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Like I mentioned to Casliyn; i can see reid being dissatisfied with the material he’s been receiving this season.
I go two ways in this.
Because I can’t imagine Dan playing out the same scenario, over and over and over, presents much of a challenge for him. So, he has the unenviable job of trying to make a large character shift – Dan’s complete indifference to Amy – make sense, while not getting to play anything that shows his range.
On the other hand, actors can be…very focused on moments, without necessarily thinking about the narrative as a whole – there was an interview with Matt Walsh where he talked about how much he enjoys how stupid Mike is. Which I get, and it’s definitely got to be fun to play in the moment – but too many of those moments and the character becomes flanderized.
And going by interviews, Reid Scott really seems to enjoy playing Dan as an out and out villain. Like, he gets to lean into all his most despicable qualities this year – swing right for the fences in he plays things.
I love RS and I kno he’s trying his hardest, but I don't like Dan anymore. I can’t look at him the same way.
I don’t know what to tell you, anon, except to say, I suppose, that that’s probably a health response. Dan’s actions are contemptible in a way they’ve never been before – and seeing Amy still have feelings for him just makes me sad now.
I think Reid Scott is fantastic in the part, and I know it must be great fun to play a villain – but if this was what Dan had been like from the beginning of the show, I definitely never would have found him an attractive or interesting character.
They may find a way to pull this back before the end of the season – I feel like the characters are shifting rapidly from episode to episode, which is likely to increase as the time jumps get bigger, and Mandel does like to…reframe past actions towards the end of each season – but at the moment, Dan’s something even worse than repulsive (though the way he treated Amy was disgusting, and it’s coloured my view of him in every scene since), he’s boring.
We know what he’ll do in every scene now – it’s always an expression of the sleazy, womanising side of his character, and episode upon episode of that just isn’t interesting to watch. There’s no suspense, and that means it doesn’t matter what magic Reid Scott pulls out of the bag, the scenes are inherently kind of same-ish.
Which is something they get away with with Jonah and Richard and, in fact, most of the other characters – by and large Veep characters have a type, and they stick to it, so if they’re one note in scene after scene, it’s not a problem, because that really is the point of them.
But I’d argue that Veep is a show that has always had three protagonists (maybe not the right word, but anyway) – Selina, Amy and Dan (in that order of importance). They are the characters who noticeably shift over time, in a way the others just don’t. Mike, for instance, has made major life changes over the course of the show, but I’d argue that nothing in his character has actually shifted or changed, and that goes double for Ben or Kent.
Whereas Selina has obviously altered over the course of the show, Amy has visibly hardened after years of abuse and disappointments, and Dan… Dan’s trajectory has almost been the strangest. From season 1 to the end of season 5 it’s like he almost becomes a person – he even has a moment of conscience at getting Jonah elected, which would have been unthinkable earlier on in the show – and then season 6, and even more season 7 (so far), utterly reverses his development.
Can I also say that I saw this tweet earlier today and…I can’t believe the writers never took advantage of the possibilities of this:
No wonder one of the cast described Reid Scott as the most sociopathic (I assume affectionately). It certainly would explain the way he keeps messing with the audience.
I miss when dan had a brain and made calculated moves even if he never thought of the long term consequences.
You and me both anon, you and me both.
Sleeping with Selina is such a dumb, dumb, DUMB move on his part.
He doesn’t get anything out of it. He knows Selina has no loyalty to her sexual partners, and nothing so normal as a conscience or even concern about being perceived as sexual abuser. He also knows – or should know – that Selina has direct experience (that Dan arranged for her!) of a sexual relationship with a subordinate jeopardising her campaign.
Dan wasn’t bringing anything to the table that Selina couldn’t cut him loose – his biggest triumph this episode was arranging the balloon drop! – and frankly, there’s no way he’s that good in bed that she’d keep him around if she thought he was a liability.
Trying to justify it with “Dan is a man-whore” is equally dumb, because…in a very literal sense, Dan was a whore. As in, he engaged in sexual relationships when they came with a clear non-sexual benefit attached.
