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'The Thick of It': the Most Perfectly Obscene TV Show Ever

If you were to make a chart of British influence upon the United States, a start at around 100 percent on the morning of Lexington and Concord would drift relentlessly towards the bottom right corner over time, except in one regard — television. From American Idol to The Office to Trading Spaces to Prime Suspect to America’s Got Talent to Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, our appetite for concepts coined in London remains positively colonial.

As some sort of sop to national pride, these efforts are made over in our own image of course, with new performers, writers, and creators (occasional hold-over viceroys like Simon Cowell and Piers Morgan slip in). And, in a fair segment of opinion, including my own, these transatlantic imitations generally result in as satisfactory a replication of entertainment quality as New London, Connecticut’s replication of its namesake’s urban charms.

HBO’s Veep, which ran last Spring on HBO, took an unusual and encouraging tack for one of these import remakes, in retaining both the creator and several of the writers of its UK predecessor, and it proved surprisingly seaworthy. That being said, it is, of course, Not As Good As The Original. Veep is reliably entertaining; the original series, The Thick of It is hilarious. And now advancing into its fourth season on Hulu. READ MORE