April 17, 2014

Your Next Box Set: The Thick Of It
by James
by James hmv London, Bio "Like the legend of the Phoenix, I've just eaten a whole packet of chocolate HobNobs..." Editor, hmv.com

Your Next Box Set: The Thick Of It

On the lookout for a new box set to spend your evenings devouring? Each week, hmv.com will be recommending you a series that you will have wishing those cold nights would go for a good while longer.

This week we've picked a homegrown favourite, Armando Ianucci's The Thick Of It...


What is it?

Written by Armando Ianucci, the man behind shows like I’m Alan Partridge, Time Trumpet and The Day Today, The Thick Of It is a political satire based around the inner workings of the British government. If that sounds incredibly dull, don’t worry; the show’s entire premise is based on ridiculing the senseless bureaucracy and ineptitude that, if the show is to be believed, seems to permeate every level of political life.

When it first aired in 2005 it was at a time when the previous Labour government’s popularity was firmly on the slide and although the assortment of colourful characters are, purportedly, not based on anyone in particular there is one notable exception in Malcolm Tucker, the cabinet’s chief communications officer, who is widely believed to be (quite obviously) based on Tony Blair’s head spin doctor Alastair Campbell.

Despite the fact that The Thick Of It is clearly a send-up of the whole political scene, there is a truth to its depiction of the corridors of power that even some politicians have described as being pretty accurate.

The show ran for four series between 2005 and 2009, eventually spawning the feature film In The Loop.

The Thick of It
The Thick of It BBC Two

Who’s in it?

The series features a talented cast list that includes among its ranks Chris Addison, Rebecca Front, Miles Jupp and Roger Allum. The real star of the show here though is Peter Capaldi, soon to be strutting his stuff in the next series of Doctor Who, whose character Malcolm Tucker is by far the best thing about the show.

Why should I watch it?

Ianucci is one of our most talented comedy writers and The Thick Of It is packed with razor sharp wit and some of the best dialogue you will see in any comedy series, British or otherwise. The real reason you should watch, however, is Malcolm Tucker. The brutal, ruthless Scot has become something of a national treasure thanks to his trademark expletive-laden rants that make swearing seem like an art form, and one that Tucker has thoroughly mastered. (anybody that can end a phone conversation with the words ‘f*ckity bye’ deserves to be both feared and admired.)

Describe the show in three words…

Biting satirical genius.

Watch the video below to see Malcolm Tucker at his best. But be warned, there is swearing. Lots of swearing...

Best of Malcolm Tucker

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Your Next Box Set