Yes Minister has been a political satire sitcom created by Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn in the United Kingdom. This was first seen at BBC2 from 1980 to 1984 and consisted of three seven-episode episodes. Yes, Prime Minister, a sequel, aired for sixteen episodes between 1986 through 1988. Nearly every single story ends with a variant of the show’s title delivered as the response to a question presented by Minister (later, Prime Minister) Jim Hacker. Many episodes were developed for BBC Radio, and the show became a stage play in 2010, which resulted in a new TV show on Gold in 2013.
The majority of the scenes actually occur in secret venues, including offices and special members’ clubs, because the show is about the insides of the federal government. According to Lynn, “Because the government does not take place in the House of Commons, there has not been a particular scene staged there. There seems to be some diplomacy and a lot of theater going on in there. The government takes place behind closed doors. The main work is done in secret in rehearsal, as it is in all live appearances. The public and the House of Representatives have then presented whatever the administration intends them to see.” Meanwhile, the episode “The Compassionate Society” features an audio clip of Hacker speaking in the House of Representatives from Late last night in Parliament, as well as other chapters that include sequences inside the Foreign Secretary’s House of Commons office. Google Play Movies, Amazon Prime Video, and iTunes all have the show accessible to watch. There really is no show that really is equivalent to Yes Minister, but there are some that respond well to the idea of this series, as well as a listing of series that seem to be related is provided here.
1. The New Statesman
The New Statesman is one British sitcom that satirized the Conservative government of the United Kingdom throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s. Laurence Marks with Maurice Gran wrote it at the request of Rik Mayall’s main character and as a vehicle for him. Alan Hawkshaw’s arrangement of a section of the Promenade from Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition serves as the show’s theme tune. Yorkshire Television produced the show between 1987 and 1992; however, the BBC produced two special episodes, one in 1988 and the other in 1994. The show is available to watch on prime video.
The sitcom was among the most widely praised ITV comedic shows of its time, and it gained a devoted following: the audience’s laughing was so loud and constant that the show overran, and the writers were forced to cut the scripts in order to accommodate. Even though it used dark comedy and forceful slapstick to address all of its themes, it was nonetheless regarded as harsh and cynical. Rik Mayall remarked in response to the audience’s reaction “‘Gosh, isn’t Rik Mayall good-looking?’ people used to say in the first season. However, by the second, they were saying things like, ‘Wow, isn’t Rik Mayall a terrific actor?’ and that was all I wanted.”
2. The Thin Blue Line
The Thin Blue Line, which aired on BBC One from 1995 to 1996, was a British sitcom. The starring Rowan Atkinson, and was written and directed by Ben Elton. The show was popular with viewers, but critics panned it because of “inaccurate personality” and even an “excessively vast plot thread”. It placed at number 34 in a vote for Britain’s Top Sitcom.
In September of 2021, the series became available on BBC iPlayer and amazon prime video. The series takes place in Gasforth, a fictional English town, and is set in a police station. The uniformed squad, headed by Inspector Fowler, and the CID, led by Detective Inspector Grim, clash over identical, if not identical, events while holding opposite opinions or operating protocols, which is one of the show’s primary focuses. The uniformed division, in general, exceeds the investigators, though they aren’t without defects. Other PCs and employees who were not the main characters can be seen in the background, although they rarely interact.
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3. The Thick Of It
This show has already been compared to Yes Minister in the twenty-first century. It focuses on the disputes and battles that exist among politicians, party spin doctors, consultants, public workers, and the media. The governmental people concerned are never named, and the majority of topics discussed in series 1 and 2 are generally generic and non-ideological, akin to Yes Minister. The background makes it obvious that the leading party is Labour, and Mannion’s party is the Conservatives, starting with the Christmas specials, in which shadow DOSAC Secretary Peter Mannion and his staff are presented, but not identified. This trend continues in series 3 and 4 when the program reflects the real-life government coalition between the Conservatives and the Lib Dems.
The plot revolves around the fictional Department of Social Affairs and Citizenship (“DoSAC” – originally known as the Department of Social Affairs, or “DoSA” before episode five’s reshuffle), which allegedly sprang from the prime minister’s transitory interest in “joined-up government.” As a result, it serves as a “super department” that oversees numerous others, akin to the Cabinet Office. This approach, akin to the Department of Administrative Affairs in Yes Minister, allows multiple political subjects to be addressed throughout the program. Hugh Abbot was replaced as head of DoSAC by Nicola Murray (Rebecca Front) for the third season, who enters lacking her personal crew, so Ollie and Glenn find themselves losing their jobs. The Thick of It is available to watch on BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, and Sky, or to purchase episodes on iTunes.
