Once a "political leper," Vice President Selina Meyer will amp up her campaign for the highest office in the land when Veep returns on Apr. 6. Though, with this bunch of jokers and opportunists behind her, it doesn't look good. In honor of the upcoming third season premiere of the HBO comedy, we've organized the office of the VP (that's "Vaguely Personable," to some) from least to most useless.
5. Sue Wilson, Personal Assistant
Sue (Sufe Bradshaw) is the iron gate between Selina and the outside world. She wield's her phone like a weapon and can be counted on to not only shut down every person who tries to get through, but also to eviscerate them personally in the process. No, the president hasn't called.
4. Amy Brookheimer, Chief of Staff
Smart, married to her job, and always ready with a devastating insult, we get the feeling that poor Amy (Anna Chlumsky) just picked the wrong horse in this race. Think of what she'd accomplish with a savvy and poised candidate as her boss. Though there don't seem to be any of those in Veep's Washington.
3. Mike McLintock, Director of Communications
Mike (Matt Walsh) is relatively capable, but has such a deep hatred for his job that he's made up a fake dog to always have an excuse to go home early. If it weren't for his crushing debt and the cost of the boat upkeep, he'd probably have resigned long ago.
2. Gary Walsh, Personal Aide
Whatever else is said about Gary (Tony Hale), no one can claim that he's not fiercely loyal to the VP. Armed with "The Leviathan," Gary is devoted to his boss's every waking need. But let's just say he's not the person you'd want by your side in a crisis.
1. Dan Eagan, Deputy Director of Communications
Dan (Reid Scott) is young, handsome, ambitious, and calculating — just the sort of political tap dancer who should be killing it in D.C. And he could be great at his job — if he spent more time doing it and less time trying to schmooze his way to greener pastures.
For the bulk of every Rocky and Bullwinkle episode, moose and squirrel would engage in high concept escapades that satirized geopolitics, contemporary cinema, and the very fabrics of the human condition. With all of that to work with, there's no excuse for why the pair and their Soviet nemeses haven't gotten a decent movie adaptation. But the ingenious Mr. Peabody and his faithful boy Sherman are another story, intercut between Rocky and Bullwinkle segments to teach kids brief history lessons and toss in a nearly lethal dose of puns. Their stories and relationship were much simpler, which means that bringing their shtick to the big screen would entail a lot more invention — always risky when you're dealing with precious material.
For the most part, Mr. Peabody & Sherman handles the regeneration of its heroes aptly, allowing for emotionally substance in their unique father-son relationship and all the difficulties inherent therein. The story is no subtle metaphor for the difficulties surrounding gay adoption, with society decreeing that a dog, no matter how hyper-intelligent, cannot be a suitable father. The central plot has Peabody hosting a party for a disapproving child services agent and the parents of a young girl with whom 7-year-old Sherman had a schoolyard spat, all in order to prove himself a suitable dad. Of course, the WABAC comes into play when the tots take it for a spin, forcing Peabody to rush to their rescue.
Getting down to personals, we also see the left brain-heavy Peabody struggle with being father Sherman deserves. The bulk of the emotional marks are hit as we learn just how much Peabody cares for Sherman, and just how hard it has been to accept that his only family is growing up and changing.
But more successful than the new is the film's handling of the old — the material that Peabody and Sherman purists will adore. They travel back in time via the WABAC Machine to Ancient Egypt, the Renaissance, and the Trojan War, and 18th Century France, explaining the cultural backdrop and historical significance of the settings and characters they happen upon, all with that irreverent (but no longer racist) flare that the old cartoons enjoyed. And oh... the puns.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman is a f**king treasure trove of some of the most amazingly bad puns in recent cinema. This effort alone will leave you in awe.
The film does unravel in its final act, bringing the science-fiction of time travel a little too close to the forefront and dropping the ball on a good deal of its emotional groundwork. What seemed to be substantial building blocks do not pay off in the way we might, as scholars of animated family cinema, have anticipated, leaving the movie with an unfinished feeling.
