Top positive review
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A lovely pre-Games bonus in Olympic year
on 25 August 2012
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.