Allow me to shed some Festivus light on HBO ‘s latest homerun: the Julia Louis-Dreyfus vehicle Veep. Before we get into anything else, let me point out that Veep heralds the return of one Anna Chlumsky, aka Vada Sultenfuss from the early 90’s tearjerker My Girl. Classic stuff.
Veep revolves around Vice President Selina Meyer, a loose equivalent of Sarah Palin had she actually (shudder!) ascended to 2nd in chain of command. Selina, as played by Louis-Dreyfus, is hilariously negligible, acutely aware of her own delusions of grandeur. Her staff, which includes personal aide Gary (Byron from Arrested Development!), Chief of Staff Amy (Chlumsky) and 3 others spends much of their time dithering over meaningless bills and internet rumors.
NYMag has a great article on their site today, in which they rightly point out that “the real insight of the show is that the inevitable failure of everything does not come about because Meyer and her staff are buffoons . . . What’s buffoonish is the system itself — the stupid and trivial media, the utter futility of trying to communicate sensible policy to an America that, unlike the country imagined by Aaron Sorkin, does not hang on every word uttered by its public servants.”
If anything else, what fascinates me about the show is precisely the amount of useless dithering that happens in politics. Useless dithering happens in all industries, so I suppose it shouldn’t be any different for government, but like many Americans I often fall prey to the notion that politics carries a sense of gravitas lacking in non-critical industries like say, luxury goods and fine arts. Wrong-O.
But enough of my own dithering, watch this preview and watch the show on Sunday nights. It nestles snugly between Game of Thrones and Girls. BOOM – you’re whole night right there.