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.
Slowly but surely, television is opening up the long overdue idea of a woman in the White House. Veep stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer, a former presidential hopeful who takes the thankless job of VP. She tries for change but often gets mired in bureaucracy and ignored by the POTUS. Scandal follows Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington), a D.C. fixer with a very close relationship with the president. Though different genres, both have women as major players in politics and tend to favor outrageous situations in our nation’s capital. So which series presents the most formidable women and which has the most outlandish shenanigans?
Veep has quite a few women in power. Selina Meyer is Vice President, and some of the most important people in her office are her Chief of Staff Amy (Anna Chlumsky) and her personal assistant, Sue Wilson (Sufe Bradshaw). Part of the joke of Veep is that Selina is so inutile. She is unable to make as much headway in politics as she’d like because but she gets sidelined by lobbyists or undone by the POTUS. However, there are enough high profile women in Washington that she often liaises with Senators and Representatives… including Kate Burton, who incidentally plays the Vice President over on Scandal.
In the Scandal universe, Olivia Pope is a major power player in D.C. She lives outside the law, often outright breaking it to achieve her ends. She is instrumental in presidential elections. There are plenty of powerful women on the show as well. Two members of Olivia’s team are women and the First Lady Mellie Grant (Bellamy Young) is a shrewd politician. There even is a viable potential presidential candidate in Josie Marcus (Lisa Kudrow). However, Olivia’s Achilles’ heel is her love for the president. As kick-ass as Olivia and the women on the show can be, their efforts are often undone by sex, love, or other personal matters. The series does deserve some bonus points because Shonda Rhimes’ power does reverberate through the series, but her sphere of influence is Hollywood, not D.C.
Ruling: Veep. In the court of public opinion, Selina’s reputation is still pretty decent. All the female characters are unwaveringly ambitious and often sacrifice the personal for the professional.
Both series present a slightly exaggerated view of D.C. for the sake of entertainment. Veep opts for the realistic with comedic reactions. Selina will occasionally fly off the handle or get her foot in her mouth. On one occasion, she sneaks into the Oval Office to confront the POTUS and accidentally gets lipstick stuck in the presidential seal on the office rug. She is often the last to find out about major policy changes because she has a non-existent relationship with the POTUS. Personally, she’s divorced and her sex life is often met with equally wild mishaps. But the bulk of the outrageousness comes from keeping her issues out of the public eye and staying in good standing.
Scandal is not afraid to be downright insane. Not only is Olivia carrying on an off-again/on-again relationship with the president but she’ll move mountains to keep it a secret. The series has secret government agents, murders, kidnappings, and a White House Chief-of-Staff (Jeff Perry) who is willing to do anything for the president and his political career.
Ruling: Scandal. It takes drama to the extreme. Not only does it focus on some of the worst possible scenarios for D.C. but everyone is chock full of secrets.
Both series are making great headway in showcasing women as important players in government. It helps that the shows use humor and scandalous soap operatic drama to excite the masses for a female president.
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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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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HBO's new political comedy Veep has a pretty fruitful subject matter—the behind-the-scenes dysfunctions of the White House staff—and a very impressive name behind it in Armando Iannucci, creator of another political satire, In the Loop. But if that isn't enough for you, it has got a cast that pulls from some of the greatest pieces of pop culture from the early '90s.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus leads the cast as the apparently inept Vice President of the United States, in the first role that seems suitable for her comic prowess since Seinfeld. Right beside Louis-Dreyfus' VP Selina Meyer is an edgy, ambitious Chief of Staff, played by an actress who will really tug at your affection for early '90s nostalgia: Anna Chlumsky, star of My Girl.
In addition to these leading greats, Veep boasts power players from Arrested Development, the Upright Citizens Brigade, My Boys, and even a Star Trek alum. Check out the character videos below, and the trailer for the upcoming show. Veep will premiere Sunday, Apr. 22 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.
Selina Meyer, Vice President—played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus, a.k.a. Elaine from Seinfeld
Amy Brookheimer, Chief of Staff—played by Anna Chlumsky, a.k.a. Vada Margaret Sultenfuss from My Girl
Gary Walsh, "Body Man"—played by Tony Hale, a.k.a. Buster Bluth from Arrested Development
Mike McClintock, Director of Communications—played by Matt Walsh, founding member of the Upright Citizens Brigade
Dan Egan, Deputy Director of Communications—played by Reid Scott, a.k.a. Brendan from My Boys
Sue Wilson, Executive Assistant—played by Sufe Bradshaw, a.k.a. an alien in Star Trek
Jonah Ryan, White House Liaison—played by Timothy Simons: newcomer!
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