Having made polygamy safe for premium-cable audiences, HBO’s elite Taboo Detection and Destruction Division now turns its attention to the Middle East: Hotel Palestine, a comedy focusing on the journalists covering present-day war-torn Baghdad, is their next horizon.

In some ways, the war is a natural pitch:

Confined set? Check. As Paul Wolfowitz once famously complained, journalists rarely leave the Hotel Palestine to see the progress made in Iraq because they’re afraid of being blown up. (If they can get a line that brilliant into the script, they deserve a green light.)

Larger-than-life yet credible premise? Check. We now know the “writer’s room” that planned the Iraq War had a pretty amazing sense of humor. Too bad they didn’t plan for a second season. Or a third. Or a fourth. (Really, the show’s a victim of its own success.)

Strong characters?
Half-check. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is no Colonel Klink, but I suppose he’ll do. But please, for the love of Norman Lear, fix his teeth.

At any rate, it’ll be good to have an Iraqi comedy. God knows they’re up to their necks in drama — like Reno 911 (pictured). The last thing the average Iraqi needs is another dreary police procedural. I hear the overabundance of Law & Order spinoffs ranks just under “raw sewage” and “sudden death by explosion” on the list of common Baghdadi complaints.