Pegg's pre-stardom 'Spaced' resurrected on DVD
For years, Simon Pegg would take the offensive when a relationship headed south.
"I was dumped once," he says. "Then, after that, I did (the dumping). I was always like, 'No, me first. You're not going to break up with me. I'm breaking up with you.'
"Even healthy relationships I had were trashed in the name of trying to be first to get rid of someone before they got rid of me," he deadpans.
Long before he became an international star with "Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz," Pegg didn't mind turning some of his romantic angst into a successful British comedy called "Spaced," which ran from 1999 to 2001 in England. Now, "Spaced" is coming to DVD in America.
The series was one of Pegg's first launching boards, but it's also an insight into his early comedic talent. In it, he plays a man who breaks up with his live-in girlfriend and has to find another place to live.
He ends up meeting a woman in a cafe - she's in need of a flat, too. They discover a wonderful place, but it could only be rented to married couples who are professionals.
So the two pretend to be a couple in order to get the place.
The series was based on a true incident in Pegg's life. He and his girlfriend split. He wanted to stay with her, but she was having none of it.
"I look back it now and see it was a very pivotal point in my life," he says. "I should find her, wherever she is, and give her a big 'thank you.' "
"Spaced" is no "Three's Company." If anything, it has elements of "Family Guy" with weird flashbacks to accent the humor. The comedy also has warmth to anchor its wackiness.
Pegg played Tim Bisley, a comic book artist who longed to get back with his old girlfriend, though she had clearly moved on.
During the first season of "Spaced," Tim and his new female flat mate weren't romantic. In the second season, the plots addressed that.
"The idea was to write from the truth," Pegg says.
He was nearing 30 when "Spaced" launched. "One of the reasons we decided to write this was because there was nothing on TV at that time for people of my age," he says.
"There was nothing to really address them."
When he wrote "Spaced" with a partner, he had just come out of a relationship. "It was a bad breakup," he says, "but I found it to be a very inspiring time of my life.
"It was fun to do it. I took a bit of it into my stand-up comedy."
"Spaced" was hugely popular in Britain and maintains a cult following today. Pegg had always intended to do a third season, but his budding film career derailed those plans.
Now, he says he'll probably not revisit "Spaced." The characters now are too old to be in such 20-something angst.
But, "I have a special place in my heart for this series," he says, "so I don't like to ever say 'never.' "
© 2008, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.