reprise: September 2004 Archives

If you liked "Yes, Minister," the brilliant BBC series about a newly elected Member of Parliament wandering Alice-like in the Wonderland of a government run by Her Majesty's civil service, then Virgil says rush out and rent the sequel: "Yes, Prime Minister."  It is even funnier.

The first series depicts the antagonistic relationship between Jim Hacker, M.P. (Paul Eddington) and his slithery civil service handler, Sir Humphrey Appleby (Nigel Hawthorne in his prime). Also present is Sir Humphrey's apprentice, the overeducated Bernard Woolley (Derek Fowlds, master of the slow burn).

By the end of the first series, Hacker still doesn't know how to get the better of Sir Humphrey, although he's learning.  You get the feeling that no politician in this system is any match for the careerists whose whole purpose in life is to keep the pols from doing anything that would upset their bureaucratic apple-cart.

In the second series, Hacker is chosen as Prime Minister because the Party cannot decide between two powerful men and sees Hacker as ineffectual and therefore safe.  But such is the satisfying comedy of the thing: Hacker rises to the occasion, and relishing his new power starts giving it back to Sir Humphrey in ways that will make you laugh out loud.

Again, who would have thought so much comedy could be wrested from the spectacle of close associates vying for power?  My political friends tell me that this is what Tip O'Neill really meant by his famous remark, "All politics is local."  The question is, why are we Americans so incapable of seeing the humor of it?

September 8, 2004 8:45 AM |


Me Elsewhere


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This page is a archive of entries in the reprise category from September 2004.

reprise: March 2005 is the next archive.

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About Last Night
Terry Teachout on the arts in New York City
Artful Manager
Andrew Taylor on the business of arts & culture
blog riley
rock culture approximately
critical difference
Laura Collins-Hughes on arts, culture and coverage
Richard Kessler on arts education
Douglas McLennan's blog
Dog Days
Dalouge Smith advocates for the Arts
Art from the American Outback
Life's a Pitch
For immediate release: the arts are marketable
Mind the Gap
No genre is the new genre
Performance Monkey
David Jays on theatre and dance
Plain English
Paul Levy measures the Angles
Real Clear Arts
Judith H. Dobrzynski on Culture
Rockwell Matters
John Rockwell on the arts
Straight Up |
Jan Herman - arts, media & culture with 'tude

Foot in Mouth
Apollinaire Scherr talks about dance
Seeing Things
Tobi Tobias on dance et al...

Jazz Beyond Jazz
Howard Mandel's freelance Urban Improvisation
Focus on New Orleans. Jazz and Other Sounds
Doug Ramsey on Jazz and other matters...

Out There
Jeff Weinstein's Cultural Mixology
Serious Popcorn
Martha Bayles on Film...

classical music
Creative Destruction
Fresh ideas on building arts communities
The Future of Classical Music?
Greg Sandow performs a book-in-progress
On the Record
Exploring Orchestras w/ Henry Fogel
Harvey Sachs on music, and various digressions
Bruce Brubaker on all things Piano
Kyle Gann on music after the fact
Greg Sandow on the future of Classical Music
Slipped Disc
Norman Lebrecht on Shifting Sound Worlds

Jerome Weeks on Books
Quick Study
Scott McLemee on books, ideas & trash-culture ephemera

Drama Queen
Wendy Rosenfield: covering drama, onstage and off
lies like truth
Chloe Veltman on how culture will save the world

Aesthetic Grounds
Public Art, Public Space
Another Bouncing Ball
Regina Hackett takes her Art To Go
John Perreault's art diary
Lee Rosenbaum's Cultural Commentary
Modern Art Notes
Tyler Green's modern & contemporary art blog
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