But all in all, it's a bright, compassionate, reasonably educational, and occasionally funny if not altogether worthy tribute to an old favorite. And since we don't have our own WABAC machine to return to a time of regularly scheduled Peabody and Sherman cartoons, this will do okay for now.
If nothing else, it's worth your time for the puns.
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Things are shaping up to be interesting this season. So far, the entire Bo Rangers crew has been separated. Kenzi (Ksenia Solo) is shining outside the shadow of our favorite succubus, Bo (Anna Silk). It’s also nice to see everyone have their own unique motivations outside of the typical weekly mystery.
Dyson (Kris Holden-Ried) returns to the scene of the crime. Bo disappeared and Tamsin (Rachel Skarsten) drove him off a cliff. He stumbles upon a child-version of Tamsin (Ava Preston). It looks like Valkyries have near infinite lives and Tamsin has just been reborn as a snarky preteen. Kenzi spends the entire episode babysitting TamTam. It’s great to see the chemistry between them. It makes Tamsin a more likable character. She also accidentally flushes Kenzi’s stash of Jubilee cream. It looks like Kenzi is becoming an addict to sparkly Fae powers. Over the course of the episode, Tamsin grows into a teenager and it looks like she’ll be fully grown soon.
Dyson goes on the hunt for a tracker to find Bo. He ends up at a beauty shop. It turns out the Fae they’ve been tracking has been kidnapped by his girlfriend. Clio (Mia Kirshner) pops up at the right moment to help Dyson and Hale (K.C. Collins) but not before Hale gets wacked with a special perfume that makes him irresistible to women. This is ironic since he’s been super annoying with his pining over Kenzi. Luckily, it works and he and Kenzi share some hardcore making out.
Dyson’s search seems like a fool’s errand because Eddy (Benjamin Ayres) can’t help him find Bo because he’s been a prisoner for centuries. Clio pops up again, very sketchily, to help Dyson find Bo. Meanwhile, Vex (Paul Amos) aka Avatar, the Last Mesmer has been kidnapped by the mysterious Una Mens. It appears that their idea of bringing balance to the Fae involves a ton of violence and destruction. They are punishing Vex for the missing Morrigan (Emmanuelle Vaugier). They decide that as the last Mesmer he has too much power to live. He promises to get them Bo. He calls Clio and negotiates for Bo’s rescue.
The whole episode Bo is trapped on a mysterious train. When the spell broke last episode, it looks like her memory returned. She subdues the Wander’s random chambermaid and escapes from the train. This is great because the train subplot is pretty lame and uninteresting.
Lauren (Zoie Palmer) is living in Bumblef**k, Nowhere as a really bad waitress. Despite multiple doctorates, she can’t seem to bring plates to tables without making a mess. She also has an insanely flirtatious boss, Crystal (Ali Liebert). Crystal catches Lauren saving a Fae choking in the diner and Lauren spends the episode trying to remove the evidence. It looks like there’s some lady lovin’ in the near future.
Trick (Richard Howland) is being super sketch. It’s unclear what happened between him and Aife (Inga Cadranel) last episode but it ended with some blood on a photo of Bo. Hopefully, she will be around because she is one of the best characters on the show. However, since Cadranel is a cast member on Orphan Black, she may only be available for the occasional guest spot.
Kenzi’s Best Line of the Night
Shhhhh! It took like 5 Avril Lavigne songs to get Baby TamTam a ticket to playtime land. You wake her, Sk8er Boy, you’re dealing with her.
It looks like Trick may not be as above board as we thought. The more we see Trick on his own the sketchier he seems. Could he be evil or even the Wanderer?
It looks like Kenzi and Tamsin are going to be besties. Hopefully, being raised by Kenzi Tamsin will become a snarkier member of the crew.
Dyson will inevitably save Bo but at what cost? Will his interdimensional escapades mean he’ll lose his powers or get killed?
