The Secretary of State for Social Affairs is having a meeting
with Number Ten's Chief Political Advisor. There have been
press rumours that the Minister is to be sacked. The Minister
is told that none of these stories have come from Number Ten.
However, now they're out there, Number Ten would look weak
not to sack him. So he's sacked. His replacement as Minister
for Social Affairs takes office. And so starts The Thick
on your point of view The Thick of It is either a cutting
edge comedy series that breaks the boundaries of the genre,
or a lazy attempt to cross Yes
Minister with The Office. Sadly, I have to say
that I lean more towards the later opinion. When The Office
was first broadcast, it's fake documentary feel was seen as
something new and different, sadly it means that it dates
The Thick of It straight away.
much swearing does not a funny comedy series make, and this
is part of the problem with this show. At times it looks as
though the writers' didn't really know how to get themselves
out of situations, and when this was the case a huge swearathon
ensues - which always brings in a big laugh from the low brows.
you sit down and take each episode apart there is really very
little comedy in there. The majority of the gags are from
the characters' total lack of respect for anything other than
their job. There are no likeable characters here - they would
all sell their own mother's to get ahead and it's really quite
frightening when you analyse it.
apparently loosely based on Alistair Campbell is wonderfully
played by Peter Capaldi. He scared the life out of me. Although,
this could be partly down to the fact that I used to work
for a Scottish publisher who was very similar, in looks and
personality, to Malcolm.
this DVD comes into its own is the quality of the extras.
Armando Iannucci provides audio commentary on all the episodes
(apart from one where he is absent as he has gone for "a
little bath") and is joined by various crew and cast
members. Actually the one episode where he is absent is the
weakest - there's something about Iannucci's chatter that
compels you to listen. It was interesting to hear that the
majority of the episodes were filmed in an old brewery which
also provided the backdrop for scenes in the old 1969 Doctor
Who Invasion episodes as well as the movie Batman
DVD also sees the first photo gallery collection that finally
does something different - with two out of the three galleries
having cast and crew audio commentaries. Other extras include
deleted scenes for all episodes and a 20 min featurette entitled
From Script to Screen.
was also a little disturbing to see Iannucci wearing brown
loafers and casual clothes. I always imagine him in a suit
(thanks to The Saturday / Friday Night Armistice) and
seeing him here dressed like a guy who shops in Mark One was
a little scary. Not that that has anything to do with this
DVD at all.
audio commentaries wisely never even come close to mentioning
Langham's impending court case, but watching these episodes
in hindsight raises the odd eyebrow. There is a scene where
Langham blasts the actress in the focus group, saying: "You
made up small children? That's sick!" Which takes on
a whole new meaning.
this show won't be to everyone's taste, those that saw the
show on TV will get quite a lot out of the extras. While it
sounds like I didn't enjoy this series very much, I actually
did find it entertaining. It's just that a lot of it is (intentionally)
very uncomfortable to watch.