Veep, starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus as the fictional Madam Vice President (Veep in short) Selina Meyers, is a master class in satire. Each 30-minute episode revolves around the incompetencies of the leader and is packed with wry humour and meme-worthy punchlines. The political climate portrayed on the show almost scarily mirrors the current state of affairs in the United States.
Three years ago, several Washington DC insiders attested that while other shows on politics like House of Cards, Scandal are more grim and serious, the most accurate depiction of the US politics is shown in Veep. Perhaps politics is indeed a joke now, given the circumstances.
Veep has been nominated this year for Best Comedy, Julia Louis Dreyfus for Best Actress Comedy, Tony Haly and Matt Walsh for Best Supporting Actor in Comedy, Anna Chlumsky for Best Supporting Actress in Comedy, Hugh Laurie for Best Guest Actor Comedy, Billy Kimball and David Mandel (separately) for Best Writing For A Comedy Series, Morgan Sackett, David Mandel, and Dale Stern (separately) for Best Directing For A Comedy Series.
Julia Louis Dreyfus even won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016!
Having completed six seasons, the show’s seventh season will be the final one, but maybe that’s a good thing. Selina Meyers is selfish, self-centred, and thoroughly incompetent. In her staff Amy Brookheimer’s words, she’s the “worst thing to have happened to this country after food buckets.”
The show began with Selina appearing quite likeable. Ballsy, too. Since it didn’t feature her daughter Catherine much, she was also viewed as someone who still cared for her university-going daughter. She had her ditzy moments, too, but was still not so brutal to her other staff members like Gary, Dan, Amy, and even Mike. In fact, in season three, she even showed how hard it is to be a female vice president especially when it comes to a topic like abortion.
“I can’t identify myself as a woman. People can’t know that. Men hate that. And women who hate women hate that — which, I believe, is most women. I tell you, if men got pregnant, you could get an abortion at an ATM,” she says, funny yet a fairly bleak reality.
As the seasons progress, we learn how horrible she actually is, especially after she stops being the President and spends her time doing mindless charity shows and plug-ins for how she used to be the President once upon a time. Her insults get more vicious and personal, her behaviour towards her daughter appears more cruel than funny, and her taunts never seem to stop.
She isn’t necessarily evil though. There’s just less to like about her, but at least we have other characters like Gary and Amy finally speaking up and growing much more than the rest of the cast.
Selina is flawed in many ways, pursuing an off-and-on relationship with her ex-husband, secretly harbouring love for Senator Tom James, and almost always getting back to them despite a massive fight. For someone who binge watches the show, Selina gets unpredictable but as the seasons progress, her character goes beyond redemption. Heck, she doesn’t even try and she has no qualms about that.
Her quirks, still, are the highlights of this show. Calling her therapy centre a spa, celebrating her win in politics even when she pulled the plug on her mother, ignoring Catherine’s (her daughter) needs when she lay writhing in pain during her pregnancy and much more. But she doesn’t try underplaying her regular, horrible self.
In a lot of instances, she reminds us of how Elaine Benes (of Seinfeld) would’ve been if she had become the President. It’s hard for a woman sure, and probably not the best choice around. But wouldn’t you rather have a bumbling, but sometimes funny President who would much rather call glasses a “wheelchair for the eyes” as opposed to have them openly mock a disabled person (we’re looking at you, Trump).
The show is ending with the seventh season and we can only hope that Selina gets more horrible, her team continues to douse all the fire she sets and still emerge victorious, somehow. You do end up rooting for her.
Feature Image: HBO Watch