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I have recently discovered that Hugh Laurie and David Strathairn will be locked in a room together in a future episode of House. Actually, maybe I should word that statement like this: two of the three amazingly talented over-fifty actors with great big soulful eyes that I lust after like there's no tomorrow are going to be shoved in a room together for an episode of House. Squee!

I watched the first episode of series three of Skins. Sadly, I didn't find the new crowd particularly endearing. Worst bit was the writers having Cook, who is like an annoying cross between Tony and Chris minus their redeeming features, torching Sid's old locker. Not exactly the best move if the writers want me to like this guy, or not be at all bitter about their being no more Sid. I haven't given up of the idea of watching series three, but it may take some time.

What I have been successfully watching the show for which Margaret Thatcher allegedly wrote fanfic: Yes, Minister. Of course, I spent the entire time comparing and contrasting it with The Thick of It. Given the very similar set-ups of the two shows its hard not too.

It's actually quite fascinating not only comparing the political changes (Yes, Minster's all about the minister vs. the civil service with the media not that much of a focus, whereas TTOI is more the minister vs. the spin doctor/PM's all-powerful enforcer with the media having the characters constantly under siege, sometimes literally) but also how sitcoms have changed over the years (the very scripted, studio, Yes, Minister which could almost be a radio play and sticks to the genre, vs TTOI which tries to appear as unscripted as possible, with roaming camera work which allows for more visual humour and occasionally breaks out of it's genre and takes a turn for the dramatic).

Really, the best points of comparison are Party Games and Spinners and Losers in which both shows take on the storyline of the PM resigning and the search for a successor, which with Yes, Minister is carefully orchestrated and takes place over the course of a week or so, whereas in the latter TTOI episode it takes place over the course of one night and has the characters running around like headless chickens trying to correct or take advantage of the heir apparent's 'wobble' in support.

Comparisons aside, Yes, Minister, is freaking hilarious, and age doesn't seem to have affected it much at all. I haven't got around to watching Yes, Prime Minister yet though. I've actually just started on the first series of Star Trek: DS9.

Oh, and if there was an epic show down between Sir Humphrey and Malcolm Tucker, my money would be on Malcolm. Not just because he's far nastier (I'm sure Sir Humphrey would not take well to being shoved into a wall by an oxbridge-detesting Scot and instructed that if he doesn't do x immediately, he will have his balls chopped off and then preserved in a jar to be displayed in the lobby as an example for the rest of the civil service), but because Malcolm doesn't explain his schemes to underlings (it actually makes for far more compelling viewing that way as well).

Date: 2010-03-03 07:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
b) I adore Yes, Minister (and Yes, Prime Minister) and have never even heard of The Thick of It, but now, obviously, I will need to get my hands on it pronto.

Date: 2010-03-03 08:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
OMG, you have to check out The Thick of It. It's brilliant. Not only is it my favourite show, it's also my number one fandom at the moment. Have you seen the movie In the Loop? That's a spin off of the show and a couple of the characters (chiefly magnificent bastard Malcolm Tucker) are carried over from the show.

There's a trailer for the third series here ( if you want an idea of what it's like.

Date: 2010-03-03 06:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes Minister is one of those timeless comedies that is still amazingly relevant to this day/ Particularly one episode, (I forget if it's yes minister or yes prime minister,) talking about how polls are done, where Humphrey by asking specific questions gets someone to both say yes and no to the same issue, to fit different polls. Really clever.

I suppose one reason is because it is never specific about which party it is. Whereas while I do like the thick of it, it's always been clear the government's labour and *really* clear the opposition are the tories.

Date: 2010-03-03 08:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That episode must be Yes, PM, because I haven't seen it. Ah, polling though, it's so dodgy. I've seen referenda in the past in which the question was worded to get a certain answer as well.

I dunno about the party not being obvious, with Jim's manifesto and obsession being the cutting down of government departments and expenditures, that's a pretty common promise for right wing parties to make. But, you're right, in TTOI it is far more obvious which party is which.

Date: 2010-03-03 07:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
God, when I found out about David Straithairn's coming guest role I was renewed in my disappointment that House is no longer worth watching, because that'd have been epically awesome if the show was any good. It'll still probably be decent, but I don't expect it to be used smartly.

I've seen some Cook clips and found him a bit annoying, but that makes me super sad. Honestly, the thing keeping me from watching it most isn't even loyalty, but Effy being at the center of a love triangle. It's fucking Effy. She is so beyond your petty romantic complications.

Date: 2010-03-03 08:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah, House's glory days are well since past. There's usually a couple of episodes a season that are up there with the first and second series, I'm hoping that it's going to be one of them. Hugh Laurie's apparently directing that episode, so it may be different.

That's one of the things I'm dreading, what they've apparently done with Effy's character. They should have kept her on the periphery, stepping in once a series and being fantastically Effy. There are some characters for which less is more, she's one of them.

Date: 2010-03-03 08:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I don't mind so much Effy being central -- I'm actually pretty happy with that in theory, but I guess it depends how it works when I see it -- as I am with the story they apparently gave her. She should be the one orchestrating other people's love triangles to a neat conclusion, damn it, and keeping any and all men at bay with one passively unenchanted glare. At the heart of it, I don't see her as interested in committing at this point in her life, and I especially don't see her having trouble letting go of a guy she doesn't feel is right for her.

Date: 2010-03-04 12:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hmm, I see the problem there being that Effy proved herself so awesome at fixing the older gang's problems, she's have to lose her touch a bit to drag the drama out for more than an episode.

I don't see her as interested in committing at this point in her life.

Neither. I can understand the writers wanting to have Effy move away from being an observer and join humanity, but I don't think it would happen when she's still a teenager, more like when she's in her thirties maybe, and it'd take someone far more interesting than any of the other characters on the show to entice her to make that move.

Date: 2010-03-04 07:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"she's have to lose her touch a bit to drag the drama out for more than an episode."

True, true. I think that's more of the way of approaching her character now that she's a main than a fundamental problem of her being a main character. But maybe that's just 'cause I have a specific omg has her shit together (on that front) vision of her. She has vulnerabilities, but I don't believe she's the type of person where those vulnerabilities would cripple her into ineptitude/indecisiveness. Pulling away completely and going about her business away from everything else, sure.

Date: 2010-03-04 12:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I agree about Cook. Also Freddie sort of reminds me of Sid which is why I probably like him a little bit. :)

Hmmm... which should I start with first Yes, Minister or Yes, Prime Minister?

Date: 2010-03-04 12:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Freddie hasn't caught my attention yet, apart from his quite awesome skateboarding.

Yes, Prime Minister follows on from Yes, Minister, so it's probably best if you start with Yes, Minister first.


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