My favorite bunch of BBC misfits are back and I honestly couldn't be happier.
Somewhere in central London at New Broadcasting House, the members of the BBC's Way Ahead are discussing the crucial issues of the 2016 charter renewal that will be impacting the corporation. Meanwhile, elsewhere, Siobhan Sharpe's PR company Perfect Curve has merged with PR company FUN, and they decided to launch BBC Me, an online creator platform for BBC viewers to make content for the BBC, as a gift to the BBC. Back at New Broadcasting House, Ian Fletcher (Hugh Bonneville) and the rest of the Way Ahead team need to settle a crisis concerning a cross-dressing ex-footballer who is just too dull for Match of the Day.
Writer John Morton has this uncanny ability to create a program that is so utterly accurate, you question whether he actually is Tony Hall (or he's just a wizard). His show captures brilliantly not only the struggles of office life but also the struggles and idiocy and pure joy of working at the BBC. The apparently absurd antics that befalls the Way Ahead group and their subsequent solutions seem so utterly ridiculous, but sure enough, the real-life BBC will launch the same program two months later. (Remember when we all laughed at Siobhan Sharpe's absurd new BBC logos, then BBC Three launched a logo that was actually designed by Siobhan Sharpe. I can't wait to see what freaky future predictions this new series has to offer us.)
W1A has this wonderful ability to capture so beautifully the awkward and uncomfortable atmosphere that follows every Brit around as they try to navigate through life. You cringe with awkwardness while your crying from laughter when you watch this program because you know you too have experienced the exact tomfoolery that is happening on the screen. It's hilarious and utterly traumatizing at the same time. But what is most comforting about seeing the horrors of your social awkwardness portrayed back to you on screen is knowing that everyone is just as socially awkward and uncomfortable as you are.
Finally, what really makes my heart leap with joy (besides the amazingly catchy theme song - which I am currently dancing to right now) is its vibrant and wacky group of characters, played perfectly by the gorgeous cast. I personally have never worked at the BBC, but I can imagine that every one of these manic characters has walked the halls of New Broadcasting House. And then you can't help but fall in love the ever endearing, if at times criminally authentic, cast. Not one cast member disappoints or lets down Morton's wonderful characters.
I could sing the praises of this program until my voice disappears. Everything about it - the horrendously accurate plot lines, the hilariously charming performances, even the ridiculous narration -brings pure and utter joy to my heart. It's one of the BBC's best programs, and as Huw Fullerton from the Radio Times so wonderfully put it, "it’s the BBC finding better ways of doing more of what they do best by doing less."
W1A airs on BBC Two Monday night at 10