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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2004
Any fan of this series is going to want both these boxed sets eventually, so it is a good idea to get them all at once in this 2-pack. This sitcom was brilliantly written, expertly acted and offered some of the most intelligent dialogue you will ever hear on a sitcom (you could study for your SATs listening to Sir Humphrey and Bernard Woolley--and the minister, to a lesser extent). Who says you need scantily-clad women and off color jokes to make great comedy. Three middle aged men talking government did quite nicely.
The first set includes 21 episodes on four discs with photos on the inside of the case. It also offers a touching 47-minute tribute to Nigel Hawthorne. Anyone who has read Hawthorne's autobio Straight Face will recognize some of the people and places featured in this documentary. The second set offers 17 episodes on three discs including the 1-hour Christmas special "Party Games" aired in 1984 showing the political intrigue leading the way for Jim Hacker to become Prime Minister. This set includes a nice 30-minute tribute to Paul Eddington. Other extras are included in this set.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on November 17, 2005
Although this review is officially of Yes Prime Minister, I would be happy to recommend Yes Minister as well (I just haven't seen the DVD version of that latter).
Sir Humphrey Appleby may be the ideal civil-servant, which makes the Right Honourable Jim Hacker look even worse as the most inept MP and PM in history (?!). In the behind-the-scenes doco in the Prime Minister DVD, the writers speak of the fact that Hacker had to win some of the time, and if you're rooting for old Jim, open up "The Key" and you'll see some fine work.
If you love the English language and enjoy phrases like "The person [who is the centre of the current discussion] is the one whom your present interlocutor is the habit of descibing with the perpendicular pronoun." Wow! (by-the-way, that means "It is I" - get it?)
If you're a real fanatic, look for the companion books, which have simulated documents which make the journey even more fun and, unlike the famous Churchill quotation, well worth making more than once!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on March 7, 2004
This is a HILARIOUS sitcom from Britain from the late 1980's-early 1990's. It is full of very sarcastic, cynical humor between the antagonist bureaucrats against [Prime] Minister Hacker, who is only trying to reform Britain in ways he believes would be improvements. It does take some knowledge/appreciation of government--particularly the British--to fully get the most out of the jokes though. Namely, British ministers are assigned cabinet levels as status symbols, not for any particular background in the field, so they are often at the mercy of the "lifers" that staff the ministry--meanwhile, the former are often due to change within a couple of years at most, so the Secretaries tend to just go around them ayways. Second, the British Parliament is much more closed and secretive than the American government. With these in mind, my two favorite jokes come from the first episode "Open Government" on the original "Yes, Minister" disc:
"There are 2 types of chairs for two types of ministers: the kind that are very rigid but fold up, and the kind that are soft and go round-and-round in circles"
and
"He is trying to create an open government"
"That's proposterous! You can either have 'OPENESS' or you can have 'GOVERNMENT'!"
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2007
Sir Nigel Hawthorne seemed to be born with the purpose of playing Sir Humphrey Appleby. When you start watching these shows, it takes no time at all to be hooked. I have been watching them since I was 15 and now my children watch them. They are timeless. All performances are in their own way top rate. But, it was still Sir Humphrey who caught so many people's attention and funny bone, sky rocketing Nigel Hawthorne to fame. The only reason that you would not like these shows is that you had your sense of humour surgically removed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2007
If you're looking for no frills comedy this show delivers. I can't believe I waited so long to give this show a chance- Without question, some of the finest acting you'll ever see. The writing for this show is hands down, the finest ever produced. Comedy dosen't get "smarter" than this. A must have for any Britcom collection.
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on March 13, 2009
I love Yes Minister/Yes Prime Minister. The portrayal of the bureaucratic way the government is run and the antics of the Ministers and Civil servants is priceless. The sad part is that that is exactly the way some governments are run. That's why nothing gets done. Anyway, it is hilarious to watch and fun to see The Minister/Prime Minister beat Humpy at his own game every once in a while.
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on January 5, 2013
Très intéressant, j'avais commencer à voir la série à PBS Il y a quelques années. Je suis fier d'avoir acheté la série de Yes Minister et de Yes, Prime Minister
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on May 12, 2015
One of the best comedy series of all time on both sides of the pond. As funny and watchable today as it was in the '80s.
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on December 15, 2014
Intelligent humor. Great, highly recommended!
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1 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2004
It's amazing that such great series don't include subtitles on the DVD set...
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