If you’re into classy idealistic portrayals of politics like “The West Wing,” you may be surprised by BBC America’s third season of “The Thick of It,” which is the exact opposite in bureaucratic entertainment. BBC Four’s Award winning show is a no-holds-barred, satirical romp exploring the inner debacles of British government. It’s “so funny it hurts, so savage it’s scary” popularity spawned the 2009 spin-off film “In the Loop,” which also covers civil servants and their constant battle with the British media circus. HBO is shortly premiering new show “Veep,” which is loosely based on the series.
Described by creator Armando Iannucci as the 21st century’s answer to “Yes Minister” meets “Larry Sanders,” the show’s material has a healthy dose of authenticity thanks to a few of the creators’ former work in government. The show is shot with hand-held cameras, giving it a slight documentary vibe, not unlike “The Office,” and has no accompanying music or a laughter track, to add to its realistic style.
The quirky, slightly highbrow Nicola Murray (Rebecca Front) has been thrown into the fray as one of the last choices for Secretary of State for Social Affairs after her colleague is ousted during a reshuffle at 10 Downing Street, and she doesn’t start off on a pleasant footing with a viral media stunt that goes completely awry. She and the rest of the team take a pounding from savage Scot Head of Communications Malcolm Tucker (Peter Capaldi) on a daily basis as hilarity undoubtedly ensues. With all of the team’s gaffs, it’s no wonder this incompetent team is appointed the newest show in the Ministry of Laughs.