Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Thick Of It S4 Episode 1

Malcolm Tucker making a cameo in Alan Moore's Century 2009 but no appearance at all in The Thick of It S4E1
Its way too early to say that the Thick Of It Season 4 is an "omnishambles" but on the basis of episode 1 the signs are not looking that good that we are in for a classic season from what has been described as "the best comedy ever on British TV." Season 4 still takes place in DoSac but this time under the Tory/LibDem coalition government rather than Labour. The snarling political fixer Malcolm Tucker has thus been exiled from the government and didn't appear at all in episode 1 except in "the scenes from next week" bit at the end. Making an episode of The Thick Of It without Malcolm Tucker is like making an episode of Fawlty Towers without Basil Fawlty. It can be done but it doesn't really work. It's the same reason why Veep doesn't work for me. There's no excitement, menace or fear without Malcolm and terror is the basis for much of the comedy in The Thick Of It and its why Veep seems bland and really rather dull. Having people making cutting and sarcastic remarks at one another is what they do in American sitcoms. The Thick Of It is about sarcasm and really top swearing and shouting done in a scary Glaswegian bark. No, I'm not having it. And I'm not having Glen working for the Tories. How in the name of Budda did that happen?
Watching The Thick Of It on Hulu did not help the experience. I didn't mind the ad breaks, that after all is how you make your money, but the cheerful 1950s style ads for dog food repeated 3 times doesn't gel well with The Thick Of It's audience and that ad in the middle of the show that froze the programme until I clicked the screen to tell you that I was happy with my phone service made me seriously annoyed. The biggest problem with watching The Thick Of It on Hulu was the ever so slight disconnect between the audio track and visual track which got old very quickly. If there's a big disconnect between A&V then you're in Sergio Leone territory and its somehow ok, but if its just slightly off then I'm afraid you're looking at a kind of Uncanny Valley situation and its extremely creepy and difficult to watch. 
The Thick Of It S4 E1 B-
Hulu's presenation C+ (at least they didnt bleep the swearing like the fucking fuckers of BBC America). Oh and speaking of fuckers. Immediately The Thick Of It ended Hulu began playing a horrible show about an English vicar starring the actor who played "the fucker" on The Thick Of It. Sad. Really sad.