Top positive review
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"If you spill the beans, you open up a can of worms"
on January 27, 2004
Very enjoyable Brit-com. No gags a la American sitcoms. With the choicest words from the English language. Shows you how the Queen's English ought to be spoken.
My favorite episode: "The Key", where Dorothy advises the PM to clip Humphrey's wings. The dialogue between Sir Humphrey and Sir Frank has to be one of the best examples of how to answer probing questions evasively. Another favorite part of the same episode - Hacker saying (a Shakespeare-inspired) "Thank Me No Thankings, Bernard. Hacker." And Sir Frank back-tracking from his "tremendously able" evaluation of Sir Humphrey's abilities when Hacker dangles the carrot of (part of) Sir Humphrey's job.
The Benji (sheepdog) episode, the Qumrani/Foreign Affairs episode, and the "Tangled Web" episode also rank way up for the way everything is tightly woven together for the inevitable culmination with a "Yes, Prime Minister" from Sir Humphrey Appleby.
Another favorite - the banker speaking in cliches to the PM ("How can you let sleeping dogs lie if you let the cat out of the bag?", the one in the title of this review and two choice others which I will let you savour when you actually watch Sir Desmond Glazebrook speaking to PM Jim Hacker) in the episode about the scandals in the City. And the episode with the cabinet reshuffling, especially the sight of the coughing, cigar-smoking Sports Minister who is later offered (seriously... I'm not kidding... this is Satire) the Health portfolio!
The civil servants' verbiage has the choicest words and is articulated to confuse, I am sure, even the sharpest minds. Arnold is superb when offering Humphrey insight into the working of the well-oiled (?) civil service.
Full of irony; outstanding satire.