American versions of UK TV shows rarely go well (think The Inbetweeners US, Skins US, The IT Crowd US et al) but there are beautiful moments when the Yanks get it right. Such is the case with political satire Veep, the American cousin of BBC’s legendary portrait of UK politics The Thick of It. Americans being Americans, one would be forgiven for thinking they wouldn’t really “get” the astounding comedic value of creative swearing, but thankfully, with Armando Iannucci (creator of The Thick of It) at the helm, the politicians have lost none of their bite.
Veep centers around Selina Meyers, Vice President of the United States of America with a Sidekick complex and a blazing tongue. Together with her associates, including a hopelessly loyal assistant, a growling dog of a chief of staff and a dingbat of a director of communications, the entire show is superbly administered. The performances of Louis-Dreyfus are dynamite, worthy of those two Emmys. Each line is delivered to scathing perfection, her ruthless desperation for power so hilariously obvious, her revulsion for her colleagues and opponents so incredibly curated by the actress that it is incredibly difficult to fault any aspect of the performance.
The writing is also genius; in one exchange with her deputy director of communications, who explains he has used an incompetent employee for intelligence, she spits out “That’s like trying to use a croissant as a fucking dildo. It doesn’t do the job, and it makes a fucking mess.”
With the imminent arrival of Season 3, I recommend catching up on the two seasons before getting hooked. With only around nine episodes per season, each one will have you in stitches – and I do not throw that phrase around.
If I still haven’t convinced you, here’s a taste of what you’re missing.