W1A is the sequel to the hit series Twenty Twelve. It has run two seasons, totaling 8 episodes. It is currently available on Netflix and DVD region 2/PAL.
If you thought the London Olympics was a shambles in Twenty Twelve, just wait until Ian Fletcher (Hugh Bonneville) gets to the BBC. After a much-needed and wildly unsuccessful vacation (with his secretary, ahem), Ian lands a cushy job as Head of Values at the BBC Broadcasting House in the W1A zip code. Unlike with the Olympics, where everyone disagreed with each other, at the BBC, everyone agrees with each other all the time. Ian is discovering this is even worse. Ian finds himself protecting the BBC from allegations of racism and ageism, defending his salary to the media, nudging out an unbelievable dim intern who has made interning his career, and desperately trying to keep on staff Lucy Freeman (Nina Sosanya)–the one competent producer in the whole company–as she tries to wriggle out of broadcasting to chase her dreams. To top off the nightmare, the BBC has hired Olympics Head of Brand Siobhan Sharpe (Jessica Hynes) to redesign the BBC logo.
It’s hard to believe, but W1A is even better than Twenty Twelve. It has many more weaving plotlines than Twenty Twelve ever had, and many more characters to keep track of, but the satire is bang on. It is even occasionally prophetic. For instance, in W1A, everyone is scrambling for the newly created position Head of Better, despite that no one knows what the hell that means. You have to admit that the New York Times‘ Art of Better has a familiar W1A ring to it.
The characters all have their catch phrases. Tracey Pritchard (Monica Dolan) frequently says, “I’m not being funny or anything, but…” while Anna Rampton (Sarah Parish) says, “I don’t want that.” Then of course, Simon Harwood (Jason Watkins) is so agreeable all the time, you kind of want to punch him. Rufus Jones cracks me up as Lucy’s co-producer David Wilkes. And Izzy (Ophelia Lovibond) is adorable as she politely tries to shake off love struck intern Will (Hugh Skinner). David Tennant is back as the documentary narrator, and Siobhan’s PR support (played by Alex Beckett, Sara Pascoe, and Joel Fry) have also returned for the sequel.
Some of the best TV the British has come out with in recent years. A definite recommend.