This Una Mens cult will not fare well for the Bo Rangers. It looks like they want Bo, Kenzi and Lauren. They seem to be the big bad of the season.
Tribeca Film via Everett Collection
For a film that involves a love triangle, mental illness, a Bohemian colony of free-spirits, an impending war and several important historical figures, the most exciting elements of Summer in February are the stunning shots of the English country and Cornish seaside. The rest of the film never quite lives up to the crashing waves and sun-dappled meadows that are used to bookend the scenes, as the entertaining opening never manages to coalesce into a story that lives up the the cinematography, let alone the lives of the people that inspired it.
Set in an Edwardian artist’s colony in Cornwall, Summer in February tells the story of A.J. Munnings (Dominic Cooper), who went on to become one of the most famous painters of his day and head of the Royal Academy of Art, his best friend, estate agent and part-time soldier Gilbert Evans (Dan Stevens), and the woman whom they both loved, aspiring artist Florence Carter-Wood (Emily Browning). Her marriage to Munnings was an extremely unhappy one, and she attempted suicide on their honeymoon, before killing herself in 1914. According to his journals, Gilbert and Florence were madly in love, although her marriage and his service in the army kept them apart.
When the film begins, Munnings is the center of attention in the Lamorna Artist's Colony, dramatically reciting poetry at parties and charming his way out of his bar tab while everyone around him proclaims him to be a genius. When he’s not drinking or painting, he’s riding horses with Gilbert, who has the relatively thankless task of keeping this group of Bohemians in line. Their idyllic existence is disrupted by the arrival of Florence, who has run away from her overbearing father and the fiancé he had picked out for her in order to become a painter.
Stevens and Browning both start the film solidly, with enough chemistry between them to make their infatuation interesting. He manages to give Gilbert enough dependable charm to win over both Florence and the audience, and she presents Florence as someone with enough spunk and self-possession to go after what she wants. Browning’s scenes with Munnings are equally entertaining in the first third of the film, as she can clearly see straight through all of his bravado and he is intrigued by her and how difficult she is to impress. Unfortunately, while the basis of the love triangle is well-established and entertaining, it takes a sudden turn into nothing with a surprise proposal from Munnings.
Neither the film nor Browning ever make it clear why Florence accepts his proposal, especially when they have both taken great pains to establish that she doesn’t care much for him. But once she does, the films stalls, and both Stevens and Browning spend the rest of the film doing little more than staring moodily and longingly at the people around them. The real-life Florence was plagued by depression and mental instability, but neither the film nor Browning’s performance ever manage to do more than give the subtlest hint at that darkness. On a few occasions, Browning does manage to portray a genuine anguish, but rather than producing any sympathy from the audience, it simply conjures up images of a different film, one that focused more on Florence, and the difficulties of being a woman with a mental illness at a time when both were ignored or misunderstood.
Stevens is fine, and Gilbert starts out with the same kind of good-guy appeal the won the heart of Mary Crawley and Downton Abbey fans the world over. However, once the film stalls, so does his performance, and he quickly drops everything that made the character attractive or interesting in favor of longing looks and long stretches of inactivity. He does portray a convincing amount of adoration for Florence, although that's about the only real emotion that Gilbert expresses for the vast majority of the film, and even during his love scene, he never manages to give him any amount of passion.
Cooper does his best with what he’s given, and tries his hardest to imbue the film with some substance and drama. His Munnings is by turns charming, brash, and brooding, the kind of person who has been told all of their life that they are special, and believes it. He even manages to give the character some depth, and even though he and Browning have very little chemistry, he manages to convey a genuine affection for her. It’s a shame that Munnings becomes such a deeply unlikable character, because Cooper is the only thing giving Summer in February a jolt of life – even if it comes via bursts of thinly-explained hostility. It's hard to watch just how hard he's working to connect with his co-stars and add some excitement to a lifeless script and not wish that he had a better film to show off his talents in.
