The Thick Of It: The Specials


Reviewed by: Keith Dudhnath

The Thick Of It Specials
"Biting satire, a sharp script and wonderful performances make it a must-see."

The members of the Department of Social Affairs and Citizenship are carrying out the usual government business: jockeying for position and power, trying to score points over rivals and colleagues. This being modern politics, it's all about spin and image.

In many ways, The Thick Of it can be described as a modern Yes, Minister. It bears the comparison well. It's as smart, witty, biting and insightful. Given the myriad ways politics have changed since the Thatcher years, it isn't just a cheap knock-off. Spin, image and in-fighting may always have been a part of Westminster, but they're brought to the fore here.

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The Thick Of It is as timeless as Yes, Minister. The original series focussed on general issues within a Blairite government, but are as apt today, and will continue to be so. However, Chris Langham's involvement in the original series means that although the comedy is as good as it ever was, it's hardly likely to be the sort of thing you'll recommend to Aunty Mavis. These specials, sans Langham, are more focussed on specifics (the Blair/Brown handover), but don't require an in-depth knowledge in order to laugh uncontrollably.

All the actors, without exception, are fantastic. Peter Capaldi as Alistair Camp... sorry, Malcolm Tucker is the stand-out performance – spot-on satire at its finest, while being just a little bit scary, too. Roger Allam as the Tory shadow minister, uncomfortable with having to take his tie off and putting a (motorised) wind turbine on his house, is a great addition to the cast.

The Thick Of It is highly recommended. Biting satire, a sharp script and wonderful performances make it a must-see.

Reviewed on: 15 Apr 2009
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The Thick Of It: The Specials packshot
Biting political satire that survives comparison with Yes, Minister.
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Director: Armando Iannucci

Writer: Armando Iannucci, Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell and Tony Roche

Starring: Peter Capaldi, Chris Addison, Martin Savage, Justin Edwards, Roger Allam, Will Smith

Year: 2008

Runtime: 120 minutes

BBFC: 18 - Age Restricted

Country: UK


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