This show, a TV series, is an absolute must. It shows how politicians and the press interact. And it's blood on the carpet time in what is a very vicious world..the perfect carnage which happens when you mix cynical politicians and scandal-seeking journalists. Real politics.
This is the award-winning series 'The Thick of It.'
Scene one in this episode shows the young, inexperienced and newly-appointed Social Affairs minister on her way to work. The car stops to pick up a male colleague who seems rather scathing. The car stops to drop him off. Cut to her offices and her advisors. She arrives, and finds out that someone in the ministry has accidentally deleted the last six month's worth of immigration figures from the database. Major problem. As if that wasn't bad enough, she also has a meeting with journalists from The Guardian, the well-known quality British daily with a reputation for being very hard on politicians...
And that's when she hears that the guy in the car is on his way..........and things start getting bad. Very bad indeed.
His name is Malcolm Tucker, he's Scottish, and he is feared and dreaded by all. That means all. Ministers, the press, staff, everyone.
That's because Tucker is the Prime Minister's personal enforcer and Government Communications Director, and, as such, his office is at 10 Downing Street, he is omnipotent, he is GOD. When news comes of his arrival anywhere people scurry for cover and tremble at the knees. Smears, threats, blackmail, bad language and aggressive sarcasm are his weapons of choice, and he does not take prisoners. He will stoop to anything to get his way. He is hated and he is a furious ball of vituperative energy.
For example, a secretary asks him if he knows how to clear a paper jam in a photocopier. His sardonic reply is "I don't know - kill a kid an hour till it sorts itself out?" That answer is delivered with a perfect mix of withering sarcasm and dark humor.
But he is hilarious! Although he's the star of the show they are all excellent actors and characters. The series is very fast-paced and filmed in a realistic hand-held camera manner.
The Thick of It is extremely funny, sad, and even tear-jerking at times, and it is totally riveting for many British viewers. I would be interested to know what you guys over the pond think of it.
But whatever you think of it, it will change your ideas on how politics works forever, that much is certain. Enjoy.
(Each episode is half-an-hour long and they are divided into three 10-minute parts. This is the first of them.)