After a critically acclaimed first season, HBO’s politically satirical Veep is just about back. The show’s first season, which began in April of 2012, consisted of eight episodes, starring the Seinfeld and The New Adventure’s of Old Christine star Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
The series revolves around the office of Selina Meyer, the fictional Vice President of the United States. Along with her basically incompetent staff members, the Veep (a nickname deriving from the position’s initials “VP”) tends to continually dig herself deeper and deeper in the poll ratings.
Inspired by his BBC series The Thick of It, the show was created by Armando Iannucci. In 2007, ABC designed a pilot for an American version, leaving the title the same, but other than a production credit, Iannucci was not involved. The pilot wound up being thrown out of ABC’s 2007-08 lineup. When HBO came knocking on Iannucci’s door, he worked with them in creating the current TV series.
Throughout the first season, The Veep encountered many issues such as what comes off as lack of respect from the president (who is never to be seen), every bill she works on is shut down just as she gets her foot in the door and her emotional state is constantly a topic of discussion, as she is the first woman to reside in the United States Naval Observatory.
We are also introduced to Selina’s team, consisting of her Chief of Staff Amy (Anna Chlumsky), her personal aid Gary (Tony Hale), Mike (Matt Walsh), the Vice President’s director of communications and Dan (Reid Scott), her deputy director of communications. Also earning his share of airtime is Timothy Simmons, who plays Jonah, the White House liason to the VP’s office.
Each one of these characters also goes through their point of personal embarrassment; Amy must admit to the world that she had a miscarriage to cover up Selina’s un-Veep-like behavior, Gary spends his time protecting the Veep from sneezes and handling her rude remarks without response, Mike pretends to own a dog that often gets him out of staying late or coming in early and eventually is ratted out to the Veep by her college-aged daughter, and Dan, who enters the office in the first episode ready to take over and get work done, is given a promotion that is quickly rescinded after his actions potentially put him in front of the congressional court. The Veep and her team members despise Jonah, which doesn’t bother him, since he feels nothing but pride for the working with the president and absolutely nothing for dealing with Selina.
Louis-Dreyfus does an amazing job taking on this hilarious and somewhat embarrassing role. It worked out well that the show landed on HBO and not onto a network channel, for half the things that come out of Louis-Dreyfus mouth would not be allowed on network channels even in the early hours of the morning. She does a great job connecting with all of the other cast members and knows exactly how to make the most of a funny female lead, which she has proven with her work in the past.
The second season will premiere on Sunday, April 14 following Game of Thrones. An article by the Huffington Post writes that this season the Veep will get “closer to power, and closer to the president.” Will viewers finally learn who it is that kept Selina at arms length all last season? Check it out next Sunday at 10 p.m.
By Taylor Zimmerman