Great NewsI finally feel like a human being again(!) and I was SUPPOSED to celebrate by going to the…

Great News

I finally feel like a human being again(!) and I was SUPPOSED to celebrate by going to the theatre to see a new play…but Southern Rail decided to take me on a tour of towns in Surrey no one wants to visit, so I missed the curtain.

As a result, I ended up coming home and watching the rest of Great News, in the grand traditional of glamorous Friday nights in.

Thoughts:

1. I do not know what to make of the sexual harassment plot line with Tina Fey – like, at all. On the one hand it’s really quite clever in how it’s constructed, but on the other, it doesn’t really engage with just how vile that behaviour is, and it seems to both want credit for tackling a difficult subject and also to stop talking about it as soon as possible.

2. I wish they’d develop the side characters a little more – especially the sad other producer, Gene, as the actor has great timing. That said the actress playing Katie is a real find – she does a LOT to make the show coherent, when it isn’t really.

3. Greg. My tiny prissy English not quite prince. The actor is doing a lot to pull all the facets together, but I think…I think the writing for the character has suffered a bit as they’ve started to gear up the will they-won’t they. Most of his character-defining scenes come when he interacts with Katie, but since they’ve been avoiding each other due to the awkwardness, he’s felt kind of adrift. In retrospect, I think they rushed the ‘almost kiss’ a bit – it might have been better to give it another few episodes.

4. Goodness Reid Scott is good at playing a DICK. His New York Times courage under fire Woodstein with better facial hair journalist is…really kind of insufferable? I can’t help it, the second he started talking about cable news being the death of civilisation I had a flashback to every man who ever told me I just don’t ‘get’ Philip Roth. (Which isn’t to say he’s wrong, but…). I can see why Katie’s into him – he looks like Reid Scott AND he’s encouraging her to go after real news stories, something Greg has been holding her back from – but I think he’s going to get dumped pretty damn quick. (The joke about the Lindor truffles was funny though).

5. Quick costuming note – in the episode where Katie meets Jeremy, and their ‘romance’ begins, she has her hair pinned up in an elaborate bun. Which makes her read as being taller than Greg when she’s on screen with him (I think he IS taller, but only by an inch or two), but not when she’s with Jeremy.

It’s one of these screen geometry things we’re not really aware of – in romantic scenes the man is ‘supposed’ to be taller than the woman. (Which sounds sexist as fuck, but as a general rule, it’s usually true). So making Jeremy but not Greg taller than Katie is a subliminal way of telling the audience that HE is her love interest.

Incidentally, Veep does this as well. While the height differences between Amy and Dan and Selina and Tom are too substantial to ever be hidden, no matter how high heels the women wear, they really play it up in the ‘romantic’ scenes.

6. The whole biscuit-blitz data mining story felt…worryingly prescient, for all the show plays it as a straight comedy.

7. I cannot overemphasise how surprised I am by Nicole Richie’s charm in this. That’ll teach me to be so damn cynical.