TV Review: Yes Minister

Posted: December 8, 2009 in Holiday, Reviews
Tags: , , , , , , ,

This is the series title. Look upon it’s works and sort of go “Oh, okay.”

Yes Minister: Party Games (1984 BBC Dir. Peter Whitmore)

Episode title, without which, we wouldn’t know the title of this episode. That’s logic BIATCH!

I’m going to make this short, because the above linked Wikipedia article is already fairly in depth as far as the episode goes and I want a short little review this week. I’ll get to the actual run down of the show in a moment, but what really interests me here is how Christmas Specials often work on the BBC. I might be inaccurate, but I’ve always noticed two kinds of specials. One is like a normal episode of the show, with the plot sort of based around Christmas, and the other uses Christmas as a jumping off point and rarely addresses it again. This is that second kind.

These are for Ho’s and these are for Bro’s. Of course, you’ll have to decide which you give priority to.

What this episode actually represents is a bridge between Yes Minister and Yes, Prime Minister. Having told you that, I’m going to spoil the ending something fierce, since you’ll quickly come to the conclusion that you know how this ends. This was done a lot with specials, as I understand it. Many a series has been launched via the Christmas Special method, or at least given its initial push. Oddly, it would take a full year after the special for the second series to come about, but that’s the BBC for you.

It’s like the human embodiment of smug.

The holiday is actually done away with in the first ten or fifteen minutes of this hour long special, and I mean it’s over after that. We spend about five minutes with our hero, Jim Hacker, signing Christmas cards and what not. There is then a bit at a Christmas party, Jim gets pulled over for drunk driving (but let off because his wife offers to take the wheel) and that’s about it as far as the holiday goes. The rest of the special is like any other episode of Yes Minister, only a bit longer. Well, it does smash the status quo a bit, but all in the good cause of moving the show to a higher level.

So I said to the guy “Wrecked ’em? Damn near killed ’em!”

Sir Humphrey Appleby leaves the fictitious Department of Administrative Affairs to take the role of Cabinet Secretary for the Prime Minister. After he moves, there comes an announcement that the PM will resign and leave a vacancy. Jim worries about the two main candidates for the job, while Humphrey works to get Jim put in the place. It seems that the other two guys aren’t as good for the job as Jim would be. I’m skipping a lot of the show because it’s simply not as much fun to read about the episode as it is to watch it. There is also the plain fact that the Christmas bit passed us by a long time ago. The show bounces back and forth for a bit before someone convinces Jim to take up the candidacy of PM himself. He does, he gets some good publicity by making a tempest in a teacup and the party votes him in. The words “Yes Minister”, spoken to Jim are the last two words spoken in almost every episode of the show. Obviously though, in this one the last three words are “Yes, Prime Minister” and would continue to be for the rest of that show.

And these are the shots the photographer got in Monica Bellucci’s dressing room.

We’ve got two copies of Party Games. We’ve got a UK copy of Yes Minister and an American copy of Yes, Prime Minister. Party Games is a special feature program on both sets. I have no idea if they appear on the two sets I don’t have though. It’s a good show, funny for those people who like political satire. It’s almost never party specific, neither leaning right nor left really. It’s really a story of political survival rather than actually getting anything done. You should maybe check it out, it’s really good although it might seem a bit outdated to some. This is the sort of thing that Alternative Comedy, as exemplified by The Young Ones, helped to kill to a great degree. Of course, that movement petered out and things were swept over again, but that’s just the tides really. Either way, you can get it at Amazon and depending on what you want and if you have a region free player.

I just need you to hold me and tell me I’m pretty.

Official Score:
15 Degrees on the Graffiti Bridge Scale.

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