Netflix is streaming the Australian TV comedy Utopia (due to copyright issues, it is titled Dreamland in the UK, Canada, and US). While it is not a parody documentary (mockumentary), in some ways it is similar to The Office with over-the-top clichéd characters representing the spectrum of incompetence one finds in any bureaucracy of workers — especially within a bureaucracy that is comprised of lots of people who don’t actually know what the goals of the organization are. Shows like this work because there are always a character or two who actually do understand the difference in the substance and the fluff of any organization. It is through their eyes we see the world in which they exist; the world that can, at times, remind us of our own.
Like Silicon Valley, the HBO comedy about a tech startup, the/Dreamland writers are spot-on in capturing the techish-marketing-buzz-speak vocabulary of the mid-2010’s. The creative key to both shows is having the purpose of the organizations be recognizable and somewhat accurate to viewers who work in those fields, while having the personalities and interactions of the characters be recognizable universally.
As you can see from the clip below, Rhonda represents the marketing manager who frequently attends conferences or workshops about various forms of online media. She returns to the office enthusiastically and doggedly drawing priorities away from important projects to superficial online projects.
She is awesome.