In this episode in Series 7 of Peep Show, Mark is now with his partner Dobby and accompanied by his family for Christmas. As is Peep Show tradition, what should be a joyous, fun occasion soon turns to hell in various forms. With some iconic moments of the show, let’s see what goes down in this festive, seasonal edition of the show.
The Episode: Series 7, Episode 6 – Seasonal Beatings
Mark is in bed reading a book before being greeted by a merry Jeremy. Jez also gets into bed stating that “if our feet touch, we fuck, obviously”. In a rather surprising turn, Jeremy is the one who actually gets genuinely desired gifts while Mark gives his flatmate all practical, near-comedic items such as sellotape, kitchen tongs, and firelighters. Jeremy has actually decked out the entire flat for Christmas, even adding a tree a little too large for the room but not cutting the top of it as it would be like he was: “castrating Christmas”.
We then get the legendary expletive-filled rant gives Jez over not getting a turkey. Mark is shown going off-the-rails ballistic at Jeremy not getting a turkey before a now-solemn Jeremy pipes up that it was a joke and he does have the turkey.
Dobby and Mark exchange gifts but none of which go down that well with Mark’s gift ‘not arriving’ and Dobby’s being a boxset Mark does not wish to see. Mark goes in-depth about his doubts of where he and his girlfriend will be in 5 years time. After a phone call, Dobby’s family cannot make it due to a car breakdown, after which Mark lets her stay around theirs for lunch.
After some more turmoil, Mark mentally decrees, “don’t break down on Christmas, break down on Boxing Day once the washing’s done”. The family then arrives as Mark’s mother, father and sister arrive. Awkward conversations break out as Mark pretends he is not with Dobby, Mark’s mum talks about her sexually-driven plot of her new play and Jez realizes he is being subtly belittled as being used as a phrase to mean something has been messed up. Super Hans joins in the flat Christmas as Mark remarks: “merry migraine and a happy new stomach ulcer”.
The chat turns even more uncomfortable when Dobby is asked about her boyfriend and unknowingly to the parents, disses Mark right in front of him. Mum then gets Mark some new socks depicting a sexual position, after which Hans asks if she has ever had a parrot as it looks like she “might enjoy a cockatoo”. The saucy chat soon turns tense when Dobby points out the great gifts over got compared to the terrible items Mark was given. A follow-up game of Charades then fails to excite Mark and Jez resenting their given topics.
Dinner is no less cringe-worthy as Jeremy has managed to fail in cooking many of the parts of the dinner. It gets worse when the family start bickering over Pam’s (Mark’s mum) want to be a homeopath with Mark failing to get away from the conversation. Dobby talks about her boyfriend’s terrible presents before Mark defends the unknown boyfriend before eventually spilling the beans that he and Dobby are going out.
Dad then questions the whereabouts of cauliflower before yelling that it is a traditional Christmas food. Dobby says it is not before Dan (Mark’s dad) asks “Could you not slip a muzzle on your woman?”. Nobody says anything as they are frozen in silence. Dobby storms out, leaving Mark alone. The constant through-line of Sarah (Mark’s sister) trying to get with Jez but to be soundly ignored. He resists her advances thoroughly on this occasion.
In retaliation for his dad’s actions, Mark starts putting all of his father’s food into the shredder he was bought. Dan leaves without confrontation as – in a change of pace – the episode actually ends with Mark on top as he allows everyone to do what they want and be festive on Christmas Day.
- The ‘No Turkey?’ scene
- The many differing through-lines
- An interesting shift in character attitudes
- Mark gets revenge and ends on top
So What Did You Think Of Peep Show?
This episode is entirely situated in one area – Mark’s flat. Whilst this commonly may lead to a show being limited, there are enough moving parts in this episode to overcome that. Everyone has a role in this episode with the right amount of characters, character work, and story sprinkled in. In a surprising feel-good end with Mark on top, it alters the formula to make one of the truly great episodes of Peep Show where all is negative until a semblance of hope allows Mark to be back on top – only however when he fights back.