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"The Thick of It" (Series 4 Episode 1)
"The Thick of It" is a political satire for the modern age. It is a common place that it is an update of "Yes, Minister!" but with spin doctors instead of civil servants. I saw one of the earliest episodes and couldn't see anything funny about it. Since then it has won many awards and when it is mentioned in the media it always receives praise. When I saw that a new series was about to start I thought I'd give it another chance. In this series there is a coalition government. In this episode junior members of the department come up with an IT policy. It is decided that the minister, rather than the originators, should announce the policy. Not knowing much about IT the minister makes a mess of the announcement and in the process insults a school student. In an attempt to save the policy another meeting is set up. This meeting is also a disaster and the policy is dropped. The originators of the policy have been sent away to draw up list of staff redundancies. My problem with all this is that it does not make me laugh. It does not make me smile: not even inwardly. It is not funny. If this is anything like reality it is depressing not funny. The characters are a bunch of unsympathetic unpleasant losers. The question is, "Does it resemble reality?" Having failed as a comedy is it realistic enough to pass as a tragedy. One of its other failings is its separation of spin doctors and politicians. On of the few things our politicians are good at is spinning. Spin doctors do not create spin they are there are to "make well" the politician's own spin. In this episode a politician is sent out woefully unprepared. A politician, being a spinner himself would not allow this to happen. The other failure of reality is the handling of redundancies. You do not simple make a list of people to make redundant. Someone comes up with a management structure with fewer people. You then fit the appropriate people to each role and anyone left is made redundant. But, the biggest problem of all is, it isn't funny. There are some comedy programmes I can see are funny, but they are not my kind of humour. This is not one of them. It just is not funny.
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