“Well, there’s just… there’s just no way out of this. I mean, you know, not for a sitting Vice President…who’s lost Iowa and New Hampshire. You know what V.P. stands for? It stands for, “victory permaf***ed.” I don’t deserve it. You know? Goddammit. I don’t, but you do, because you are all losers! Every mother***ing one of you! Loser! Loser!”
Christopher M. Enis
This week, HBO’s Veep picked up seven Emmy Nominations.. including Best Comedy and Outstanding Lead Actress for Julia Louis-Dreyfus. This is Louis Dreyfus’ third nomination, and if she wins it will be her third Emmy in as many years.
Louis-Dreyfus plays Vice President Selina Meyer. She leads a talented cast in this political satire (which includes Emmy nominees Tony Hale and Anna Chlumsky. Hale won last year). The show takes much of its premise from the BBC series ‘The Thick of It.’ The creator behind both series is Armando Iannucci – and it’s shot Cinema Verite style. It leads us through the story of Meyer who, despite being the second most powerful person in the country, often feels completely powerless.
The role is a tour-de-force for Louis-Dreyfus, who had already impressed me as the title character in the underrated ‘New Adventures of Old Christine.’ After that show, I often wondered how she would top herself (Sidebar: CBS, you had the likes of Louis-Dreyfus, Clark Gregg and Wanda Sykes on the same show and you still canceled the show? Really?) . But her performance on Veep has far exceeded my expectations.
With the bar set so high by Louis-Dreyfus, I felt that her work in seasons 1 and 2 were major reasons why the show was nominated for best comedy show. After this past season, every other aspect of the show rose to the challenge. Season 3 main storyline centered on Meyer’s Presidential campaign run, and each of the 10 episodes were pure platinum. It all culminated in the incomparable episode 8 – “Debate” – with arguably the funniest line about truth in politics:
The last two episodes of the season, “Crate” and “New Hampshire” (which aired back to back), came with the coolest plot twist. In true Veep fashion, it was met with derision from some (and by some, I mean the closest Veep has to a “villain”, Jonah Ryan)…
“Buy a gun, mom, because America’s going to have to shoot its way out of this one.”
Veep… with Louis-Dreyfus at the helm of a veteran, mostly improv-trained cast and writer/creators who are in the zone… became in its 3rd season the best comedy on television. It’s an exquisitely written, superbly acted juggernaut that should not only clean up at the Emmys… it should easily place proudly in the rarefied “Classic TV” territory.