perhaps you've answered this before, but what was it about the dan and amy dynamic stood out to you when you first started the show, and how did you continue to stay involved even at dan's shittier moments?
Well I devoured the show in a desperate need for escape from the nightmare politics of Brexit just after the referendum… so season six is the only one I watched in ‘real time’ so to speak.
I think what has kept me with it is the consistent power struggle that the show depicts. As in, there is a surface level where Amy seems to struggle with a perpetual crush on Dan (however much she tries to hide it), but that when you actually look at the interactions in depth, it becomes incredibly clear that Dan is the real aggressor in the relationship, and that a huge amount of what sustains their connection is his insistence on keeping Amy near him.
So, I think even early on in the show, their dynamic had a lot of complexity built into it – what’s going on between them, what they themselves think is going on between them, and what their colleagues think is going on, are often very much in conflict.
That said, I think if I’d been watching it in real time, I would have found season five, in particular, a trial. I don’t care how handsome Reid Scott is, I cannot enjoy watching repeated scenes where we’re encouraged to mock Amy for having feelings. There’s a mean-spiritedness in the way the show treated her apparently unrequited love that still doesn’t sit well with me. (Notice, the show isn’t telling us to laugh at Selina for being in love with Tom James – shallow though she is, the show treats her feelings as valid).
I know that might seem strange. Veep is an incredibly bleak show and it’s not as though any element of its humour has ever been gentle. But the way we were encouraged to laugh at Amy for being genuinely hurt, or (in season six) for not being sufficiently fuckable in Dan or Buddy’s eyes, seemed hateful in a very new way to me.
So, if they have Dan continue to treat her in such an unpleasant manner, I think I’m really going to struggle to stay with it. 6.10 – where he’s smiling and warm with her (seriously, the tone of his voice alone indicates the change) felt like an incredible relief after two seasons of relentless asshattery.