Unfortunately, by the time Florence and Gilbert are finally spurred into activity, the film has dragged on for so long that you’re no longer invested in the characters, their pain, or their love story, even if you want to be. Which is the real disappointment of Summer in February; underneath the stalled plot and the relatively one-note acting, there are glimmers of a fascinating and compelling story that’s never allowed to come to the forefront.
Welsh actor Michael Sheen took on the infamous role of Stifler's Mom opposite Sharon Stone as Jim's Dad in a gender-swapping live-read of teen movie American Pie in Los Angeles. The Frost/Nixon star and the Basic Instinct actress were among the cast for a live performance of the film on Thursday night (16Jan14) as part of director Jason Reitman's regular series of star-studded read-throughs at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
The American Pie show featured the actors swapping gender roles, with Sheen taking on the feisty femme fatale played by Jennifer Coolidge in the original film and Shannon Elizabeth's part of Nadia.
Stone played the role of Jim's Dad, originally played by Eugene Levy, Twilight star Anna Kendrick tackled Seann William Scott's Stifler, and Spider-Man 3 actor Topher Grace channelled Tara Reid to play Vicky.
Other stars in the production included Olivia Wilde as Kevin, Krysten Ritter as Finch, John Cho as Heather, and Ari Graynor as Jim.
Sheen shared his news with fans following the performance in a series of posts on Twitter.com, writing, "Tried my best to get inside Shannon Elizabeth and Jennifer Coolidge tonight. A gender-reversed reading of American Pie at LACMA. Huge fun!... I was of course playing Nadia and Stifler's Mom! Sitting between Sharon Stone as Jim's Dad and Anna Kendrick as Stifler. Marvelous!!!"
Summit via Everett Collection
You can imagine that Renny Harlin, director and one quadrant of the writing team for The Legend of Hercules, began his pitch as such: We'll start with a war, because lots of these things start with wars. It feels like this was the principal maxim behind a good deal of the creative choices in this latest update of the Ancient Greek myth. There are always horse riding scenes. There are generally arena battles. There are CGI lions, when you can afford 'em. Oh, and you've got to have a romantic couple canoodling at the base of a waterfall. Weaving them all together cohesively would be a waste of time — just let the common threads take form in a remarkably shouldered Kellan Lutz and action sequences that transubstantiate abjectly to and fro slow-motion.
But pervading through Lutz's shirtless smirks and accent continuity that calls envy from Johnny Depp's Alice in Wonderland performance is the obtrusive lack of thought that went into this picture. A proverbial grab bag of "the basics" of the classic epic genre, The Legend of Hercules boasts familiarity over originality. So much so that the filmmakers didn't stop at Hercules mythology... they barely started with it, in fact. There's more Jesus Christ in the character than there is the Ancient Greek demigod, with no lack of Gladiator to keep things moreover relevant. But even more outrageous than the void of imagination in the construct of Hercules' world is its script — a piece so comically dim, thin, and idiotic that you will laugh. So we can't exactly say this is a totally joyless time at the movies.
Summit via Everett Collection
Surrounding Hercules, a character whose arc takes him from being a nice enough strong dude to a nice enough strong dude who kills people and finally owns up to his fate — "Okay, fine, yes, I guess I'm a god" — are a legion of characters whose makeup and motivations are instituted in their opening scenes and never change thereafter. His de facto stepdad, the teeth-baring King Amphitryon (Scott Adkins), despises the boy for being a living tribute to his supernatural cuckolding; his half-brother Iphicles (Liam Garrigan) is the archetypical scheming, neutered, jealous brother figure right down to the facial scar. The dialogue this family of mongoloids tosses around is stunningly brainless, ditto their character beats. Hercules can't understand how a mystical stranger knows his identity, even though he just moments ago exited a packed coliseum chanting his name. Iphicles defies villainy and menace when he threatens his betrothed Hebe (Gaia Weiss), long in love with Hercules, with the terrible fate of "accepting [him] and loving [their] children equally!" And the dad... jeez, that guy must really be proud of his teeth.
