Sunday, October 18, 2015

Julia Louis-Dreyfus as The [Bleep]

My wife and I have seen many shows that we did not like, both new and famous oldies that made us wonder why we liked them the first time.  De gustibus non est disputandum. The marketplace is agnostic. You do not have to drive through the order lane if you do not want the food. Obviously, millions of others do. That said, I have not seen a show so bad and so highly acclaimed as The Veep. We watched 20 minutes of the first episode and ejected the disk.

Emmy Awards 2015
The first challenge for the writers was to force as many expletives into each line as possible. Discussing Wiseguy (made into the movie Goodfellas), author Nicholas Pileggi says that the gangsters have a limited vocabulary in the first place, and they use profanity so often, that the only way to achieve emphasis in discourse is to resort to echolalia: "Why the fucking fuck did you fuck up the fucking job?" The people in The Veep are as erudite as the Goodfellas.  

The next challenge for the writers was to make politicians, especially our nation's leaders, look stupid. As a libertarian I can appreciate that.  But it takes some finesse. You have to have smart people as standards in order to portray lamebrains. The Three Stooges were the standard against which Nazis, gangsters, and other bullies were set. Writing from the post modernist school, The Veep has no standards: everyone is dumber than the audience.  On the other hand, in The West Wing, the dullards included Gov. Robert Ritchie of Florida (played by James Brolin), and Dr. Jenna Jacobs (Claire Yarlette).  Of course, we had a couple dozen smart people from both parties to compare them to.  The Veep could use one.

A Culture of Reason, Reality, and Freedom
The Science of Liberty
Why Democracy is Difficult
Nerd Nation 4.0

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