I'm going to regrettably agree with the other anon that Dan/Amy wouldn't have likely happened in a satisfying way under Iannucci, either. If anything, Mandel's run gave us far more ship-teasing and actual canon couplings than Iannucci ever did – which is actually something I dislike about it, tbh. The first four seasons were a great blank slate to play with offscreen interactions, and now Mandel just writes bad rom-com situations and then subverts them so nobody's happy. Ugh. There's no win.
I’m going to continue to disagree.
Not entirely, mind you. You’re right about how the show…framed them as a pairing. The romance is always…kind of on the sidelines, never really the focus of the story, but a consistent element.
Look at Dan and Amy in 1.01. And then look at them in 4.10. The dynamic has changed enormously. While they may not ever have been front and centre, the relationship evolved hugely over those four seasons. And on the most basic level… writers don’t waste time drawing our attention to things like that if they’re not going to do something with them.
The 4.04 scene between them is a distinct shift in tone from anything that came before, mind you (and it’s far and away the most sincere romantic moment in anything Iannucci’s created, which should say a lot). So it wouldn’t totally stun me if Iannucci’s plan was to do something similar to what he did with Kent and Sue – reveal at some point that they had got together behind the scenes, whenever it became relevant to the larger plot.
Which wouldn’t feel quite so dissatisfying as Mandel’s set-up, precisely because Iannucci always kept it a sideline – simmering in the background – so it would make sense that we didn’t see the crucial moment. Whereas once Mandel introduced scenes that were directly about the romantic storyline, it feels more like a cheat that we didn’t see it.