With no artistic feat successfully accomplished (or even braved, really) by this movie, we can at the very least call it inoffensive. There is nothing in The Legend of Hercules with which to take issue beyond its dismal intellect, and in a genre especially prone to regressive activity, this is a noteworthy triumph. But you might not have enough energy by the end to award The Legend of Hercules with this superlative. Either because you'll have laughed yourself into a coma at the film's idiocy, or because you'll have lost all strength trying to fend it off.
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Lions Gate via Everett Collection
When we last left our heroes, they had conquered all opponents in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, returned home to their newly refurbished living quarters in District 12, and fallen haplessly to the cannibalism of PTSD. And now we're back! Hitching our wagons once again to laconic Katniss Everdeen and her sweet-natured, just-for-the-camera boyfriend Peeta Mellark as they gear up for a second go at the Capitol's killing fields.
But hold your horses — there's a good hour and a half before we step back into the arena. However, the time spent with Katniss and Peeta before the announcement that they'll be competing again for the ceremonial Quarter Quell does not drag. In fact, it's got some of the film franchise's most interesting commentary about celebrity, reality television, and the media so far, well outweighing the merit of The Hunger Games' satire on the subject matter by having Katniss struggle with her responsibilities as Panem's idol. Does she abide by the command of status quo, delighting in the public's applause for her and keeping them complacently saturated with her smiles and curtsies? Or does Katniss hold three fingers high in opposition to the machine into which she has been thrown? It's a quarrel that the real Jennifer Lawrence would handle with a castigation of the media and a joke about sandwiches, or something... but her stakes are, admittedly, much lower. Harvey Weinstein isn't threatening to kill her secret boyfriend.
Through this chapter, Katniss also grapples with a more personal warfare: her devotion to Gale (despite her inability to commit to the idea of love) and her family, her complicated, moralistic affection for Peeta, her remorse over losing Rue, and her agonizing desire to flee the eye of the public and the Capitol. Oftentimes, Katniss' depression and guilty conscience transcends the bounds of sappy. Her soap opera scenes with a soot-covered Gale really push the limits, saved if only by the undeniable grace and charisma of star Lawrence at every step along the way of this film. So it's sappy, but never too sappy.
In fact, Catching Fire is a masterpiece of pushing limits as far as they'll extend before the point of diminishing returns. Director Francis Lawrence maintains an ambiance that lends to emotional investment but never imposes too much realism as to drip into territories of grit. All of Catching Fire lives in a dreamlike state, a stark contrast to Hunger Games' guttural, grimacing quality that robbed it of the life force Suzanne Collins pumped into her first novel.
Once we get to the thunderdome, our engines are effectively revved for the "fun part." Katniss, Peeta, and their array of allies and enemies traverse a nightmare course that seems perfectly suited for a videogame spin-off. At this point, we've spent just enough time with the secondary characters to grow a bit fond of them — deliberately obnoxious Finnick, jarringly provocative Johanna, offbeat geeks Beedee and Wiress — but not quite enough to dissolve the mystery surrounding any of them or their true intentions (which become more and more enigmatic as the film progresses). We only need adhere to Katniss and Peeta once tossed in the pit of doom that is the 75th Hunger Games arena, but finding real characters in the other tributes makes for a far more fun round of extreme manhunt.
But Catching Fire doesn't vie for anything particularly grand. It entertains and engages, having fun with and anchoring weight to its characters and circumstances, but stays within the expected confines of what a Hunger Games movie can be. It's a good one, but without shooting for succinctly interesting or surprising work with Katniss and her relationships or taking a stab at anything but the obvious in terms of sending up the militant tyrannical autocracy, it never even closes in on the possibility of being a great one.
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Veep is not for the overly sensitive or deeply offended television viewer...and thank f**king goodness for that. The scathing HBO comedy about the deliriously foul-mouthed, unintentionally incompetent, and downright crazy fictitious Vice President of the United States Selina Meyer (Emmy-winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus) and her not-so-merry band of equally deliriously foul-mouthed, unintentionally incompetent, and downright crazy (played by the immensely talented likes of Anna Chlumsky, Reid Scott, Tony Hale, and Matt Walsh, among others in the ensemble) is back for a second season and things are even more cynical and brutally funny than ever.
