Guilty Pleasure: The Thick of It

Available for free on Hulu.com, BBC’s smart and satirical political comedy features the mistakes and misfortunes of the Department of Social Affairs and Citizenship (DoSAC) as it bungles its way through the daily leaks, lies and cover-ups that come alongside running (or is that ruining?) Great Britain and Northern Ireland’s social sector.

Why vote for The Thick of It?

1. Slow & Quick & for the Clever & Dim. Fraught with rapid-fire jibes, schemes and frequent shifts in the political plots, this show is for the very, very sharp but also has gems for those of us who are like me, who miss half the plot during the first watch. If the references to British cultural figures fly over your head, you can always catch the cast’s reactions—they’ll lead you to understanding the misunderstanding. Each episode is full of deer-in-the-headlights looks and gaping jaws and sometimes you even get to see people in suits take off running! Then there’s the verbal abuse, in particular the cursing. These characters implement the most vicious and original swearing I’ve ever heard—hence why, depending on my mood, it becomes more of a guilty pleasure than just a regular pleasure, but I digress.

2. Can’t Be Bothered. When the members of DoSAC inevitably botch or drop a policy or announcement, they, for the most part, don’t care. They scramble to set it (or something) straight at the time, but unless it’s later being used as verbal ammo, they move on. They persist. On one level, that could be seen as completely contemptible, especially since they’re in government, but on another—on the level I’m focusing on—it’s one of the only admirable traits to be found in this lot, and for what it’s worth I do admire it.

I wish I didn’t care so much about screwing up. A lot can be said about failing gracefully. To do so is a quality I believe we all need to embrace as fallible human beings, and I don’t know about anyone else, but for me it’s hard to embrace it. I obsess over my mistakes and lose myself inside them. I allow them to weaken me and probably my work. I just don’t know how to let things go for good. I suppose I could remind myself that screwing up doesn’t mean the end of the world—it doesn’t for DoSAC (per se) and it doesn’t for you or me. At worst we repeat it to learn from it again. At best we learn from it. At the very best we laugh at it.

Though we’re in the thick of it all let’s try our best to shake it off and move on to the next thing, okay? Policy approved?

If distressing yet humorous works speak to you, be sure to leave a comment below. Thanks!

-BP

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