Customer Review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Sun dried Karaoke " anyone?, 9 May 2009
This review is from: The Thick of It - Complete First Series [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
A despicable oversight on my part .I missed The Thick Of It on it's TV run for reasons I cannot begin to explain ( mainly because I don't know what they are ) made even more inexplicable by the fact I usually ravenously digest anything helmed by Armando Iannucci . However my lamentable lapse has now been corrected because I bought the DVD , more importantly watched it, and can concur with most of the reviewers on this page that The Thick Of It is profane comedy genius . I laughed up a **** storm as government enforcer Malcolm Tucker might say.
Tucker ( Peter Calpaldi) is clearly based on Alistair Campbell but is actually more likable because he is actually funny as well as being a foul-mouthed, arrogant , bug eyed bully. Government minsters live in quavering terror of his wrath which is especially unfortunate for Hugh Abbot (Chris Langham)the fumbling minister in charge of the Department of Social Affairs and Citizenship. His propensity for foul up's and policy blunders is so great that his staff -Senior Special Adviser Glenn Cullen( James Smith ) , Junior Policy Advisor Olly Reeder( Chris Addison ) and
Civil Service Press Secretary Terri Coverley(Joanna Scanlan ) -spend most of their time trying to extricate him from the smelly brown stuff .There is a lot of smelly brown stuff flying around (metaphorically ) in this series. As Tuckers says "This is a bucket of ****. If someone throws **** at us, we throw **** back at them. We start a **** fight. We throw so much **** back at them so they can't pick up ****, they can't throw ****, they can't do ****."
Main writer and director Iannucci has said that The Thick Of It is like a cross between The Complete Yes Minister & Yes Prime Minister - Collector's Boxset [DVD] and The Larry Sanders Show [DVD] [1993] .The inclusion of former political journalist Martin Sixsmith as an advisor means that the series is probably closer to the truth of the internal workings of Government than we would really like ,especially given the levels of skulduggery , spin , in-fighting , chicanery ,media obsession and sheer incompetence . I would have despaired if I wasn't so busy guffawing like a buffalo chocking on a quaver. The acting is top notch and some of the (semi-improvised) dialogue is priceless., though riotously un-pc .Olly,s rant on the steps of some faceless civil servants monolith about what appeals to the masses-"Sun dried Karaoke "- had me laughing so hard I went light headed and had to lie down for five minutes. It's one of those rare programmes ,like I'm Alan Partridge : Complete BBC Series 1 [1997] [DVD]-which was also headed by Iannucci, with such a rich volley of ideas and consummate verbal dexterity that it rewards repeated viewings.
The extras are fairly insightful with commentaries on all episodes that give useful insights into the creative process .Really though it's an absolute joy , and I must say given some of the events and matters lampooned in the series, a minor miracle the series exists at all. Indeed I would speculate that if this had been up for commissioning at the time of the Ross/Brand farce it wouldn't have seen the light of day at all. As it is the film based on the series In The Loop [DVD] is out and series two is on the way late 2009. I won,t miss it this time round.
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Location: halifax, west yorks

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