The sitcom follows Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), Vice President and then President of the United States, through her personal life and political career. Her political leanings are never stated, though it is implied in the fourth series finale that she is a Democrat. Meyer, a former United States Senator from Maryland, competes for her party’s presidential candidacy in 2012 and is originally the front-runner, but ultimately loses to Stuart Hughes. Meyer is elected Vice President after joining Hughes’ ticket as his running mate.
Hughes, who isn’t even portrayed on-screen at the start of the series, regularly relegates and ignores Meyer. Meyer gains power and influence in the second season, and by the end of the season, he is seriously considering challenging Hughes for their party’s nomination in the 2016 election. When Hughes resigns abruptly and Meyer launches her presidential campaign at the end of the third season, this becomes moot. In the fourth season, she continues her presidential campaign while adjusting to her new post, both of which are harmed by a number of incidents. After a recount in Nevada fails to change the election’s outcome, Meyer and opponent Bill O’Brien (Brad Leland) face a contingent election in the House of Representatives to determine the next president during the fifth season. Because the House vote is a tie, the winner will be the next president when the Senate votes to pick the Vice President. Meyer’s unhappy Vice President Andrew Doyle (Phil Reeves), who decided not to run for a fixed term, casts the tie-breaking vote for O’Brien’s running partner Laura Montez (Andrea Savage), rather than Meyer’s running mate Tom James (Hugh Laurie), resulting in Montez’s election as president. Veep is currently available on HBO Max.
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5. Absolute Power
Absolute Power is a British comedy series based on the premises of Prentiss McCabe, a fictional public relations firm in London owned by Charles Prentiss (Stephen Fry) and Martin McCabe (John Bird). It premiered on BBC Radio 4 in 2000 and lasted until 2004 when the fourth and final radio series aired. A six-part television series aired on BBC Two in late 2003, and a second six-episode television series aired on BBC Two on Thursdays at 10 p.m. from July 21 to August 25, 2005. On November 3, 2006, a one-off radio episode was broadcast. “Power leads to corruption, and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” writes historian Lord Acton in the book’s title.
While there is only one trainee on the radio show, there are other young professionals working at the firm on the TV show. Jamie Front and Alison Jackman are two of the most renowned. Alison is very intelligent but also too straightforward and literal-minded, whereas Jamie is a fantastic liar and naturally deceitful. Cat Durnford, the young party girl, and Nick Mayer, Charles’s personal assistant, are also members of the firm. The agency focuses on dealing with superstars rather than political strategies, which is uncommon in the radio version. This is depicted as an extraordinary event in the radio episode where McCabe works with an Older Brother participant, but it would be typical behavior in the TV version. In the TV show “The House of Lords,” on the other hand, Charles is taken aback when he is visited by a government spin doctor. The show is now available to watch on Prime Video, VUDU, Apple TV, and Redbox, as well as the Vudu Movie & TV Store.
6. Father Ted
The sitcom depicts the antics of three Irish Roman Catholic priests who stay in such a parish on Craggy Island, an imaginary island near Ireland. Father Ted Crilly, Father Dougal McGuire, and Father Jack Hackett, alongside their housekeeper Mrs. Doyle, live in a tumultuous relationship in Craggy Island’s parochial house.
The three priests report to Bishop Len Brennan, who has sent them to Craggy Island as punishment for various scandals in their earlier days: Ted for allegations of financial inappropriate conduct (evidently that included some extra income “resting” in his record and a kid getting denied a trip to Lourdes so that Ted may go to Las Vegas), Dougal for the “Blackrock Incident” (resulting in “many nuns’ lives [being] irreparably damaged”), and Jack for his alcoholism and womanizing, particularly for an unspecified incident at a wedding in Athlone. The show chronicles the life of the bishops on Craggy Island, occasionally attempting to deal with church affairs, but also sometimes with Father Ted’s plans to either solve issues with the parish or other Craggy Island residents or to outdo his opposition, Father Dick Byrne of the near the area Rugged Island parish, in one-upmanship games. All4, Channel 4’s online on-demand service, has Father Ted available. It’s also available on Amazon Prime, and all three Father Ted series may be purchased on DVD. On BritBox, you can also watch Father Ted.
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