John Defrog's Reviews > The Complete Yes Minister

The Complete Yes Minister by Jonathan Lynn
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Yes, Minister is probably one of my all-time favorite sitcoms, not least for its smart writing and savage-yet-subtle political satire. That said, when I saw this in a charity book sale, I only hesitated because I didn’t know if I just wanted to read the show scripts. But this omnibus (which covers all three seasons of the series) isn’t just scripts, but all the shows rewritten as short stories in the form of Minister Jim Hacker’s recorded diaries, along with other memos, BBC transcripts and interviews to cover bits of the show that Hacker wouldn’t have been able to talk about as he wasn’t present at the time.

As such, this collection offers not only a different presentation of each episode, but a lot of bonus material – the equivalent of DVD commentary and extras – in the form of backgrounders, context, some explanations of British govt terms and acronyms, and plenty of witty commentary from the “editors”, among other things. So I learned a lot, and also got a deeper sense of the three main characters – Hacker, Sir Humphrey Appleby and Bernard Wooley (who I always assumed was the main character, for some reason – it seems I may have been mistaken there). Still, it’s arguably a better experience to watch the show than to read it, especially when it comes to the dialogue pacing and performances of Paul Eddington, Derek Fowlds and Nigel Hawthorne that really made the show such a delight to watch.
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Reading Progress

April 14, 2018 – Shelved
April 14, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
November 28, 2018 – Started Reading
February 15, 2019 – Finished Reading

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