Wednesday, April 07, 2010

The Thick of It

The Thick of It is a British television series created by Armando Iannucci (The Day Today, I’m Alan Partridge, Time Trumpet) that satirizes the British government in a sort of fly on the wall documentary. It is often described as a modern-day version of the old sitcom Yes Minister. The script is written by a team of authors including Iannucci himself as well as Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Roger Drew and many more. The sitcom runs for fourteen half-hour episodes, two one-hour specials and lately a film adaptation called In the Loop. The first three episodes, which count for series one, were broadcast on BBC in May 2005. The second series aired in October of the same year with another set of three episodes. The Thick of It won Best New Comedy and Best Comedy Performer at the 2005 British Comedy Awards. Then, it would have to wait until October 2009 for the third series to be broadcast on BBC Two, but this time with no less than eight episodes plus eight concurent webisodes called Out of the Thick, each containing commentary, interviews and deleted scenes.

The Thick of It tells the story and setbacks of the Department of Social Affairs and Citizenship, a sort of fictive ‘Super Department’ that deals with many issues of ‘lower’ common Departments. The first series narrates the story of Hugh Abbot (Chris Langham), the new Minister for Social Affairs. He tries to introduce new policies, which are continiously vetoed by Malcolm Tucker (Peter Capaldi). Mistakes and complications will draw Abbot closer to resignation. Then, series two follows the MP in his attempts to keep his job. The two specials relate the leadership battle that occurs within the party, which threatens the political career of everyone in the department. Finally, in the third series, Hugh Abbot gives way as MP to Nicola Murry (Rebecca Front) who is unexpectedly promoted at the last minute, because everyone else turned the job down.

Actor Peter Capaldi has stated that "Fundamentally 80% of the final cut is the script that we started with. The improvisation just makes it feel more real and not written." And this gives more room for intrusive strong language, which is undeniably the series trademark. His character Malcom Tucker, some might say the figurehead of the sitcom, is really representative of this effect.

The Film adaptation In The Loop tells the story of the President of the USA, the Prime Minister of the UK and their officials dealing with the issue of the war in the Middle East. In 2009, after the movie, the creators discussed the possibility of an American adaptation of the infamous series. However, the pilot of the project was unconvincing and thereafter rejected.

Benoit Baudot and Melinda Mottint

1 comment:

楊偉誠 said...