It sort of saddens me that I haven’t yet written about one of my favorite little gems this spring (pre-summer “summer” show), HBO’s Veep. While everyone was getting carried away with all the controversial Girls drama about whether it was undeniably the best thing ever or TV’s worst nightmare and the growing enthusiasm (and disdain) over True Blood‘s latest season has come the little vice presidential comedy from Julia Louis-Dreyfus and company. (Take a breath.) And you know what? It was absolutely fantastic.
I’m not worried about whether or not the comedy made me laugh aloud multiple times in one sitting or not. I feel as though in today’s television world, series can sort of get away with that. That is to say, that I watch a lot of comedies today that don’t really make me laugh. I’m always blown away with Community’s ambition, or Cougar Town‘s warmth, or the drama that surrounds How I Met Your Mother, or the quirkiness of 30 Rock, (and if I said what show makes me laugh the most, you’d all hate me) but my laugh-per-minute ratio for those shows is sometimes anemic at best. On Veep, it wasn’t always a hardy chuckle, but it was always a great ride. And quite frankly, during tonight’s finale, I laughed by [veep] off.
I mean, that final scene where Dan gets a promotion then #VeepWeep is trending on Twitter, the governor comes in to curse at everyone, and then he’s demoted but not in the public in what even felt like just one shot — what show could master the beauty of such fine and articulate dialogue like that? I actually had to clap. And I also laughed a lot there, too.
The first season of Veep sure didn’t really create many storylines for its characters outside of the political world (not that it has to, at all), but it wasn’t without them. What we got was good enough. It is an eight-episode season, after all. We got to see some of Selina’s home life with her daughter and her maybe-boyfriend/almost-fiance/perhaps-baby daddy Ted. And it came spiraling down during tonight’s hilarious crying gag. And of course, we got to see the supporting players try to rise to power, so to speak…meanwhile Gary just tended hand and foot. But it was pretty good tending — he even knows what the Veep wants when she doesn’t know herself!
This season of Veep was a fun, quick-witted, little journey. It sure was a show where the jokes ruled over substance of the plot, but I think that sort of played to its favor, even if at times it felt as though one-liner insults were thrown in just for good measure. Regardless, Selina Meyer was played beautifully by Louis-Dreyfus, who I’m 93% sure will be nominated for an Emmy. (Actually, she’s one of our dream nominee picks. And also actually, I’ll be surprised if she doesn’t after that finale. Not that the finale is eligible.) I’ve seen Louis-Dreyfus in a few other things — Seinfeld, 30 Rock as Liz Lemon, and Curb Your Enthusiasm as herself, Arrested Development, The New Adventures of Old Christine, etc — but I think Veep is truly a role that was really tailored for her. It obviously won’t ever be as hugely iconic as Elaine or even as memorable as Old Christine, but there are elements in both of those characters that make it fit like a glove in this one. Seinfeld was a show about horrible people doing horrible things to each other, and Old Christine was a show about people belittling its titular character, which sort of just coalesced into Veep. And Louis-Dreyfus has sort of perfected that blend effortlessly, always.
That said, the entire cast was pretty darn fantastic as well. Thanks for the season, Veep team!
I was going to give this season a B+, and then I realized I gave The Vampire Diaries a B- and completely screwed up my grading scale. So a very well-deserved A- it is from me.