#1 Posted by RayCarter (237 posts) -
Humphrey, Jim, and Bernard preside in one of the best political comedies ever.

Curious if anyone here has watched this great show. By that I mean the political sitcom from the 1980s. Of course, we can talk about the 2013 re-iteration in this thread as well.

My impressions of the show. At first a friend of mine introduced me to it but I didn't get the jokes back then. But after a couple of years I returned to the show... and loved it to death since then.

For those who don't know what this show is - it is essentially a political sitcom starring actors Paul Eddington- who plays the [eventual Prime] Minister Jim Hacker - and Sir Nigel Hawthorne as Civil Servant Sir Humphrey Appleby. The PM wants to get things done, Humphrey wants to stop him and tries to do so via indirect means (where a lot of the humor comes from). Another character, Bernard, is usually someone who is on both sides depending on the episodes, and he's pretty funny himself. The two usually meet halfway or compromise. It sounds a bit dull, but I urge you to at least take a look at this episode and see if this is your cup-of-tea:


Apologies for not embedding the vid; for some reason I can't do that now.

TL:DR, the show is great because of the brilliant performances of the actors and I love the sophisticated humor.

To those who are familiar with the series, what are your thoughts about the show? If you have watched the reboot, what are your thoughts on that? I didn't watch it and I would love to have your thoughts.

#2 Edited by selfconfessedcynic (2731 posts) -

Yup, it used to be on Australian television when I was like 10-12, and even then I found the couple of episodes I caught very entertaining.

Up there with Dad's Army, Fawlty Towers and Keeping Up Appearances in terms of my early British comedy pleasures. I hope I'm in the mood to some day watch all of those older shows.

Have to admit the tone of this is quite different from the others - but then, I was an odd kid. Have you seen the movie "In The Loop"? It shares much of the same breeding, though is quite modern - based off a similar tv series I have on my to-watch list.

#3 Posted by Jimbo (10216 posts) -
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#4 Edited by Drebin_893 (3008 posts) -

It's fucking amazing, and watching it now it's almost terrifying how relevant the political satire is.

#5 Edited by Laiv162560asse (488 posts) -

I'm a big fan of any political satire, but I was a bit too young to appreciate Yes, Minister at the time and nowadays I feel like it's been surpassed in humour and insight by the Thick of It, which was essentially Yes, Minister for the noughties. It still raises a smile, however.

I was actually really impressed by Veep, which is an American spin on the same humour from the perspective of the office of the vice president. Well, I say it's American, but it's all written by Armando Ianucci and I think it represents his attempt to bring The Thick Of It to the US. I was worried it was going to be neutered, sanitised or dumbed down in some way, but it retains all the bite and ingenuity of his usual stuff.

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It started back up with S2 just a couple of weeks back.

#6 Posted by Snail (8772 posts) -

There's a 2013 re-iteration?! Wow. I hope it's good. I saw quite a handful of episodes of the original.

#7 Edited by RayCarter (237 posts) -

@snail: By Re-iteration I mean with the same characters (Jim, Humphrey, Bernard) but set in today's time. The summary of the more recent version is the following: Handling a failing coalition government , the Eurozone crisis, and Scottish Independence. The first two are happening today (I don't know about the third one).

That being said critics were quite critical of the new series, saying that it couldn't match the quality of its 80s counterpart. That being said, It is quite an unfair comparison. You are comparing a new group to arguably the best performances by the original actors; of course they look like they stink. Still, I'll be waiting to watch the whole reboot once it is uploaded on YouTube before making a final opinion on it.