I love mockumentaries. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say they are probably one of my favorite things ever (aside from cupcakes and Harry Potter, of course). From The Office to Parks and Recreation, mockumentaries will always make me laugh regardless of how utterly stupid they are. But W1A combines all of my favorite things - mockumentary, British humor, and the BBC- making this series one of my forever favorites.
W1A spawned following the success of its prequel show, Twenty-Twelve, a show about a documentary crew following the Olympic's Deliverance Commission as they prepare for the 2012 summer Olympics in London. W1A begins two after the London Olympics and follows Ian Fletcher (Hugh Bonneville), head of the Olympic's Deliverance Commission, as he starts his new job as Head of Values at the BBC. The show "documents" the hectic and unpredictable day-to-day life of the people working at the world's greatest broadcasting house.
The reason I decided to rewatch W1A was because at my internship I was assigned a task of putting letters in envelopes, which was strikingly similar to that of Intern Will's job. It's a daft task, but I couldn't help but think, "I can't mess this up as badly as Intern Will Humphries." So, I naturally had a little laugh to myself (and looked slightly crazy) and decided it was time to rewatch this glorious program.
When I first watched W1A in 2014, I loved it because it was hilarious and set in New Broadcasting House (naturally, I'm obsessed with the BBC. Get over it). But, alas, my unlived and inexperienced 17-year-old self didn't truly get the humor of this beautiful, satirically comedy. Now that I'm a more lived and experienced 21-year-old self, I actually cringed, cried, and peed myself (just a little) at how unbelievably accurate this program portrays the people and situations one encounters in the British workplace.
Last year, I interned with a production in London (my legacy). Having actually experienced the workplace environment in the UK and being involved with the struggles of working in the film and television industry, I can confirm that every character in this program is factually accurate, and you will, without a doubt, experience each and every one of them in the British workplace. (I can also confirm that I was only as awkward and daft as Intern Will Humphries 67% of the time... Ok, maybe more like 89%.) After actually living and working in Britain, the humor of the show became even more relevant and hilarious. I was uncontrollably laughing at how accurate all the characters portray how Brits behave in the workplace.
What makes W1A so great is its ability to capture so beautifully the awkward and uncomfortable atmosphere that follows every Brit around as they try to navigate through life. It was unbearable at times to watch these characters interact because I experienced these exact same cringeworthy interactions. 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.
W1A is one of my favorite programs. It's hilarious, unbearably accurate, and portrays life at the BBC (my actual dream job, so I cling to every minute of this program, imagining what it must be like to live the dream of working at New Broadcasting House). This rewatch made me appreciate its brilliance even more than I did the first time.