Season 2 of the series premiered on Sunday night and the mind Armando Iannucci — the king of the blistering comeback (also see: In The Loop, The Thick Of It) — has unleashed a new string of fast and furious one-liners. With a show like Veep, the rewind function on your DVR is downright essential as the jokes are relentless and it's easy to miss one when you're still in hysterics over the one that happened right before it.
The premiere episode, the aptly titled "Midterms" which found Selina and her cabinet dealing with the stress of the midterm elections and their own personal set of crisises (from a hospitalized father to trying to sell a boat on Ebay to trying to find a lipstick, everyone had their own set of unique meltdowns and little to no compassion from anyone around them), there was the lion's share of bad words and unfiltered comebacks.
If "Midterms" is any indication of Season 2, this year of Veep will be even nastier, and in turn, more hilarious than Season 1. If nothing else, Veep (which will, no doubt, rightfully earn Julia Louis-Dreyfus more awards and accolades) will provide your new favorite lines to quote from television. Jot these down for your next fight, because here are the ten best and most blistering one-liners heard in the Season 2 premiere of Veep.
1. "I fluffed 'em, now you f**k em." - Selina2. "My eyes will say Holocaust, my mouth will say Carnivale." - Selina 3. "Nope, it's a rape alarm. Not like she's ever gonna need that. I mean she's not ugly, but she's got a lot of security." - Gary (Hale)4. "You have as much a chance of getting the Vice President on your show as you have of getting your husband to leave that cheerleader." - Sue (Sufe Bradshaw) 5. "I don't know what those words mean. Mike, are you in the middle of some kind of aneurysm?" - Selina6. "Screw you and the face you rode in on." - Roger (Dan Bakkedahl)7. "Jesus, I feel my virginity growing back in here." - Dan (Scott)8. "You have three kids by two different guys, maybe your last word should have been, 'No'." - Amy (Chlumsky)9. "Why don't you go and f**k yourself in your own a**hole?" - Selina 10. "It was accident. Much like when Big Foot got your mom pregnant, resulting in you." - Mike
Veep airs at 10 PM ET on Sundays on HBO.
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We grow up looking at the president, the White House staff, and just about everybody in the American government as larger than life figures of virtue, strength, and good. It isn't until our late teens that we realize these images — ones propagated by cartoons and Cold War-era propaganda — aren't quite the reality. While most of us do not exactly have firsthand accounts of Washington, D.C. behind the curtain, we can imagine (and hope) it's something like Veep.
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The newest trailer for the upcoming second season of the HBO comedy takes the jaded, ill-conceived world of Vice President Selina Kyle (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) that was introduced last year and kicks it up a couple notches. Now, the titular veep seems even nastier and more incompetent... in the best ways possible. Along for the ride once again are Arrested Development favorite Tony Hale as Gary (this time around with a girlfriend!), Anna Chlumsky, Reid Scott, and Matt Walsh... and fear not: Timothy Simons' Jonah is still riding high on the president's coat tails. Enjoy the mean-spirited, kooky, hilarious promo below. Veep returns to HBO on Apr. 14.
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[Photo Credit: HBO]
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You love them, we love them, and it's high time Emmy recognized them. We're talking about the TV actors and actresses who have yet to be recognized by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, despite drawing us in week in and week out with their awe-inspiring ability to make us laugh, cry, or a weird combination of both. So every day here at Hollywood.com, we're going to be saluting those on the small screen who deserve an Emmy nomination, longshot status be damned. Today, we cast our ballot for Veep star Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus is a woman that's no stranger to praise. Sure, we can get into the blah blah blahs about Seinfeld and all that, but why dwell on her past greatness when her current is even more hilarious? Enter: Veep, and enter Selina Meyer, Vice President of the United States and her clumsy staff of never-cans and dopey try-hards. Now this is a role worth Emmy gold — and she deserves one right out the gate.
