Veep/The Thick of It Discussion on In Media Res

I have been temporarily absent from my own blog working with my former media studies professor and current person I occasionally bother for life/career advice, Brett Boessen on a post for In Media Res, a website for scholarly discussion of media amongst academics and normals. Each week they select a few people to write short posts about a subject as a means of promoting discussion amongst their commenters.

If you visit the site, you may notice that this week’s theme is politics as entertainment and if you that a further look, you’ll notice my name listed next to August 24th.

Our post centers on The Thick of It and Veep and fan reactions to the differences between them, namely Veep’s lack of a clear Malcolm Tucker equivalent. I’m pleased with it and I hope you’ll read it on Friday when it’s posted!

In vaguely related news, I continue to be some sort of king maker as Helen Zaltzman, the fourth in my British Comedy Women I Want To Be Pals With brigade, joined the other…brigadiers in appearing on International Waters, possibly my favorite podcast, not long after I namechecked her on this very blog!

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2 Responses to Veep/The Thick of It Discussion on In Media Res

  1. Al says:

    I’m clearly too stupid to be allowed to comment on In Media Res so here’s what I wrote:

    I wonder how much the lack of a Malcolm character in Veep is down to the differences in our political systems.

    In the UK the Prime Minister is all-powerful and the House of Commons is the only chamber that matters. That makes bullying and shouting a very effective way of getting things done.

    The US has much stronger separation of powers. You’d never get the budget deadlocks of the US in the UK. Even with a hung parliament those are nodded through. It’s no wonder the characters in Veep are so ineffectual. A Malcolm Tucker type in the US would have much less power at his disposal.

    • carogriffin says:

      That’s typically what all those discussions lead to (and what Armando Ianucci has directly said is the reason for the lack of Malcolm-type character). And then someone else says “Rahm Emmanuel comes pretty close.”

      I think there’s still room to fit someone like that in there somewhere (the White House liaison’s direct superior, maybe since he is one of the most ineffectual characters on the show). But it’s a good enough reason that from a narrative standpoint, I don’t have a problem with it in the context of the show. I suppose everyone on the show just seems extra-ineffectual. At least occasionally Malcolm seems to represent a part of the government with more important things to worry about, but there’s no real glimpse at an outside branch of government or whatever on Veep. With nothing to compare the triviality to, it ends up just feeling a little like a trivial show instead of a sharp satire of the trivial nature of parts of the government.

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