Speed Reads

we know drama

Television writers are having a hard time topping the drama of real-life Washington, D.C.

As a sharp American social critic once said, "truth is stranger than fiction." Television writers are learning that the hard way, though, as the real-life drama in Washington, D.C., dominates — and entertains — the nation. "I'm very jealous," Veep showrunner David Mandel jokingly confessed to The Associated Press. "We work very hard on our scripts. They seem to be better at the job than I am."

"We are in extremely unusual times," agreed Homeland executive producer Alex Gansa, “and sometimes it feels like nothing we dramatize on Homeland can be nearly as scary as what's actually happening on the world stage."

House of Cards showrunner Frank Pugliese said: "Our job is to research and explore what's possible, then take it to the extreme to entertain and grab attention," adding: "But it's concerning when a politician feels they have to do the same thing for themselves." Melissa James Gibson, also a House of Cards showrunner, noted that watching Washington "engenders a sick impulse — 'what's he going to do today?' — where we're looking for our drama from the real-life president, as if THAT were a show."

You can't say Mark Twain didn't warn us: "Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities," he explained. "Truth isn't."