We see a wotsit orange tan and the Mr Whippy hair on the telly and we can’t help but prepare ourselves for some kind of mockery: Alec Baldwin has done it, Spitting Image are about to do it…we’ve even seen it on Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK.
So when we saw the press for The Comey Rule, it’s not surprising we prepared ourselves for another cuttingly satirical portrayal of Donald Trump. But, we were wrong – The Comey Rule is about as funny as a fried egg. This new Trump drama is the first of its kind, and follows former FBI director Jim Comey through his controversial investigation into Hilary Clinton’s personal emails, and his brief time under the Trump administration. It’s an interesting story to dramatise, but would you want to sit down and watch four hours about Trump, when it’s already near impossible to avoid the bloke in daily life? However, Brendon Gleeson does a pretty good job playing him, adding a behind-closed-doors quiet and manipulative layer to his well-known loud and lairy personality.
In The Telegraph, Anita Singh calls the mini-series “something of a slog,” commenting that even though “you know that you’re watching something terribly important… The stakes never feel high.” Charles Bramesco in The Guardian questions the show’s choice to paint Comey as a misunderstood hero, saying, “as big pills to swallow go, this one’s approximately fist-sized.” He also says that if you’re watching for Gleeson’s portrayal of Trump, you might be disappointed: “He only shows up on night two, and when he does, it’s easy to forget that he’s supposed to be the draw.” The New York Times’ James Poniewozik says that despite this middling performance, “Gleeson kicks the program to life.”
First shown September 2020. You can watch the trailer by pressing play on the show image, or by clicking here.