Skip to main content

The Daily Beast: Armando Iannucci on "HBO's Superb New Veep"

HBO’s fabulous new political comedy Veep, starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, premieres Sunday.

At The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "HBO's Superb New Veep," in which I speak to creator Armando Iannucci about the vice presidency’s comic potential, U.S.-U.K. relations, why he didn't enter the civil service, and how Veep compares to The West Wing.

With HBO’s acerbic and dazzling political comedy Veep—which depicts a power-hungry if buffoonish female U.S. vice president and her staffers—Scottish-born creator Armando Iannucci turns his attention to American politics, bringing his deadpan wit, rapid-fire dialogue, and comedy of the uncomfortable to the corridors of power in Washington.

Veep, which premieres Sunday evening, stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Seinfeld) as Vice President Selina Meyer, a politician who, although a heartbeat away from becoming the POTUS, spends her days scheming about biodegradable utensils, filibuster reform, and getting the name of a potential future hurricane—Hurricane Selina, naturally—changed so as not to reflect poorly on her.

It’s not the first time Iannucci, 48, has tackled the follies and failures of petty bureaucrats. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for his 2009 political feature film, In the Loop, which explored the so-called special relationship between the United States and United Kingdom.

“I always feel that Brits do themselves down when they come to America,” said Iannucci, speaking to The Daily Beast in January. “They always feel that because they’re in America they must just agree to whatever happens to them there, and then they go home feeling a little bit as if they’d done the wrong thing.”

“That’s what was going on in the Blair administration,” he continued. “They were just so star-struck being in the Oval Office that they didn’t quite keep a focus on what they were doing…We’re slightly on more equal terms now because of the economy; no one now is the supreme controller of events.”

In the Loop depicted the breakdown of that relationship, the dirty dealings of both parties, and of the need to save face and retain control of public perception, even in the midst of monumental information failures. Before that came Iannucci’s breakthrough BBC comedy The Thick of It, which spawned three additional seasons and two specials, as well as a failed ABC adaptation in 2007, and introduced the world to the sadistic and rabid communications director Malcolm Tucker (Peter Capaldi).

With Veep, Iannucci leaves behind the dreary, utilitarian offices of the Department of Social Affairs and Citizenship of The Thick of It for the pomp of Washington, D.C., and takes a far deeper look into the American political system than he’s attempted before, building on the success of In the Loop. That film displayed the vast differences between the political systems of the U.S. and the U.K., something that’s keenly felt in Veep if you’ve even a cursory knowledge of British politics.

Continue reading at The Daily Beast...


Popular posts from this blog

Katie Lee Packs Her Knives: Breaking News from Bravo's "Top Chef"

The android has left the building. Or the test kitchen, anyway. Top Chef 's robotic host Katie Lee Joel, the veritable "Uptown Girl" herself (pictured at left), will NOT be sticking around for a second course of Bravo's hit culinary competition. According to a well-placed insider, Joel will "not be returning" to the show. No reason for her departure was cited. Unfortunately, the perfect replacement for Joel, Top Chef judge and professional chef Tom Colicchio, will not be taking over as the reality series' host (damn!). Instead, the show's producers are currently scouring to find a replacement for Joel. Top Chef 's second season was announced by Bravo last month, but no return date has been set for the series' ten-episode sophomore season. Stay tuned as this story develops. UPDATE (6/27): Bravo has now confirmed the above story .

BuzzFeed: Meet The TV Successor To "Serial"

HBO's stranger-than-fiction true crime documentary The Jinx   — about real estate heir Robert Durst — brings the chills and thrills missing since Serial   wrapped up its first season. Serial   obsessives: HBO's latest documentary series is exactly what you've been waiting for.   The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst , like Sarah Koenig's beloved podcast, sifts through old documents, finds new leads from fresh interviews, and seeks to determine just what happened on a fateful day in which the most foul murder was committed. And, also like  Serial  before it,  The Jinx may also hold no ultimate answer to innocence or guilt. But that seems almost beside the point; such investigations often remain murky and unclear, and guilt is not so easy a thing to be judged. Instead, this upcoming six-part tantalizing murder mystery, from director Andrew Jarecki ( Capturing the Friedmans ), is a gripping true crime story that unfolds with all of the speed of a page-turner; it

BuzzFeed: "The Good Wife Is The Best Show On Television Right Now"

The CBS legal drama, now in its sixth season, continually shakes up its narrative foundations and proves itself fearless in the process. Spoilers ahead, if you’re not up to date on the show. At BuzzFeed, you can read my latest feature, " The Good Wife Is The Best Show On Television Right Now," in which I praise CBS' The Good Wife and, well, hail it as the best show currently on television. (Yes, you read that right.) There is no need to be delicate here: If you’re not watching The Good Wife, you are missing out on the best show on television. I won’t qualify that statement in the least — I’m not talking about the best show currently airing on broadcast television or outside of cable or on premium or however you want to sandbox this remarkable show. No, the legal drama is the best thing currently airing on any channel on television. That The Good Wife is this perfect in its sixth season is reason to truly celebrate. Few shows embrace complexity and risk-taking in t