“Veep” is relentlessly vulgar and hilarious

“Veep” is a political comedy TV show that is the perfect match for 2020 politics. The 2020 presidential race is nearing an end and politics in the U.S. have never been uglier, so why not dive head-first into a comedy?

“Veep” aired from 2012 to 2019 and has seven seasons. It follows Vice President Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) as she continues her all-encompassing career in politics. Selina is constantly surrounded by people who are incompetent. No one does their jobs well, including Selina, who is plagued by indecision.  Comedy shows are reliant on great characters and “Veep” has them in spades. These are just a few of the recurring cast.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Anna Chlumsky, Tony Hale, Matt Walsh, Reid Scott, Sufe Bradshaw and Timothy Simons in Veep (2012). Image courtesy of IMDB.

Mike McLintock (Matt Walsh) is not cut out for his job as Selina’s communications director. He’s bad at talking around difficult questions, but when he’s not in the hot seat, he’s great at being likable.

Sue Wilson (Sufe Bradshaw) is Selina’s secretary and might be the only one that’s actually good at their job. Sue has exceptional organizational skills which make her primary job of organizing Selina’s hectic schedule manageable. She’s deadly serious and doesn’t tolerate nonsense.

Amy Brookheimer (Anna Chlumsky) is the definition of career-focused. She has her phone in her hand and on standby at all times. During one episode, Sue even makes a joke at Amy’s expense, saying that she clutches her phone like it was a container full of her frozen embryos.

Dan Egan (Reid Scott) is the worst of scumbag womanizers. Like Amy, he’s also very career-focused and will do anything to get ahead and make money at the same time.

Gary Walsh (Tony Hale) is my second favorite character. He’s Selina’s bagman which basically means that he’s her assistant and carries around a very large shoulder bag with convenience items. Gary is not-so-secretly in love with Selina which makes their relationship really weird.

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My favorite characters are tied because they’re related and pure comedy magic when they’re on-screen together. Jonah Ryan (Timothy Simons) is a wannabe jerk who works in the White House and is made fun of by literally everyone. He’s really tall, so a lot of the jokes are either based on his height the cloud botherer for example or riffs on his name.

The other character is Jonah’s uncle, Jeff Kane (Peter MacNicol), an AARP lobbyist with lots of political sway with the elderly in New Hampshire. Jeff is the most vulgar character of “Veep,” which is saying something. He always goes on verbal tirades and then proceeds to cackle with the most infectious laugh I’ve ever heard. His humor can verge on the morbid. It feels wrong laughing with someone who’s making fun of the deceased at a funeral, but it’s impossible not to with Jeff Kane.

Minna Hakkinen, the Prime Minister of Finland, adds a layer of foreign culture misunderstanding whenever she appears. Image courtesy of IMDB.

What sets “Veep” apart from other comedy favorites such as “The Office” and “Arrested Development,” is its comedic pacing. “Veep” throws joke after joke at the viewer and they all land. I’ve never laughed as hard or as consistently at another TV show as I have watching “Veep.”

“Veep” is also not afraid to throw out the odd abortion joke or basically anything else you can imagine. However, it feels like it does so mindfully. The showmakers seem aware that some of these people are truly awful. For example, Selina will do anything to acquire power, which includes using her college-aged daughter as a tool to gain public approval. She will sacrifice anything and anyone to achieve her goals and secure her legacy.

This all may sound pretty intense, but “Veep” always maintains a light-hearted tone that makes every screw-up and joke easier to laugh at. “Veep” started in a very different political era, so it’s understandable if the subject matters of the show land a little differently. However, “Veep” still manages to be hilarious regardless of what’s going on in the world today. The deeply flawed characters and a constant stream of impactful jokes make watching “Veep” an absolutely joyful breeze.

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