The role of Vice President has seemingly become a position more known for its political gaffes and comedic accidents rather than political prestige thanks to the you-can't-make-this-upness of Joe Biden, and well, that whole Sarah Palin thing. Plus, the job itself is second fiddle — no one dreams of becoming the Vice President; no, no, no... those who dream, dream a bit higher than that. Hence, it's easy to see how that chip meets shoulder attitude can make itself known. My fellow Americans, meet comedy gold.
And putting Louis-Dreyfus at the center of the role is a masterstroke, as her comedic deft and sense of control is perfect for the show's quick and abrasive humor. She's also a producer on the show; look at all the hats she's got on that well-coiffed head of hers (metaphorically)! But her real talents shine in her exacting and impressive balance on the comedy of power.
Her Selina Meyer is a women perceived to have so much power, but, is constantly being under-minded. The power she does have, is in the office and her tyranny of humor is best when she is suffering a crisis. The volleying play of power/no-power in the season finale was breathtakingly hilarious, and also daringly perceptive of the way it must feel to be in such a position — or any position — where you are clawing your way to the middle. Mediocrity and the District. Her poll numbers lower, she has Rodney Dangerfield-levels of respect from the man who put her in the role. "Sue, did the President call?" "No."
And then there are the maneuvers. You know what I mean, too — those things that politicos do to deflect the "regular normals" (which is also another brilliant so-funny-it-feels-true take-down) in all situations. The smile to "take back to his boss," or my personal favorite, the "Ma'am, it's the President" faux-call. All of these (and there are so many more) seem to point to the divisive, and well, political nature of politics. Selina Meyer lives in a world where even choosing an ice cream flavor is a political statement, and needs its own brainstorm. If she cries once in a day it's great, twice and it's crocodilian, and three times is damn-near 5150 status. And the absurdity in it all comes from the seeming truth of the situations. So well-calculated as to come off casual, to send a message (no matter how clouded that message might be at times). This is happening in politics in this country, right now. I'm sure of it, and that's why it's so perfect. Somebody did their homework on this show, and it is paid in full when put in the hands of Louis-Dreyfus. Everything is in a constant state of tug-o-war, mostly having to do with people exerting as much power as they can, when they can, and keeping-score on their very empty scorecards. Because ultimately, nobody's winning. And that's what makes it so brilliant. Louis-Dreyfus is constantly struggling to win — pinned up against her own limitations and powerlessness in the grand game of Washington, DC.
Her staff of barely-lovable (with the exception of very-lovable Gary, played by Tony Hale) bozos plays perfectly into her struggle for power and clarity; They do the calisthenics of her work — trying desperately to think up the next great power play to help her (but ultimately, them) make her tenure seem like a shiny, legacy-leaving beacon. Each one of them — her Chief of Staff Amy (Anna Chlumsky), Communications Director Mike (Matt Walsh), ambitious staff newcomer Dan (Reid Scott), and the stony secretary Sue (Sufe Bradshaw) — is in a constant state of flux. (Well, except for Sue, but that's because Sue is the queen bee and she knows exactly what she's doing and how to do it.)
And Louis-Dreyfus has been in the game for ages, so she knows how to jump from cold to vulnerable to tedious to frazzled to sad to uppity to out-of-touch with a fluidity that is rarely seen in even the most practiced of dancers. Timing is everything in comedy, and when your comedic platform discusses the frenzied, constantly-moving multi-headed beast that is politics in America, well, you've got your work cut out for you. But not our girl Julia — oh no, no, no. She is in charge of at least one thing as Selina Meyer, and that is her comedic brilliance. There's no better sort of take-down than a comedy take-down, and home-girl is giving it to us. So, please, Emmy voters, cast your ballot for this Best Actress and get our girl a shiny new statue, stat. It's your civic duty.
[Image Credit: HBO]
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