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Why You Should Watch: The Thick of It

Updated on August 25, 2014
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As a massive fan of comedy, I recommend this show wholeheartedly. It has the mockumentary style of the original British show The Office while spoofing the gritty, sometimes dark, underground and informative world of British politics. This show is worth watching for the writing that goes in, minimalistic look of the show, the acting, and the casting.

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The Style

The way this show is filmed puts the perfect frame around the inner workings of British government. It is always on the move, sometimes frantic, unexpected, and full of hilarious moments that would otherwise go unnoticed. This is because the shooting focuses on the scene, everyone included, and not just the things that are deemed most important. This welcomes the audience to focus on whoever they choose, allowing the ensemble to create even more comedic moments without pulling focus, adding depth. This type of shooting style also makes the production of the show look almost effortless, like you could have filmed this in any political office and it would have been just as hysterical. It gives the successful appearance that these people are simply just living their lives, and the cameras are for us to have an insight into this world, much like reality television, but self aware enough disturb the core of what makes this funny.

It may seem like this would be an obvious observation, but some shows that attempt this kind of spoof-reality TV can be scattered or disingenuous. The Thick of It has the advantage of rehearsed scripts and blocking with the natural acting and locations of true government workers. This show gives the illusion of reality, focusing on the leaders of opposing governmental forces. Not just a bunch of character types thrown in a room while chaos happens around them. These characters not only create these problems, but they have to dig and search and beg for the solutions to them. Some issues carry over into the next few episodes, adding the element of public opinions, news reports, and protests which reflect true political unrest and complication. As government workers they have to adapt to fit the needs of the people. You want to root for these characters but sometimes what they are doing is wrong but they have to make it look like the are doing it for the right reasons, which is the satiric twist on what they are working for.

The Writing

This show highlights the importance of making the writing sound natural. The mockumentary style of television has been utilized greatly in the last few years, but The Thick of It does not include the direct-to-camera confessionals popular on shows like The Office and Modern Family. The reason for that is simply because in this world nothing remains a secret for very long. All the characters speak their minds and make it known to everyone around them, creating even funnier moments due to subtle reactions from surrounding people. These characters have sincere depth and become true sources of comedy because of their flaws and their range of successes amongst all their mistakes and trip-ups, which manifests itself in satire and sarcasm. The Thick of It illustrates each character's insecurities, background stories, and daily frustrations, which are massively amplified by their surroundings. The political world never stops moving, and the best moments come from the characters trying to pick up the pieces from one disaster to the other in their own personal ways.

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Casting

It may seem like this would be an obvious observation, but some shows that attempt this kind of spoof-reality TV can be scattered or disingenuous. The Thick of It has the advantage of rehearsed scripts and blocking with the natural acting and locations of true government workers. This show gives the illusion of reality, with real people, with real problems. Not just a bunch of character types thrown in a room while chaos happens around them. These characters not only create these problems, but they have to dig and search and beg for the solutions to them. Some issues carry over into the next few episodes, adding the element of public opinions, news reports, and protests which reflect true political unrest and complication. As government workers they have to adapt to fit the needs of the people. You want to root for these characters but sometimes what they are doing is wrong but they have to make it look like the are doing it for the right reasons, which is the satiric twist on what they are working for.

The Language

The last reason I believe this is worth watching is because of the nicknames and the insults given by the characters. Plain and simple. If you have ever seen the show Veep, it is similar to that, as both Veep and The Thick of It were created by Armando Iannucci. These backhanded compliments are some of the funniest moments of the episodes, and if I'm being honest, I think British obscenities are some of the funniest and most inventive things I have ever heard. I have always felt this way. The massive array of word combinations and sarcastic put-downs make me fall of the floor out of breath from laughing. This show is meant for mature audience and for good reason, they swear constantly, so I recommend this to people who are not afraid of such language.

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