Every year I would watch the Emmy’s and incredulously declare, “Julia Louis-Dreyfuss AGAIN!” What was the big deal with this show? It seemed to me like a lot of vulgarity and political grandstanding, do we really need more of that on TV right now? Well, the answer turns out to be YES, we need Selina Meyer and her merry band of misfits right now more than ever!
Veep’s last season aired in 2017 and was the sixth season of the show following politician Selina Meyer as she makes her way (SPOILERS AHEAD) from Veep, to Potus, to Candidate, to Former President. When Veep first debuted we were in the halcyon days of the Obama Presidency where it still seemed like the silliest thing to happen was Donald Trump looking for Obama’s birth certificate (remember the good old days?). Veep came on the scene the same year as, Girls, The Mindy Project and The Newsroom and quickly made a name for itself in the comedy arena. Selina was the perfect anti-heroine, beautiful yet vain, admired yet belittled and likable yet overlooked. She hates the mention of the fact that she’s a “Woman First” yet we find out that her placement on the ticket with President Stuart Hughes was simply due to her gender in the final episode of season 6 entitled “Groundbreaking.” This episode gave us all the beginnings of Selina and crew and she makes her way back to Madison Monroe dinner to launch her candidacy for president, yet again. It’s like when I read the book Rebecca in high school and my teacher said, when you finish the book go back and read the first chapter and it will all make sense. Watch “Groundbreaking” and then watch the pilot episode and it will all make sense. That kind of circular storytelling is what makes Veep so brilliant. We’re whipping through months and years of the story that weaves quite a tapestry of characters and plots. Veep plays with time in a way other shows attempt but don’t pull off (Jane the Virgin comes to mind). Season 5 takes place in just two months of real time, but what a two months they are! Recounts, new candidacies and betrayal play out like a greek tragedy while Selina is ultimately unseated as president by Laura Montez, who she calls “Sexy Mexi”. What’s more threatening to Selina than losing the presidency? Well, losing it to a beautiful female president, who’s slightly younger and can speak Spanish. Though the show never claims directly that Selina is a democrat or a republican, it’s pretty clear from the issues at hand and the rivalries to see who goes on what side of the aisle. Never proclaiming their allegiance to one party or another is the true stroke of brilliance in the show, because hell, let’s take our own personal politics out of it (thank god!) and just laugh at both of these parties for once. It’s refreshing and necessary in the post-Obama world where we’re constantly at odds over how we vote.
Veep takes shots at everyone, which means we get to laugh a whole lot more. The cast is arguably the best ensemble on television right now with Emmy winner Tony Hale, Matt, Anna Chlumsky, Reid Scott. Matt Walsh, Gary Cole and my personal favorites Timothy Simons and Kevin Dunn. I joked on Twitter recently that I was going to write a post about how Jonah and Ben were the reason to watch Veep, because played by Timothy Simons and Kevin Dunn, respectively; they steal the show over and over again. Timothy Simons plays the spectacular dumbass Jonah with complete earnestness and never fails to blunder his way to the top, just like Selina. At the end of last season he was launching his own presidential campaign so that could mean we get to see Selina and Jonah is a primary debate very soon. How will Jo-nad (as he’s jokingly called by his co-workers) do when he’s face to face with the ultimate political maneuverer who also happens to be his old boss? I’d like to see him try not to use the F-word for a whole debate, wouldn’t you?
Ben Cafferty is the burnout chief of staff who seems to have all the answers for Selina but also seems to now know which way is up only half the time. He constantly cracks about his own shortcomings and not knowing if his family is in Italy or at home without coming off like a total jerk. It’s Kevin Dunn’s likability that sells it and the fact that he can tell someone off with such ease it makes me want mess with him just to see what insult he would call me! If this show knocks one thing out of the park, it’s insulting it’s characters. “Gay Irish Fireman”, “The World’s Least fucked Geisha”, “Veep Throat” and “The 60 Foot Virgin” are just a few that come to mind. Unlike so many comedies of late, this show will actually make you laugh out loud, for real.
Even if you don’t know anything about politics this show is a lot of fun. It’s basically a workplace comedy set in the White House and it works because Julia Louis-Dreyfuss isn’t afraid to smash all your warm and fuzzy feelings about her from Seinfeld. This woman will curse, spit, cheat and kill to get to the top and finally get the validation she is looking for. Loyalty to others is fluid in the world of Veep, whereas loyalty to ones self is a constant. Jobs change and people are interchangeable, but doing anything to further your own career is acceptable, even if it means saying good bye to Selina for a year or two. Dan disconnects from politics entirely as he spends an entire season working for CBS as a doomed morning show co-host to take his personal brand to the next level. He makes his way back eventually, once he has no other options. Amy has a similar storyline when she tries to take her boyfriend/candidate to the governor’s mansion in Nevada and it fails miserably. Once there’s no other choice, everyone makes their way back to Selina.
The constant in Selina’s life is her bag man Gary Walsh who is devoted to her completely. One little piece of mystery in the show is what Gary did for Selina on “Labor Day” that neither of them can speak of but it comes out when they have a blowout fight in S4E2 “East Wing”. Did he bury a dead body? We may never know! But the mystery is there for us to wonder just how far Gary would go for Selina. He’s the only one who shows up regularly for her when she’s in the “spa” (insane asylum) after losing the election and is really her only friend.
This upcoming season airing in 2019 will be the show’s final, so we’ll get to see how things are going to end for the Dan and Amy who are expecting a baby after a one-night stand, Selina vs. Jonah for president, and how Mike will do as a teacher while Leon West goes from foe to friend as Selina’s new Press Secretary. And we’ll finally get the answer to the question, can Selina be the first elected female president of the USA and get the validation she’s spend years trying to achieve?