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Often overlooked, with a great cast.,
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This review is from: Party Animals: Complete BBC Series 1 [DVD]  (DVD)
Many other reviewers have described the general plot and characters very well, so I won't go over those again in detail. Like many of those other reviewers I caught some of this series when it was shown on BBC2 I believe back in early 2007. In the days before I regularly used iPlayer I missed most of the series, but was impressed with the bits I had seen, in particular Andrew Buchan and Matt Smith as the two brothers at the heart of the political turmoil. Both were convincing as their characters individually and as brothers - both have gone on to highly successful careers in a string of drama series, often in staring roles, many of which I have also enjoyed, like The Fixer, Garrow's Law, Broadchurch and Doctor Who.
With an interest in the world of politics, but disillusioned with many current politicians, I identified closely with Danny's idealism, but also with the dilemmas that Scott faced too. The chaotic private lives of the two main MP's and the behind the scenes treachery of some of the important other characters all rang true of New Labour and the then just about resurgent Tories. Shelley Conn as Ashika the British Asian rising star, torn between what she knows and the possibilities that might be there for her was also a convincing character, as were Patrick Baladi and Raquel Cassidy as the two main MPs. In fact the casting and acting was particularly good throughout.
The writing, filming and music, as well as the great performances by everyone involved, really made this captivating viewing. The mix of down to earth characters and totally out of touch characters felt right and the mix of humour, intrigue and a few high drama moments all made it very addictive - I watched the whole series in three sessions over 3 days. Reflecting at the end, I felt that it wasn't really totally true to life, depicting real events as a drama, although a few real life events are referenced from time to time. It is a very good summary of the various motivations and dilemmas of the people who serve as MPs and their staff, emphasising their human frailties, weaknesses and just occasionally some goodness, but always emphasising that they are just people like us. Overall it is a convincing depiction of the sort of things that almost certainly go on and that sometimes appear in the tabloids and daily news.
If you enjoy people watching type of drama, wondering what various characters are going to do next, or you love the behind the scenes story of the daily lives of politicians then you will probably enjoy this series, and at around £5 for almost 8 hours of drama had to resist!