Wait, Did We Talk About Veep Yet?
Some of us, and I really don’t want to get into finger-pointing because it’s rude and it sets a bad tone so let’s just leave it at some of us, were traveling this weekend and were not able to be here yesterday and again, you know, the past is the past so let’s just get on with it, but so we didn’t catch up on the Sunday night television until Monday night when we were back home and I shouldn’t even say we because people are just going to make assumptions on who that implicates when really it could be anyone and I’m obviously just speaking in the abstract. The point is: does HBO even know there are seven nights in a week because it seems like maybe they only think there is one night. There’s seven nights, HBO. Check it out! And while you’re doing that, the rest of us will talk about your new show, Veep. Did you guys watch it? I know that it can be hard to remember if it’s the dry mockumentary comedy series about a cynical and disempowered vice president played by Julia Louis-Dryfus, or if it’s the one with the magical wolves having doggy-style sex with the back-stabbing sand dragons. It’s the former. And it’s great!
I read a criticism of the show this morning that it was unrealistic and focused too much on the brokenness of Washington without showing the genuine idealism of so many of our elected representatives and it’s like, well, HAHAHAHAH. I mean, come on, guys! Like, OK, you’re not WRONG exactly, but a) it’s only been one episode and one can easily imagine a new strand of generosity and human emotion woven into the plots because that would be a good and pretty traditional way of rewarding the audience for investing in these characters but b) IT’S ALSO A COMEDY TV SHOW SO MAYBE LET’S TAKE IT EASY. “This biting political satire is OK, but it doesn’t express the true spectrum of human garbage that make up modern politics, which is to say that some of the garbage IS kind of trying!” Whatever.
The show obviously owes a great debt to West Wing since it’s got the whole “walk and talk with me” thing going on, and there is also the clear throughline between this and In The Loop, which was directed by Veep creator Armando Iannucci. Remember how good In The Loop was? So good. And of course there are all of our old friends: Matt Walsh! Tony Hale! Anna Chlumsky! Hi guys! (Which is not to say that the dude who plays the guy from the White House office and the guy who plays the power-grabbing young upstart aren’t also great, they just aren’t our old pals. They are our new pals!)
I’m not making a laundry list of the jokes I liked in the pilot episode, and yes, the show starts off a little over-the-top where you do wonder how many gaffes this collection of nincompoops is going to make in 24 hours but so what, the gaffes are clever and well-imagined and the jokes surrounding the gaffes are very funny and the actors are good and West Wing was great. When it comes to Veep I say FOUR MORE YEARS! Get it? Politics.