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Thick of It, The: Seasons 1-4

4.6 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

The Thick of It smashes its way through the corridors of power in a bulldozer of amusing slip-ups and sharp satire. This brilliant and hilarious series chronicles the blunders of the fictitious Department of Social Affairs and Citizenship, a government department barely registering on the national radar. In this Ministry, every announcement is followed by a whirlwind of u-turns, every policy is a scramble and every mishap is met with abuse from the Prime Minister's policy enforcer. Garlanded with rave reviews and packed with awards, this irreverent, brilliant, and painfully funny series is justly seen as a jewel in the BBC's crown.

• Includes Seasons 1-4 and both specials: “The Rise of the Nutters” and “Spinners and Losers”
• Commentary by writer and director, Armando Iannucci
• Deleted scenes and outtakes
• Out of the Thick of It – One 10-minute behind-the-scenes featurette for each episode of Season Three
• Production photo galleries with commentary

Product Details

  • Actors: Various
  • Directors: Various
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 7
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: August 6, 2013
  • Run Time: 748 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00CB8CD7M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,679 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
The British political satire "The Thick of It" wrapped its fourth season in 2012, so this Complete Seasons 1-4 package is a good way to get caught up with this ribald comedy. Created by Armando Iannucci, this sitcom (at times) plays as a fairly conventional workplace comedy driven by awkward moments and uncomfortable blunders. The cast here struggle valiantly to keep their heads above water, maintain a dignity in the most unprofessional situations, and deal with the incompetency of those around them. Here's the thing that separates "The Thick of It," though. This workplace just happens to be in the top offices of the British Government. I have often heard the series described as "The Office" meets "Yes, Minister" which I think is a fair statement. When Iannucci has described the series, however, he has opted to use "Larry Sanders" crossed with "Yes, Minister" as a reference point. So, hopefully, that gives you an idea of the show's tone and humor if you have not been lucky enough to see it. Almost the entire basis for the show is how the staff can spin any occurrence, no matter how tragic or absurd, with the media, the public, and the country's real power brokers.

The show revolves around the fictitious Department of Social Affairs and Citizenship, an all-encompassing oversight branch that participates and advises various other departments within the contemporary British government. Chris Langham plays the hapless minister in charge, and he's surrounded by a diverse staff all looking out for their own best interests. Their contact with the Prime Minister's office is played by Peter Capaldi, known as the Enforcer, in a tremendous performance. Capaldi (his character name is Malcolm Tucker and you won't ever forget it) is one frightening force to be reckoned with!
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Format: DVD
This show can probably be best thought of as "The Office" + "The West Wing" + about a million curse words. It relates goings-on in a minor British government department (Department of Social Affairs and Citizenship, or "DOSAC") as they deal with (usually self-created) crises of one sort or another. While the characters would like to do good, they have no resources and so their main concern on a daily basis is usually to avoid blame for the things they do wrong, specifically to avoid having to deal with Peter Capaldi, the hilariously profane representative of the Prime Minister.

What's good: The language is very funny. Since this is a DVD copy, you can put on subtitles, which trust me are very helpful when characters start insulting each other especially. It's (finally!) on region 1 DVDs; US and Canadian viewers no longer need to convert from U.K. discs.

What's bad: The first episode is comparatively simplistic and obvious. Power through that, and I promise the rest are better. Lots of naughty language; if that is likely to bother you, stay away.

My wife and I discovered this show after watching the movie In The Loop. The issues in the TV show are more provincial, and the insults tend to be more obscure, but if you like one you'll probably like the other.
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Format: DVD
After the detailed review by my fellow Top 100 Amazon Reviewer, K Harris, I can't add much more as I'd be repeating him but - as he said - this is the "real thing" with all the graphic language of the BBC original and hilarious scenes plus LOTS of bonuses - commentaries, specials, etc.

I will say that it is much closer to The Office than any other BBC comedy (like Fawly Towers), especially in the camera technique. When you watch even the first 15 minutes you will recognize the technique: The hand held camera. And, to be honest, that is not for everyone. It jumps and jitters - even more than in The Office, I think - and might give folks a headache (that is if the laughter doesn't take your mind away from it.). So,, while I can heartly recommend the set, I'll suggest that you watch a preview before going for the whole set.

But aside from the above warning, I found the show a great satire on government politics - in a completely different way from the BBC's "House of Cards". Now, let's see how long before US TV makes an American version, as they did for The Office.

I hope you found this review both informative and helpful.

Steve Ramm
"Anything Phonographic"
Comment 13 of 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
You know what, this series is so funny that there's actually very little point in anything else.

It's about what goes on behind the scenes in a British political party, with stories ranging from a new minister's daughter going to a private school rather than a comprehensive (what USA calls public schools) to an aide's girlfriend stealing policy for her own (opposing) boss, to the party having to deal with bolshie members of the public.

Peter Capaldi's MONSTROUS Malcolm Tucker, the scariest, cleverest, most inventively profane man in the entire world, is the Prime Minister's spin-doctor, clearing up messes and scheming and hatcheting, is a total joy. (Fans have had great fun making up lines for him in his new role as Doctor Who, ie: 'Get in the F-ing Tardis, Ron f-ing Waesley's love-child with a f-ing Care-Bear, or I'll eat you, sick you up and grout my f-ing bathroom with you!'). Joanna Scanlan is lovely as the useless civil servant who knows no-one can touch her job, Chris Addison (Ollie Reeder) is the aide trying, on unfeasibly long legs, to catch up (my sis calls him The Claygo Worm).

I throw flowers at the feet of Paul Higgins, who plays Jamie "Shut It!" McDonald, arguably even scarier a Scot than Malcolm Tucker, his boss - younger and more in favour of 'a pub fight' rather than 'Oxford pleasantries'.

Rebecca Front is spot-on as hapless minister Nicola Murray, who gets the job that no-one wants and messes up every step along the way. Malcolm's insults to her are priceless. James Smith plays senior policy adviser Glenn Cullen beautifully, taking a barrage of insults from both Malcolm and Ollie.
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Thick of It, The: Seasons 1-4
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