Sunday, 18 March 2012

The Thick Of It

Smell the Movies
Smell the TV

Transmitted:May 2005 - December 2009
Country of origin:UK
Genre:Political satire
Starring:Chris Langham, Rebecca Front, Peter Capaldi, Chris Addison, James Smith, Joanna Scanlan
No. of seasons:3, plus 1 spin off movie (In The Loop)

With a fourth season imminent, it seemed like a good time to go back and see what all the fuss was about.

Set in a government department known as DoSAC (Department of Social Affairs and Citizenship) the series follows the failures, failures and failures of those employed to do Her Majesty's business of government.
In series one and two Hugh Abbott (Chris Langham) is the put upon Minister Responsible, not so ably assisted by the naive but ambitious Oliver Reeder (Chris ‘smarmy fuck’ Addison), the experienced but jaded Glenn Cullen (James Smith), as well as by department communications director Terri Coverley (Joanna Scanlan). Watching over them all, barking insults and expletives, political attack dog and governmental spin doctor Malcolm Tucker, played with fearsome zeal by the magnificent Peter Capaldi.
In season 3 three, Abbot is replaced by Nicola Murray (Rebecca Front), due to Langham's rather unfortunate real life child pornography charge.
The dirty old sod.

A sit-com, in essence, this veers away from static camerawork and laughter-tracks, the original run of The Office a clear ancestor.
Performed in vérité style, the cast are given a rough overview of what needs to happen in each scene, and allowed to improvise their way through the scenario.
Notorious for the amount of bad language, the writing is first rate, with some of the finest swearing ever committed to film, with much particularly splendid filth spilling from the lips of Capaldi's not so veiled interpretation of New Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell.
Darling of the broadsheets, it has to be said this is very clever-clever, which will alienate some, but if you can see past the pretention and just go with the flow, there's much to enjoy.

Find an episode guide here:

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