Ok so here’s my problem with the new veep. It’s not that the characters are unlikeable, it’s that they’re straight up nasty. Iannucci’s veep had a layer of nuance. When selina was agonising over her nomination for party candidate and she screamed “so I’m just supposed to let a bunch of dead eyed white guys shit on everything I stand for?!” That little bit of you just felt sorry for her. She’s awful, but when the characters are written well they can be the worst politician you’ve ever seen but that sneaky bit of you just emphasises regardless.
Mandel’s writing has made her unforgivably nasty. Compare her relationship with Catherine. In season one and two she’s at least giving lip service to the idea of being a good mother. You get the sense that in some twisted part of her mind she probably believes she is. Under Mandel Selina is plain cruel “you’re in therapy. Well you should really be seeing a dermatologist”. Whereas Iannuci had selina lock herself in a cupboard with Catherine at her own press event to try to say “there’s nothing more important than Catherine” (still untrue but it adds nuance). Iannucci did the same thing with Malcolm tucker - he was a notorious bastard but when he begged to be arrested with dignity you felt sorry for him!
I also disagree with Mandel saying Selina’s a misogynist. Her issue is not that she hates women, it’s that she’s too rich and doesn’t understand the real world. She’s spoilt and gets pissed off with unruly men because she’s just used to having everything she wants.
Also, I’m confused about this sudden ‘Selina doesn’t belong to any party’. Forgive me if I’m wrong, but I always interpreted Iannuci’s Veep like his UK equivalent the thick of it. It’s never said outright but viewers knew malcolm tucker was based on new labour’s spin doctor Alistair Campbell. I always assumed (but then again I’m english) that selina was a democrat from her bills such as “clean jobs” and “families first”. Is mandel trying to blur the lines because of the current political climate? (Or because Mike is sean spicer?)
I just don’t understand the direction veep is going in by destroying all its characters’ humanity.