FX has announced that it’s making a dark comedy based on the experiences of drone pilots. This seems like an area that…demands sensitive handling. After all, drone strikes have directly impacted our relationship with Pakistan, and not for the better. Using them requires us to be willing to kill a lot more people than we would through more surgical strikes, and with a great deal less certainty about their level of culpability for terrorist attacks. The prospect of them getting viruses is pretty scary!
I don’t think this means that you can’t make comedy about high-stakes things: in fact, sometimes I think comedy is a necessary way to critique our behavior in high-stakes situations. Humor doesn’t end when you get PTSD as a firefighter working at Ground Zero, or when you fight in Iraq. But I do think, if you’re going to work in these circumstances, that you have to be thoughtful and precise about what you’re saying is funny. The fact that we kill a lot of people indiscriminately with drones is not necessarily that funny. The way people cope with that fact probably is a rich vein to mine for black humor.