This is the first show I’ve seen which was written by Nick Mohammed and had before this only ever seen him on 8 out of 10 cats does countdown in dictionary corner. In that segment he’s always pretty funny but I always feel like they tone down the comedians in that section in order to not show up their main guests, and this series has strengthened that idea for me. Nick Mohammed is actually a VERY funny man!
In this series he is an incompetent data analyst for the British government and his world gets turned upside down when an operative from the NSA in the states is assigned as a liaison for his team. This liaison is in the form of none other than David Schwimmer, who I don’t recall seeing in any capacity beyond voice over work since Friends, but it was awesome to see him back on screen. H’e such an expressive actor that he needs to be seen and not just heard.
When he first arrives Nick’s character is a little bit star struck having conversed with him via email in the past. He first meets him in the foyer of the office and you immediately get a sense that he is an egotistical, arrogant, ignorant and thereby (most likely completely unwittingly) very racist. In short David Schwimmer plays what most Brits think of when they think of the stereotypical American. Don’t get me wrong, we know that Americans aren’t like that but it is that common stereotype.
On the other hand this isn’t one sided, the Brits in this show are shown to be idiots…. Bumbling through life and the intelligence service. We are portrayed as being stuck in our ways, miserable, hard, emotionless and always worse at what we do than the Americans…. Again it’s the way we have historically pictured ourselves and the image which comes across from the seemingly cold, reclusive yet eccentric royal family, and as such, even though we can take a joke and I laughed a lot about the portrayal of the Brits in this show, I bet the Americans will find these characters even funnier.
This first series is currently only available on Sky and was limited to 6 episodes, with each one being absolute gold, taking a comedic approach to talking about institutional racism, positive discrimination, cyber crime, political red tape and the stresses of the modern day workplace. All in all it sounds like it would be a bit of a gloomy show, but in fact it’s a hoot throughout and I really hope that they renew it for at least another season…. You get the feeling that they’re hoping for a second season too, so I imagine they’ve got some more great ideas on the way.
Other very funny characters include the emotionless, almost robotic boss, her absolutely incompetent millennial PA, a dirty old woman who is cringe worthy at every turn, the office pervert and the stereotypical hacker who doesn’t fit in to society as a whole and certainly not office life, but who is still loved by everyone!
Full of ridiculous situations and interspersed with a few little subtle references to actual events in British recent history, you need to get on this, but give yourself about 2 and a half spare hours because once you stop you will binge watch this whole mini series in one sitting!