THE RISE OF THE NUTTERS

I’m the kind of girl who enjoys – and, indeed, positively engineers – a time lag in her apprehension of most major cultural events. If there’s fuss and column inches, I’ll generally go away, have a cup of tea, and come back later. I think Joe is the same, he’s rather enjoying the elongated anticipation (or delayed disappointment?) of not being able to view the first part of the Red Riding Quartet Trilogy here in Hungary, which aired in Britain last week.

I’ve been watching The Thick of It, which was first broadcast on BBC 4 in 2005. It’s marvellous stuff – close-to-the-bone, Machiavellian, grotesque – and has me thinking that Armando Iannucci makes a better comedy writer in, say, 1985, than 2005. That’s not to dismiss the very noughties Nathan Barley, whose compelling discomfiture – despite a weak and bitty structure – was upstaged by critics’ and commentators’ hilarious offscreen attempts to find a fingerhold in its scree of irony.

Agreeing with the comments elicited by YouTube clips is generally a bad idea, but those attesting to the perfection of this series are pretty close to the mark, I think. Viewing feels very timely and pertinent in current circumstances, too.