A follow-up to the very successful Twenty Twelve, W1A sees Ian Fletcher move to the post of Head of Values at the BBC in another satire that deftly mocks the language of PR, the mannerisms of management and the foibles of office life. The use of the BBC’s real offices in New Broadcasting House (and a frenetic diversion into Old Broadcasting House in one episode), along with BBC personalities appearing as themselves, gives the show’s mock-documentary approach just the right look. But what really matters is the substance underneath, which is a set of scripts that many BBC staffers have described as being deliciously close to reality.
For me, it’s not quite five-star material as the office politics are all a little too straight forward for full farce value, and Ian Fletcher finds it just a little too easy to come out on top when he puts his mind to it. But there’s still a lot of laughs to be had.
The short documentary included in the extras in which the show’s characters interview their real life equivalents is also well worth a watch; definitely a cut above many DVD extras in terms of enlightenment and entertainment.
If you like this, you might also be interested in John Finnemore’s Souvenir Programme.
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