Jailbird baroque psychedelic folk hero Arthur Lee once sang "I think that ‘people’ are the greatest fun". Well, I’d have to disagree with him there. I don’t think "people" are the greatest fun at all. Perhaps this is why I’ve always liked politicians. Unlike their sneering ne’er-do-well critics they are willing to get their hands dirty to make a difference. The real problem is the public (the aforementioned "people"). Every bit of hypocrisy, doublespeak or dishonesty that a politician partakes in can be traced back to a polling station beatdown from the electorate. If a politician doesn’t tell you the truth it’s because YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH. Politicians who tell the raw unspun truth end up out of office. Ask electorate scum what’s most important to them and I’ll guarantee you you’ll get told "schools and hospitals". But anybody who prioritises them by, say, raising tax ends up on the arse end of a landslide.
"Every bit of hypocrisy, doublespeak or dishonesty that a politician partakes in can be traced back to a polling station beatdown from the electorate."
Such things inform the BBC’s Party Animals, following as it does
MPs, advisors, researchers and lobbyists making their way through the Westminster jungle. Scott Foster (Andrew Buchan) is a lobbyist with Labour blood running through his veins who has chosen pragmatism over principle, for now. He lives with his younger brother Danny (Matt Smith) who works as a researcher for Junior Minister Jo Porter (Raquel Cassidy) who is a lovely little piece of milfy pie but Danny only has eyes for the ambitious vacant lot intern Kirsty MacKenzie (Andrea Riseborough).
“Chief advisor Ashika chiefly advises him on how to make her come like a madwoman as she is fucking the living shit out of him at every opportunity.”
Scott is something of a shagger (not in Aerial Telly‘s league but well on the way) and he sets his sights on Ashika Chandrimani (Shelley Conn), a nice spoonful of brown sugar who spends a refreshing amount of time walking around in Frenchies (an attractive brown girl walking around in her Frenchies is an almost daily occurrence in Casa Aerial which is not to say that he ever tires of the sight). Ashika is the chief advisor to Shadow Minister James Northcote (Neil from The Office and Roger Hurley from Bodies) and she chiefly advises him on how to make her come like a madwoman as she is fucking the living shit out of her married boss at every opportunity. She and Scott dance around each other, acknowledging a mutual attraction without ever acting on it. Scott’s possessive posh girl tabloid political hack fuckbuddy Sophie Montgomery (Clemency Burton-Hill) complicates things further.
"The central relationship between the brothers feels real despite the fact that they don’t even look like they belong to the same species, never mind the same family."
The tone of Party Animals is pitched somewhere between The Thick Of It and This Life and, surprisingly, they make a really nice job of it. The central relationship between the brothers feels real despite the fact that they don’t even look like they belong to the same species, never mind the same family. Raquel Cassidy plays the sussed but stressed party operator Jo excellently and Andrea Riseborough nails the dead-eyed porno stare of the ruthless careerist with chilling accuracy. It’s tightly scripted with a great deal of care taken with the characters’ motivation. People fuck, fight and fall-out for a reason, not just because it causes a bit of drama. That’s old school television screenwriting, blood. We rikee.
The best thing about it: Nice brown girls in their panties. And the devastating political acuity, natch.
The worst thing about it: Is it possible to find two actors who look less alike playing the brothers? I mean, I know that’s the whole point that you wanted to demonstrate the differences between their characters physically so that it’s demonstrably in our faces all the time but this is TAKING THE FUCKING PISS.
The verdict on Party Animals: Sharp, funny and convincing.
Marks out of 10: 8