Absolute Power

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BBC Two (ended 2005)

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7.1
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80 votes
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Absolute Power

Show Summary

Absolute Power - Spin is Dead, Long Live PR.

Stephen Fry and John Bird star as spin doctors Charles Prentiss and Martin McCabe as they bring the popular and satirical Radio 4 comedy Absolute Power to BBC TWO.

Written by media commentator Mark Lawson, writers Andy Rattenbury (Teachers) and Guy Andrews (Chancer), Absolute Power casts a witty and acerbic eye on the machinations of PR gurus and does for the PR industry what Drop The Dead Donkey did for the newsroom.

Stephen as Prentiss and John as McCabe are an unscrupulous pair who run the blue chip PR agency Prentiss McCabe. Dealing with commercial as well as personal PR, their remit covers everything from political communications to celebrity media relations.

Their manipulation skills are tested to the full as they frequently find that their work brings them into conflict with political parties, newspaper editors and celebrities.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Truly witty and extremely funny.

    10
    This really is an excellent series.Set in the murky world of PR,it brilliantly sends up the world of celebrity and political spin. Wickedly funny and all too true to life. Originally a radio series for BBC R4,it has successfully crossed over to the small screen.



    Charles Prentis is superbly portrayed as a man with no scruples or morals whatsoever by Stephen Fry and John Bird, Zoe Telford and James Lance make a supporting cast to die for.



    The other thing that makes Absolute Power so unusual is that the second series is as good as the first series. It covers topics as wide ranging and ridiculous in their scope and does so with such a slick style that you\'re often really not sure what\'s going to happen until the very last moment.moreless
  • A comedy found in the usual setting of a British Public Relations firm, which, has been pulled off rather superbly!

    8.5
    A comedy of this sort must be hard to get right. The slightly twisted and immoral actions of Prentiss McCabe (the PR firm) and the success of which the actions are executed could be perceived wrongly in many ways; A) smug main characters, B) evil/comical/unreal characters, C) a week over realistic portrayal of life in a PR office.



    Absolute Power has got it right (9/10 times anyway...). The achieved balance ensures that all the characters seem very real (enough for the viewer to feel sorry for them) yet they are still able to get away with things that you or I would never dare! The result a wonderful comedy which sings a tune much like that of Black Adder, with the ingenious Charles Prentiss bashing around (less physically then in Black Adder) the ignorant underlings the same way we always loved to see Black Adder boss around Baldrick et al.



    If you get the chance to see this comedy now and your in the position to understand it (some minor knowledge of UK politics might be required for viewers to get all the jokes) my advice is to do so soon. I say soon because there's a slight danger that Absolute Power relies too heavily on "in jokes" about UK politics to stand the test of time... But for now Dig In and Enjoy!moreless
  • Steven fry and John bird, star in one of the wittiest, funniest comedies currently on TV. What makes it so funny is the sneaking feeling, that what you are watching isn't exactly a million miles from what actually happens in the sleazy world of a London Pmoreless

    8.5
    Steven fry and John bird, star in one of the wittiest, funniest comedies currently on TV. What makes it so funny is the sneaking feeling, that what you are watching isn't exactly a million miles from what actually happens in the sleazy world of a London P.R. (Public Relations) firm.



    Stephen Fry plays Charles Prentis and John Bird plays his partner and fall guy within the PR firm Prentis McCabe. They cover eveything from big name celebrity clients, to political bigwigs, to commercial clints.



    Fry says of his excellent character Charles Prentiss: "He's a brute of a man, out to win, with no morals, he's completely shameless. There's not much to say that's nice about him, except that there is some pleasure in watching a natural born killer at work and knowing whatever happens he will win."



    During the course of trying to sell the public (or whoever) on an idea,to make their clints look good, or maybe just to help a client out of a sticky situation. they frequently have to cross swords with sleazy tabloid journalists (to whom they could be not too favourably compared) the secrurity services, gangsters and politicions of every hue.



    Nothing is sacred or sacrosanct, in Prentis MacCabe's weekly quest to help their client get what they want. To steal a quote from the programes website. "Absolute Power does for the PR industry what Drop the Dead Donkey did for the newsroom." And for those of you who recal Drop the Dead donkey, you will know what a great compliment that it.



    The show is co-written by media commentator and respected journalist, Mark Lawson. Who can often be seen on television on his programe Newsnight Review. Interviewing or critiqeing the very same people he writes about. So its no secret where he gets his ideas from then ? I wonder how many true situations have turned up in a semi fictionalised format, on Absolute Power. One can just imagine, some celebrity, sports star, or politico type, watching in horror as their very own stories are played out for the nation to watch. But unable to say or do anything about it for fear of letting the cat out of the bag.



    Other players in the series include the brilliant James Lance, who playes Jamie Front. The office lothario (or thinks he is) he can talk his way into the bedrooms of many a lady. That same silver toungue serves him well in his job, when it comes to buttering up clients and being able to think on his feet, when Charles calls for an idea to help them out of the latest seemingly impossible deep mire they have got the firm into. You may remember James as Ben the recptionist and bell boy at the Linton Travel Tavern, in Steve Coogan's 'I'm Alan Partridge'.moreless
  • Show

    5.2
    I like this show alot cause it gives me everything i want to see its very good and something i like to watch this show has good and bad point about it but its ultimatly good entertainment for me and my friends and family it i think its a good show with informative and insightful situations that people can relate to in there own way , This is a show that i caould watch without flipping the station to find what else is on , i recommend anyone to atleast watch it once to see if they like it like i domoreless
  • Schemes
    Which of the firm's schemes would you have: a)gone for? b)gone for in real life? Also, who would you have as your PR wizard? ...
    09/28/07
    2
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Comedy