Okay, so I was thinking about this after the episode…
I think it’s pretty disgusting to have sex with a 19 year old when you’re 39.
I’m just saying.
Dan’s promiscuity kinda grosses me out at this point.
At first, when the series started, Dan had a clear objective. He had sex to get to where he wanted to be. He was climbing the career ladder and we heard about his past and current relationships once or twice. Mostly in a comment form. Also, he wasn’t just fucking women, he was having (albiet short) relationships with them to use them.
But since season 5 and Mandel took over, Dan’s just having sex with everyone no matter what. Granted, the Sophie stuff was for political gain, but what about Brie or the 19 year old Megan? That’s just because he can. He’s not doing it for political gain anymore and I’m not sure when he made that switch. Obviously, it was season 5 (when we actually start seeing Dan’s conquests) but besides the writers changing, what changed in the Veep-verse? (I have this theory that Mandel is vicariously living through Dan, but that’s a whole other thing.)
Also, in episode one, when Dan says what’s up to the reporter, she seemed a little more grossed out than intruiged to be honest. I mean he played it pretty creepy, but she didn’t seem into it, so it’s just kinda weird that she went along with the whole thing.
Lastly, how the fuck did Dan find a 19 year old waitress named Meagan? That’s not a popular name. Like at all. So what are the odds that would actually happen? I read on another form that Dan was just making up that he found a 19 year old named Meagan to mess with Amy.
Idk, the whole Dan sleeping with as many women as possible, especially since the start of season 7 (the reporter and now the teenager), just makes my skin crawl and I love Dan/Amy. They just fit so well! But now I want her to end up as a powerful woman without any man to support her and to just say fuck you and give Dan a big fat slap. At this point, it also makes me wonder why Amy would want to be with someone like that. Or any woman for that matter. End Rant for episode 2.
This will sound strange, but in some ways, I find Mandel’s Dan less gross than Iannucci’s.
Like, sure, Mandel’s Dan sleeps around – a lot – but he doesn’t manipulate women into sex with him under the impression that they were actually in a genuine romantic relationship (at least, not successfully). Like, I was never quite sure that Iannucci understood just how creepy and cold-hearted a thing that is for Dan to do? Or maybe he did, and that’s why we never saw it, but seriously…the show never seemed to fully get how questionable that behaviour was.
Whereas I think it’s clear that we’re supposed to find the way Dan is behaving absolutely repulsive, especially at the moment. (This also clears up for me just why they had him hit on the Buzzfeed reporter in such a sleazy way, which threw me a little, as I’d always assumed Dan had more game than that). There’s something almost compulsive about it in the last few episodes, especially the way he keeps flaunting it in front of Amy. Even setting aside their romantic relationship, it would still be wildly inappropriate – she didn’t consent to being made a party to his sex life in that manner.
That said, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we see far more of Dan’s fucked up sex life when his relationship with Amy is either non-existent or under serious strain, which it has been basically ever since 5.03. Which I think means we can assume he will be worse in 7.04, since she will have left him for Jonah’s campaign by then.
Sleeping with a nineteen year old girl is another matter, and one that I’m not totally sure the writers have a proper handle on.
I remember being nineteen. Just because Reid Scott is handsome (and he is) doesn’t mean any nineteen year old with an ounce of sense wouldn’t find it off-putting in the extreme to have him hitting on her – the only women who aren’t repelled by men old enough to be their fathers trying to sleep with them are ones who…have other issues. (To be clear, if you’re 19 and have a crush on Reid Scott, go right ahead, enjoy yourself, that’s perfectly natural – if you’re 19 and Reid Scott – or someone else that age – actually tries to sleep with you…RUN. That ain’t right).
I agree. On all levels. Especially the 19 year old bit. I remember being 19 too and even at my current age, which is not quite as old as Dan, but not 19, sleeping with a 39 year old just kinda leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth. I mean, I guess the 19 year old could have major daddy issues and maybe from Amy’s POV she may have seen what her own Megan would end up doing at the ripe age of 19 with someone who was like Dan because she had her own daddy issues, but I digress.
I think that it makes total sense when you lay it out like that about Dan and sleeping with women etc. I do think sleeping and manipulating someone into a relationship is way worse than just fucking them and tossing them (as weird as that might seem) but I still think they went over a line in writing Dan. Realistically speaking, I just don’t understand at this point why Amy would want to be with him. And that’s sad because I really fucking like them together. But it’s like Amy just keeps getting pulled apart piece by piece and she has yet to flip out on anyone except for just her usual behavior. (I do know that she’s probably brewing and will blow, but still to me it’s sorta emotionally abusive.)
I guess my issue overall with Dan’s character lately is just the lack of development and seamlessness (if you didn’t lay out the reasons so beautifully in a great analysis) between Iannucci’s and Mandel’s Dan. You can very clearly see where one showrunner leaves and the other one comes in and that just kinda rubs me the wrong way.
