Come the fuck in or fuck the fuck off
I say all this now because of The Thick Of It; (hyperbolic suffix alert) without a doubt the greatest ‘piece’ of television since The Office. Here is a show greater in characterisation, dramatic dynamics, dialogue, delivery, and staging than any play I have ever seen (and that includes ‘Guys and Dolls’. Twice.). I’ve never been comfortable using the phrase ‘Pinteresque’ but I’d like to think that’s the right term for large chunks of last night’s episode – the fifth of six in this first series on BBC4 – the silences, the macho head-games, the sheer passive-agressive brutality of the political world the characters inhabit is at once utterly believable and entirely shocking.
The premise, in case you’re like, some kind of idiot who hasn’t even bought a freeview box yet even though they only cost £20, is ‘Yes Minister meets The Office’ only about a million times more original than that, with the bonus of the greatest swearing you have ever heard. ‘Come the fuck in or fuck the fuck off’ was just one of many inspired lines in last night’s episode.
I am fast coming round to the idea that Armando Iannucci might be the really talented one out of Mssrs Iannucci and Chris 'Nathan Barley' Morris. Iannucci is the show’s writer/creator, and his plotting and ‘message’ (politicians are corrupt wankers, but not nearly as corrupt or unpleasant as their advisors) are impeccable, but it’s really all about the detail – an askance look here, a stunning neologism there, and a talent for creative use of profanities that is only matched by Shakespeare’s for killing off his protagonists.
...and the acting, my god the acting. I could go on. But I won’t anymore. Just click the link up top and watch the goddamn thing will you?