on 22 March 2013
Before I begin, I should point out that I do not buy DVDs for repeat viewing hence the very fact that I am reviewing this brilliantly funny series after buying the boxset is exceptional in itself. I stumbled on one episode of "Twenty Twelve" during a very long transatlantic flight and what a find! How has it flown so far under the radar?!!
I desperately searched online and read the reviews which tended to be mainly in the broadsheets and on the strength of just one episode I did the unthinkable and bought the boxset!
I could write all day about the characters, the quality of the acting on show here, etc, etc, etc but it is the writing which is just sheer satirical genius. I really cannot single any one actor out as the whole ensemble is just fantastic, each with their own catchphrases which never seem corny or forced.
Jessica "totally" Hynes, Olivia "not a problem" Coleman & the wonderful, wonderful Karl "Classic!" Theobold are just three of the superb actors who deserve a special mention. If you are looking for a witty, hilariously brilliant, laugh out loud, clever comedy, then PLEASE watch this!
Beware of the ending though as you will be left begging for more which although frustrating for the viewer is exactly how a comedy series like this should end. Many comedy series have troughs and peaks but one of the main things I love so much about Twenty twelve is that every episode is as good if not better than the last.
In my top 3 of all time now and as Graham Hitchens would say a "Classic!"
on 21 May 2013
I saw this on TV and thought it was very funny. It seemed underrated by audience and critics at the time. It surprised me that more people weren't watching it. I wonder how many other countries would produce something like this which appears to make fun of something which so much national prestige is attached to! And good for Seb Coe that he agreed to take part. Another triumph for the Olympic spirit in the UK.
on 17 June 2013
Had seen most of the second series and some of the first when first shown on T.V., both of which I loved. The characters and situations were often uncomfortably near the truth in the pre-Olympics days, and at the time a lot of people were pretty cynical about what the Games would turn out like and the potential for disaster. So it is good to have fun and look back nostalgically to what might have happened, safe in the knowledge that the the 2012 Olympics were such a great success.
It's also nice to have something to fill a half hour slot if the T.V. programmes are uninteresting at times during the evening.
I saw - and enjoyed - a couple of episodes of 'Twenty Twelve' on TV, then read several very enthusiastic reviews, so I bought this set. It absolutely lives up to expectations. The idea of a reality TV documentary following the fortunes of a well-meaning but incompetent (and frequently unlucky) Olympic organising committee was a clever one, and the sharp script, excellent acting and production generally do it proud. Ian Fletcher, Head of the Committee, played by Hugh Bonneville, is a man constantly on the verge of panic and constantly having to hide the fact, and his team do almost nothing to reduce his blood pressure and a lot to increase it - that is with the exception of Sally, his P.A., who is his unassuming saving grace on many occasions. The growing chemistry between Fletcher and Sally adds a welcome connecting strand throughout the series. All the players are excellent, but in addition to Bonneville, whose every facial expression tells us almost as much as the script he delivers, there has to be a special word for Jessica Hynes as Siobhan, Head of Brand, whose stream of management-marketing-babble is a tour de force from both the writers and the actress. The whole thing is bound together by a pitch-perfect voice-over from David Tennant. There are so many funny situations - I'll mention only the planting of the tree beside the Thames, bedevilled by planning restrictions and finally the realisation that no-one has brought the seed, so a chocolate has to be used instead. handed solemnly as the media watch and record from a puzzled Tanni Grey-Thompson to a female footballer, Corrie Taylor, who duly plants it, equally bewildered. It's bizarre, surreal and very, very amusing. I enjoyed the real Games thoroughly and am very glad that they were the success that this unfortunate group could never have brought about, but this affectionate parody has its small place as one of the highlights of Olympic year - cleverly conceived, beautifully executed and very, very enjoyable.
on 1 August 2013
Cleverly concieved plot (Whoever came up with it!) and brilliantly performed by all involved. There's so much going on and so much fast talking (including the occasional jibberish) that I had to get my own set to get the details right. One could describe the whole package as 'a highly entertaining load of old bollocks' to quote Nick Jowett. And that's meant as a compliment.
This two-series (13-episode) spoof (or mockumentary) on the preparations for the London 2012 Olympics is, for me, the funniest comedy series since The Thick Of It. Written and directed by John Morton (the creator of the similarly hilarious People Like Us), Twenty Twelve does not quite match the quality of the caustic satire of Armando Iannucci's creation, nor the vast array of comic actors that The Thick Of It was able to marshal over its 24 episodes, however, with its take on organisational incompetence, unlikely coincidence and 'office-speak', it is not far short.