There’s no such benefit to him here and some pretty serious risks, so why would he do it – especially when the show has gone out of it’s way to confirm he can get sex within seconds whenever he wants it? And whatever Mandel says, I don’t buy for one second that his attraction to Selina is that overwhelming – if it was, we would have seen evidence of it before now).
(None of this applies to their almost sleeping together in season 3, because there was a clear benefit then – cementing his place as campaign manager by creating an intimacy in his relationship with Selina that Amy would never be able to match).
Well, I would always recommend taking anything Reid Scott says with several large grains of salt, though he doesn’t appear to be in his most “why don’t I torture the audience” mood, for which we can only be grateful.
I have some thoughts.
Like a lot of actors, Reid Scott tends to kind of answer questions from the perspective of the character at the time he’s asked the question. So I actually find it pretty significant that he’s apparently moved from his usual comment – that Dan is barely capable of human emotion – to saying openly that he loves Amy. That is a big shift in his perception of Dan and his limited inner landscape, that’s for sure.
I am also amused that – whenever Reid Scott is asked about this, I guess because he has a more ambivalent relationship with his character than Anna Chlumsky, he always gets this slight tone of “no Dan and Amy shouldn’t be together, because he is terrible and she deserves better.” (Which is true). I think there’s a kind of actorly thing of Reid having affection for Amy as a character, because he plays Dan, who loves her, but because he’s also a much, much nicer person than Dan, there’s almost a protectiveness there? I feel like Reid is one hundred percent on Amy’s side of the “future argument ending in murder.”
Hence, I think, the description of Amy as “sweet” which is hilarious to me on so many levels – Dan Egan is almost certainly the only person in the world who would think of her that way. (And it does make a kind of sense from his perspective – compared to Dan, she is).
And a lot of this comes down to a philosophical question about what love is. I mean, I don’t understand how Dan’s feelings about Amy can be described as “not romantic” because it seems to me all the necessary components are there – the physical attraction, the affection, the intimacy, the desire for her exclusive attention – it’s just that Dan is a terrible, terrible person. And one of the ways that he’s terrible is that he tends to take advantage of situations where he thinks Amy is stuck with him – if he thinks there’s no realistic possibility of her leaving, he gives free rein to his assholishness. (This is one of the qualities that has the potential to seem close to abusive if the writers don’t handle it carefully).
Now does that mean he doesn’t love Amy romantically? I would say no, but I suspect Reid Scott would say yes – and what it fundamentally comes down to I think is a disagreement about what romantic love is. (I actually think it’s kind of naive to imagine that terrible human beings aren’t capable of love, but that is a much, much bigger argument than I want to get into here),
Also, Matt Walsh’s face is hilarious all the way through this.
@thebookofmaev Amy in a bright and vibrant red dress. What are your thoughts on Amy’s dress here, especially since red is usually Selina’s signature color? Not sure if Reid is dressed as Dan here or not, since Tony was out of costume in the video.
Is that red or orange, I can’t tell from the lighting? I ask because the set behind her could easily be Jonah’s mother’s house, and we saw a similar style dress there.
They seem to be in that set a lot in the sixth episode – I wonder if someone is pleading with Jonah to join their ticket as VP. I mention this because Amy copying Selina’s Power colour would make an awful lot of sense for a scene where she’s trying to use her leverage to the utmost. If Amy’s his campaign manager, she may actually be the person everyone has to convince.
Amy stealing Selina’s style so blatantly is very All About Eve – I hope they get the tone right, and don’t turn it into some Game of Thrones “younger and more beautiful” nonsense. I’m holding out hope for a moment between them that is at least pleasant – Selina’s constant vitriol towards Amy has become very wearing over the last two years, especially with how gendered it’s been. Any repeat of that Leon West nonsense, and I will swear loudly and at length.
As for Dan – I would assume he’s in costume if only because of the distinct lack of facial hair. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a real life pic of Reid Scott where he’s that clean-shaven. (Which I assume is a comfort thing? As hirsute as he appears to be, he must have to shave twice a day at least when playing Dan, which seems like it would be rough on the skin).
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