The West Wing had a golden glowing niceness, reassuring competence, and reverence for the US constitution, but no satire.
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This one, as is not rare for me, went a bit astray, but the central idea was that the British have what I think is a healthy cynicism, which shows up in the satires it produces. The comedies have bite. They say things about the real world. As a side-note, I could add that I didn't find The Thick Of It very funny, because its humour relied too much on cruelty and embarrassment. I'm still glad, though, to live in a country which makes that sort of sharp comedy. The lighting of The Thick Of It was harsh, white, and unforgiving, in great contrast with the soft warm glow of The West Wing. There is a place for cosy reassurance, but I don't think that political comedy is it.
Thanks to the people who wrote in to point out that Armando Ianucci also created a show called 'Veep' set in the world of American national politics. I had never seen it, and have now given it a look. It was made by a largely British team - the writers, producer, director and others were British. It is sort of the exception that proves the rule - the only American political programme with a healthy cynicism about national politics, is a copy of a British series, and made by British people.
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Tagged under: The west wing, minister,minister, loop, thick ,house cards,prime minister,paul eddington,nigel hawthorne,bartlett,cynicism,politics,elections,unelected,whitehall,mandarin,spin doctors,civil servants
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