Certainly, its core cast of six characters is (for me) right up there with the lead players in series such as The Thick Of It and The office. Hugh Bonneville's is probably the pivotal (and funniest) performance here as Head of Delivery, Ian ('It's all good') Fletcher - his dead-pan delivery and reluctance to be flustered no matter whether he has Seb Coe or Boris Johnson shouting down the mobile at him is a joy to behold. Not far behind Bonneville is Jessica Hynes' 'PR disaster' Siobhan Sharpe ('from PR firm Perfect Curve', the dulcet voice of narrator David Tennant repeatedly reminds us) - Sharpe's dumb, rambling incoherence and unwillingness to make any positive contribution must have been a living nightmare for all watching fellow PR consultants. Thereafter, each of Vincent Franklin's dour Yorkshireman (is there any other type, I hear you ask?) and Head of Contracts, Nick Jowett, Amelia Bullmore's nervy Head of Sustainability, Kay Hope, and Karl Theobald's incompetent geek and Head of Infrastructure, Graham('What? This Friday?') Hitchins, are all excellent. And then to round off this sterling assemblage we have one of the UK's great acting talents, Olivia Coleman, as Ian's (very) personal assistant, Sally Owen, whose 'serious' turn here hints at undercurrents of real romantic tragedy.
In addition, the series also featured 'guest appearances' (some more successful than others, admittedly) by Tim McInnerny as a 'manic eco-warrier', Tony Ward, plus the likes of Darren Boyd, Nitin Ganatra, Vicki Pepperdine and Ingrid Oliver. In addition, Seb Coe also appears as himself - for which I think the man should be congratulated on being a 'good sport'.
I was quite surprised to learn just how many people managed not to catch Twenty Twelve on its original BBC2 transmission - but certainly, if you are a fan of The Thick Of It or just cutting-edge comedy, it is essential viewing.
on 29 July 2012
Organising the Olympics is not an easy job and Ian Fletcher has his hands full trying to solve one hopeless situation after another. Fortunately for him he is an ideal leader in a crisis. Cool headed and cautiously optimistic. The problems usually get solved either by accident, luck or by simply accepting the fact its to late to do anything about it and its best, by unofficial mutual agreement, not to say or do anything more about it. His staff are, with the exception of his assistant, not really helpful though they try to be in their own more or less useless fashion. Graham, head of infrastructure, couldn't run a toy train if his life depended on it, Kay, head of sustainability is well meaning but can't really make herself heard or get respect. Nick, head of contracts, is a down to earth Yorkshire man. He won't have any of it and though he is the common sense man nobody really listens to him. And last but not by any means least : Siobhan, head of brand. She's in charge of all PR work relating to the olympics. Never short of ideas,buzz words, slang or new projects to launch. Unfortunately she can't really finish anything or contribute other than chaos to an often bad situation.
The stories are well written, humerous and typical not just of the Olympics but of any major event anywhere. We have all been in one of these situations or worked with one of the characters at one time or another. The actors are well cast and have their characters down to perfection. Hugh bonneville is perfect as Ian Fletcher and Jessica Hynes is brilliant as Sioban Sharpe. Her performance is outstanding and is equal to that of Nigel Hawthornes portrayal of sir Humphrey Appleby in Yes minister. The only sad thing about this series is that only two series have been made. The BBC should have made a lot more episodes since both the writers and actors do such a great job.
on 27 March 2014
Goods arrived within the delivery parameters. Like some other viewers, I had only previously seen a couple of episodes. I bought this to catch up with the whole story. Having now watched a few more episodes, I am very pleased so far. One thought that occurred; wasn't it fortuitous that the staged committee was not the same for the real games. Cringing in (many) places and while I don't suffer idiots gladly and based on my experiences of gross incompetence and total bull' , I found it very hard to stifle my own guffaws of laughter. Do I recommend it? Yes of course.
on 24 May 2013
A nicely constructed comedic look at the chaos and amateurism supposedly behind the 2012 Olympics.
If you enjoyed series such as The Thick of It, The Office (UK version) and Yes, Minister, this is a good buy.
There probably wasn't enough content to sustain more than 12 episodes, but nevertheless these two series just race by.
Not the absolute pinnacle of British comedy, but not a million miles off it either.
on 20 May 2014
I gather opinion is rather divided about this show, but we LOVED it! There is some brilliant observational comedy in this show, so many of the characters seem familiar. Jessica Hynes' performance is really a treat, and as for Olivia Coleman... I think I could watch her in just about anything. She gives a very deft, subtle performance as the every-reliable, loyal P.A.
Great script, fantastic cast. Enjoyed every minute of it.