TV Review: W1A (Series 2)

Something doesn’t quite click right with Series 2 of W1A, as it struggles to live up to what has gone before though still remaining quite gently funny

“I don’t want to be dramatic about it, and I mean we all love Sue Barker, but I’ve to to say we are looking at a situation here”

I’ve loved going back to watch Twenty Twelve and my memories of the shift to W1A were that it was just as good, if not better. I’d definitely say that about the first series but having just gone through series 2, I found myself just a little disappointed. The bar having been raised so high, it feels like this collection of four episodes just doesn’t have the same zing that really grabs your attention.

In many respects, nothing has really changed. There’s still much comic currency in the exposure of the labyrinthine bureaucracy of the BBC and the determination of any middle-to-senior manager to avoid actually making a decision. But there’s also a slight sense of familiar ground being retrodden that dulls the edge – I mean once again any and every female is falling at the feet of Ian Fletcher, really?

From royal visits to ripping the piss out of Jeremy Clarkson (absence really doesn’t make this heart grow fonder), the wackier edges of the show’s humour are what works the best. The constant and over-deliberate BBC-laced jokes don’t quite land so well, elements like the paths to unearned promotions and over-zealous syncing software too often feeling like Beeb injokes than any kind of relatable office humour.

That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy this series of W1A, but rather to admit that I found my attention wandering in a way it never has done before whilst watching a John Morton show. 

Watch W1A on BBC iPlayer here

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