Sick of politics as usual?


Can’t bear to look at American politics anymore? More sympathetic I could not be. Might I suggest watching these classic British programs about politics as usual instead? Sure, they feature disgusting politicians, but at least they’re ENGLISH disgusting politicians, which means they openly yell at each other in the House of Commons and in general are more fun, and of course, they’re politicians where you want them to be–at least an entire ocean away from you.

Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister

Both of these series ran through the 1980s and feature Paul Eddington as (first) Member of Parliament Jim Hacker and (then) the Prime Minister himself. They also feature Nigel Hawthorne as the entrenched civil service bureaucrat who is there ostensibly to help MP Hacker but in reality is a thorn in his side at every turn. The two series in total only have 39 half-hour episodes, so it’s easily binge-watchable, and endlessly enjoyable. Consider: The 10 Funniest Ever Yes, Minister Moments.

The New Statesman

Oh, my God, someone just suggested this one to me this week, and it is BRILLIANT. It stars comedian Rik Mayall as the contemptible MP Alan B’stard, and it is really, considering it is from the late 1980s, really, saucy. Excellently saucy. And sadly and shockingly timely:

In a way I find this comforting. Not only have jerks who believe people don’t have a right to health care been around for a long time, comedians have also been mocking them for that for a long time.

The Thick of It

Starring Peter Capaldi. I’ve actually not seen this one, but I know it’s about politics. Or, to be more exact and to steal the definition: “Set in the corridors of power and spin, the Minister for Social Affairs, is continually harassed by Number 10’s policy enforcer and dependent on his not-so-reliable team of civil servants.” This one ran from 2005 to 2012, and although I’ve not seen it, I’ve heard a lot about it and Capaldi’s masterful use of profanity therein:

Ah, that felt much better than watching American political news, didn’t it? I thought so. Have a great weekend.

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