Saturday, 24 October 2009

Tucker's (bad) luck:The Thick of It returns

'You were a relatively late appointment which didn't give me the time to fuck the I's and fist the T's.' - Malcolm Tucker (pictured right)

MALCOLM Tucker, superbly played by Peter Capaldi, is back bullying junior ministers in the era-defining political comedy The Thick of It.
This time Nicola Murray played by Rebecca Front, the incoming social affairs secretary, is the one dropping a whole heap of cack on Malcolm's lap.
In a hasty reshuffle she gets the social affairs portfolio despite the fact that her and her husband have potentially devastating links to a prison private finance initiative and a daughter who is going to a private-fee paying school.
Her appointment is indicative of the collapsing Government, once a highly functioning control freak with a vice-like grip on the news, it's now not taking care of the simplest of media vetting.
It's always good to see the self serving, back stabbing, neurotic spin team of Olly, Glenn and Terri who are cowed and bullied by Malcolm. While their incompetency was once not a problem for the Government - now they are implicit in its hasty implosion.
After the feature film spin-off In The Loop, reviewed here some months back, creator Armando Ianucci chose to build this, the first show of the third and final series, around an old fashioned sight gag.
In perhaps the greatest gag of any of the three series - a complicated set up saw Murray answer questions about her 'corruption' while doing a photo op where she is manoeuvred over the phone by hapless spin doctors to stand in front of a sign bearing the phrase 'I am Bent'.
It was tremendous to see such an old fashioned gag unravel.
It also said much about the cynicism of modern political discourse in the media. As Malcolm said in the show's sign-off 'Right, I'm away to wipe my arse on pictures of Nick Robinson, I 'm getting good at giving him a quiff.'

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