I am sort’ve seeing the connection between what Reid was saying about Dan’s identity crisis and how he’s sleeping/using women to feel something/better/rub it in Amy’s face. He just seems kinda out of control and I think you’re right, 7X4 will be way worse. But we shall see. I’m scared to see an entire episode of Dan and Amy road tripping together because I’m sure it’ll be like a crumb of niceness and then he’s fucking some chick in the back of the abortion clinic and Amy will just be pining.
I’m going to be addressing some of the other points in asks, but just on the writing point – the issue to me is not that this is somehow an unnatural evolution in Dan’s character. By and large, where he is now makes sense to me based on how the show has evolved and where he started as a character – especially as, careerwise, Dan has probably reached a level where there really aren’t that many women who can help him progress, which wasn’t the case early on in the show.
But I think I’m having to do much work to see that. There’s a lack of…connective tissue between the developments, that’s making it hard to track what his motivations (if any) are. (And bear in mind, I like doing this kind of analysis of shows I enjoy – in my experience, most people don’t).
Part of this is…I think since the bar scene in – I think it was 4.04 – I feel like the ‘romantic’ scenes between them have been played more and more from Amy’s point of view, with her feelings become more vivid and visceral to the audience, while Dan’s behaviour becomes ever more enigmatic. Whereas before that point (see Dan’s hissy fit in 2.06, or really all of season 3), I don’t think the show really put us in either of their perspectives – it sort of just observed what was going on between them, without necessarily filling us in on what either of them felt about it.
Which is really more of a shift in direction than anything else.
Think of how long it’s been since we’ve had a scene that made Dan’s feelings about Amy clear to the audience. And by clear, I mean a moment where we knew exactly what he thought he was doing and why. I honestly don’t think we’ve had one since 5.03. And it’s really not a performance issue – Reid Scott does more with two seconds of gazing at Anna Chlumsky than some actors can do with a nine-minute monologue about the nature of love. But by and large the character isn’t getting those moments – he’s not being given anything to play that would fill us in on his (profoundly limited) inner life.
Because it would be possible to play out these exact same story-beats and have us sympathise with him (I know that’s hard to imagine).
But all of this is why I suspect we’re going to get a perspective flip at some point (probably 7.04), and Amy will become the enigmatic, distant one, and we’ll be in Dan’s head for the run into the finale. Because up until now, Dan really has been the source of narrative tension – the question has always been whether he wanted to be with Amy – but I agree with you, I think it’s shifting, and the question now is… why on earth would she want to be with him?
However, as always, watch me be wrong about this.
Naw I don’t think you’re wrong. I think your analysis really helps further understand what’s going on. What I like about Veep is that you need to watch it a few times to really catch everything and then actually think about what occurred in the episode. 2X06 is a great example. You see Dan get jealous and people comment on it, but then at the party later on you have to catch him drinking in the corner. The same can be said when they are at the restaurant and Ed is there and Dan is teaming up with Jonah to insult him. When has that ever happened?
The analysis, for me, helps further understand the actions and motivations with the characters. So I thank you for that. And you laid out really nicely the change in character because I think you’re right. It makes sense.
I do hope we see a prospective flip because it’ll definitely understand more of what is going through Dan’s head. I hope Amy does become the distant one and goes off to do her own thing. However, according to Mandek’s interviews I’m truly curious if he’s going to give them a happily ever after. As many have poionted out, Mandel continuously asks why people want them to be together and that gives me pause as to whether they are going to end up together. However, at this point I don’t know if it would be believeable because who would want to be with someone who fucked their sister and never seemed to want to give them a chance.
You know my favourite detail in 2.06? The extent to which, the morning after the party, Dan is clearly suffering one hell of a hangover. Everyone is standing around, bitching about the papers, grabbing coffee, checking their phones, and he just sits there, quietly dying and offering the occasional one-liner.
Needless to say, it’s very out of character for him to be that upset over a woman.
I go back and forth on how the characters end up – I tend to think, based on the interviews, that they’re going to be together somehow, though I’m not so sure the audience is going to be willing to accept it. At some point Dan’s behaviour is going to be so terrible that it’s hard for the audience to want them together, and they may have underestimated the likely extent of the backlash. (They still don’t seem to grasp that people do not enjoy Selina when she is utterly irredeemable)
I mean, the idea they keep pushing that it’s somehow preposterous that Dan would be attracted to Amy, as though she’s some kind of troll, has me seriously scratching my head. Amy’s smart, and witty (more so when she’s relaxed, I admit) and…Anna Chlumsky is beautiful.
However, this may well all be happening so that the comeback will be all the sweeter – we don’t know yet. And I wouldn’t be too worried by anything in Mandel’s interviews – he’ll be talking about the characters as they are in 7.02, so he’s not going to give away his big finish.
But I have been, and still am, very much in the camp that I want a resolved ending (and at least one on-screen kiss, for the love of god) (I’m not sure which is more traumatising, Amy’s sex with Buddy, or hearing about Dan’s exploits, but either way, we are owed something). What I really, really did not want was an ending that implied Dan basically tortured Amy in perpetuity, and that does not appear to be the case, so I’m going to call that a win, and accept anything else as a blessing.