Not Safe for Work, Channel 4 - TV review: A portrait of a generation of youngish professionals who stay out too late on work nights

The arrival of the minister's closest adviser has shaken the staff at the Immigration Pathway out of their stupor

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The Independent Culture

Those who have persevered with Not Safe For Work – Channel 4's Civil Service-set, not-quite-comedy starring Zawe Ashton – after its lacklustre beginning will now be reaping their rewards.

The arrival of the minister's closest adviser Martine (Sian Brooke) in the last episode has shaken the staff at the Immigration Pathway out of their mildly amusing stupor and created several new sources of dramatic tension.

Most surprisingly, it appears that manager and office wreckhead Danny (Sacha Dhawan) really does have a work ethic. After coming up with a halfway decent policy proposal, he was all set to present to the minister in London, before bad influence PA Angela (Jo Hartley), the female Keith Richards, led him astray once more.

Meanwhile, Katherine (Ashton) and Anthony (Tom Weston-Jones) were rekindling their own, no less toxic relationship in a train toilet cubicle. As if it wasn't complicated enough before – what with Katherine's divorce, the miscarriage revelation and the fact they work together – it will be more so now that Martine has also has a romantic interest in Anthony.

From the generally bleak mood of NSFW's first few episodes, something more substantial has emerged: a portrait of a generation of youngish professionals who stay out too late on work nights, not because the party's still fun, but because society offers them no real incentive to sober up.