The Thick of It

Common Sense Media says

British government satire has dry wit and strong vocab.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

The series pokes fun at the British political system and the people who manage it.

Positive role models

Tucker is difficult and often disrespectful. Most of the staff does not like him, but do his bidding for political reasons.


Mild arguments between government staff are frequent. Contains brief references to terrorism, rape, and other mature issues in ways that are intended to be comical.


Some crude references to genitals and sexual acts.


Words like "piss" and "s--t" audible. The word "f--k" is bleeped and/or replaced for American audiences; strong British vocab like "twat" are also used.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Drinking (beer, wine) is visible on occasion.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Thick of It satirizes the British political system and contains lots of strong language ("piss," "s--t"; the word "f--k" is muted or voiced over), drinking, and some mildly crude references to genitals and sexual acts. It probably won't appeal to younger viewers, but older teens should be able to handle it.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

THE THICK OF IT is an award-winning British comedy centering around Malcolm Tucker (Peter Capaldi), an aggressive and foul-mouthed director of communications who deals in crisis management for 10 Downing Street from the mismanaged offices of the Department of Social Affairs and Citizenship. Tucker's domineering ways keeps MPs like Hugh Abbot (Chris Langham) and Nicole Murray (Rebecca Front) in line with the prime minister's politics, and keeps staffers like senior minister advisor Glenn Cullen (James Smith), special advisor to the secretary of state Oliver Reeder (Chris Addison), and civil service press secretary Terri Coverley (played by Joanna Scanlan), on their toes. But as Tucker struggles to maintain his stronghold over the department, other government players, including Steve Fleming (David Haig) pose a threat to his position.

Is it any good?


The comedy series, which is is produced in a mock-documentary style, offers a satirical look into the world of British politics, and how British political leaders strive to control the information to make them look good in the media. The way specific political races are woven into its fictitious plot lines is also very clever.

It's entertaining, but viewers unfamiliar with British government and politics may find some of what they discuss here a bit confusing. Others may find the comedic style, which relies heavily on dry wit, very different from what they are used to. But if you are looking for a well-written and well-produced British satire, this one definitely fits the bill.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about some of the differences between American television and shows from other countries. Why are some things considered funny in the U.S., and not in other places, and vice versa? Why can European shows feature more profanity and nudity on non-cable networks than American network television?

  • Also, why are American TV shows considered to be more violent than television shows from Europe? Are these differences a result of differences in culture? Or is it something else?

TV details

Cast:Chris Addison, Peter Capaldi, Rebecca Front
Network:BBC America
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:DVD

This review of The Thick of It was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Parent Written bypg5264 September 27, 2012

Great show... but way more swearing than described above

Only 4 out of 5 for language?!?! This is the most potty-mouthed show I can think of on British TV. And that means it's more potty-mouthed than anything on US TV. F-bombs galore (not muted over or mouthed as described above). My opinion is that the show is hilarious and I love it, but it would be uncomfortable viewing alongside kids younger than 18 at least.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Parent Written byPoppyParent August 5, 2013

More R/TV-MA rated!

I started watching this and in the first few minutes of the first episode the F word was used three times. I turned it off right away.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Teen, 13 years old Written byWildFlower753 August 14, 2013

Don't listen to CommonSenseMedia. Listen to me.

The show certainly has language (not bleeped), but it is an entertaining romp. Sure, it's about politics- but it's hilarious. If your kid can handle extreme cursing and some sexual references, I recommend it. It's witty, clever, funny and interesting.
What other families should know
Too much swearing


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?


What are the different ways that you access Common Sense Media ratings and information? (Check all that apply)

Essential Apps Guide