Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Yes Minister/Yes Prime Minister 2-Pak|
Actors: Paul Eddington, Nigel Hawthorne, Derek Fowlds
Director: Peter Whitmore (II)
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Television
Named to the Top Ten TV programs of all time by the British Film Institute, these brilliantly observed comedies of manners pit the well-meaning Jim Hacker, Cabinet Minister and then Prime Minister, against the machinations... more »
Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes Minister
Dr. S. J. Sidhva | Bombay, India | 09/02/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Believe-it-or-not, humour without vulgarity, popularity without beautiful people or nudity.
This great British comedy serial is possibly the single best TV serial of all time.
The performances by Paul Eddington (as the bumbling, bumptious but likeable Minister & then Prime Minister), Derek Fowlds (as his very likeable Private Secretary), and of course Nigel Hawthorne (as the supercilious, conniving & of course hugely entertaining Permanent Secretary) were all outstanding. It was unfair in the extreme, incidentally, that only two of the three (Eddington & Hawthorne) were awarded OBE's for their performances, but poor Derek Fowlds wasn't.
The scriptwriters excelled themselves, producing an absolutely fascinating insight into the world of British beuraucracy, yet managing a laugh a second.
The production values were outstanding, as was the supporting cast.
Even twentyfive years later, this serial remains entirely up-to-date, and could well have been written just last month.
All-in-all, a rare gem, and a must-have for any DVD collection."
Hilarious and Depressing at the Same Time
givbatam3 | REHOVOT Israel | 09/14/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When the creators of the show, Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynne
came up with the idea for "Yes, Minister" in the 1970's, they
wondered whether a comedy consisting entirely of "elderly men sitting around talking about government" would go over with the viewers. In fact they created one of the greatest comedy programs of all time. Of course, the casting was a major factor, and they had the good luck to come up with such a magnificent cast. What is interesting is that for Nigel Hawthorne (Sir Humphrey Appleby), this was his first real success in the world of acting although he was around 50 years of age at the time, so this program's creators saw the potential in him that so many others missed. It is absolutely amazing how he is able to memorize and recite with a straight face so many unbelievably long and convoluted sentences that are one of the trademarks of this show. Paul Eddington (Jim Hacker) was, on the other hand a well known actor, and he is able to go from being befuddled to well-meaning to conniving in a single episode.
Derek Fowlds (Bernard Wooley-a funny name) is also good as Hacker's personal secretary.
I mention in the title that the program is depressing because one sees how politicians take the public's tax money and use it to pay off other politicians in order to thwart the best interests of those taxpayers. In one of the supplements to the DVD discs there are interviews with real British politicians of the 1970's and 1980's and they say that the program does reflect much of the reality of politics, but it is not quite a cynical as is reflected in the show. In any event, if viewers develop
a better understanding of politics and it motivates them to get involved to keep the politicians on the level, then the world is not getting just entertainment from this series.
There may be some confusion in the program for people who are not British because of the lingo peculiar to British Politics (e.g. repeated references to "Number 10" which means the Prime Minister's Office) or various historical events or personalities in British political history which the viewer may be unaware of.
My favorite line is stated by a character who had been an MP in the House of Commons and was given a peerage so he moved over to the House of Lords. When asked what he thought of the change, he replied "I've gone from the animals to the vegetables!".
A classic set of gems in British comedy
J. Courtright | Normal, IL USA | 07/03/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you weren't around when these programs were on A&E in the mid-1980s, you are in for a treat. Here you have two incredibly savvy actors, Nigel Hawthorne and Paul Eddington, playing foils to each other as the two series poke fun at the foibles of parliamentary democracy--or, given what we supposedly learn about the civil service, is it a democracy at all? Most of the "Yes, Minister" series was new to me, and the episodes are just as delightful as those in the "Yes, Prime Minister" series to come. Just watching Hawthorne as Sir Humphrey Appelby manipulate situations with the most verbose command of bureaucratese is priceless. His machinations make the moments when his minister, Jim Hacker (Eddington), gets the better of him that much more satisfying. Add to this mix the wonderfully dry and sardonic Derek Fowles as the minister's private secretary, Bernard (who has to be loyal to both men at the same time!), and you have two sets of DVDs you'll want to watch again and again. If you're tired of seeing repeats of the same old Brit-Coms on your local PBS station these days, this complete pairing is a must. Stellar television!"