clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

‘Veep’ in VR? It would never work, showrunner David Mandel says.

Virtual reality would totally change the show’s writing style, Mandel says on Recode Decode.

National Geographic Presents 'Nat Geo Further Base Camp' At SXSW 2017 - Day 4 Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for National Geographic

VR has been rising on the periphery of Hollywood for years; initially led by independent filmmakers, the medium is now attracting its first crop of big-name directors, such as “Iron Man” and “The Jungle Book” director Jon Favreau. But not everyone is ready to jump in headfirst.

“A lot of times the tech arrives before they figure everything out,” said David Mandel, the showrunner of HBO’s “Veep,” on the latest Recode Decode, hosted by Kara Swisher. “What we’re seeing now with the virtual reality stuff isn’t really where it’s going to be, and in some cases, maybe they should have held it back a little bit longer.”

Mandel, who took over the political satire in Season 5 after creator Armando Iannucci left, said “interactive ‘Veep’” would be an “awful” experience. Giving viewers the freedom to see scenes from the show from any angle they choose would undercut a lot of the comedy, he explained.

You can listen to Recode Decode on iTunes, Google Play Music, TuneIn, Stitcher and SoundCloud.

“A lot of shows, standard sitcoms, we’re going to cut to you saying the funny line,” Mandel said. “On ‘Veep,’ the camera’s moving, so we’re over here during the funny line, or maybe we’re going to go way back there, to just take a little of the edge off the ba-dum-bump of the joke.”

“That notion would be ruined if you’re strapping something onto your head and coming up really close to the joke,” he added. “There’s a rhyme and a reason to our world. But I do think there are stories to come, not necessarily ‘Veep,’ where you could see how that could work.”

If you like this show, you should also sample our other podcasts:

  • Recode Media with Peter Kafka features no-nonsense conversations with the smartest and most interesting people in the media world, with new episodes every Thursday. Use these links to subscribe on iTunes, Google Play Music, TuneIn, Stitcher and SoundCloud.
  • Too Embarrassed to Ask, hosted by Kara Swisher and The Verge's Lauren Goode, answers the tech questions sent in by our readers and listeners. You can hear new episodes every Friday on iTunes, Google Play Music, TuneIn, Stitcher and SoundCloud.
  • And Recode Replay has all the audio from our live events, including the Code Conference, Code Media and the Code Commerce Series. Subscribe today on iTunes, Google Play Music, TuneInand Stitcher.

If you like what we’re doing, please write a review on iTunes — and if you don’t, just tweet-strafe Kara.

This article originally appeared on