have ever read 2000 AD, you will undoubtedly get a kick out of it.

I will leave you with my current favourite line:

"Yeah, I love being at work. You know, the smell of the ink. The taste of the biscuit."