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"Veep" on HBO HD

post #1 of 155
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Former Senator Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) has accepted the call to serve as Vice President of the United States. The job is nothing like she imagined and everything she was warned about. 'Veep' follows Meyer and her staff as they attempt to make their mark and leave a lasting legacy, without getting tripped up in the day-to-day political games that define Washington.

Meyer's inner circle includes: her chief of staff Amy (Anna Chlumsky), longtime press spokesperson Mike McClintock (Matt Walsh), right hand and body man Gary (Tony Hale) and secretary Sue (Sufe Bradshaw) all of whom often do battle with Dan Egan (Reid Scott) an ambitious interloper and smug White House liaison Jonah (Tim Simons).

Created by Armando Iannucci (The Thick of It, In the Loop), the comedy is scripted but shot in an improvisational style. 'Veep' is authentic without being specifically biographical about what it is like to hold the least effectual post in the most powerful office in the world.

http://www.hbo.com/veep/index.html



Premiere - Sunday April 22nd 10pm


US version of the acclaimed UK political comedy satire "The Thick of It" which also spawned the spin-off movie "In the Loop".

The original is known for it's extremely hilarious and vulgar language so I'm glad it's on HBO. That at least doesn't seem to have been lost. It's also being overseen by the creator of the original show Armando Iannucci, who wrote and directed the pilot. So there's that too.
post #2 of 155
Hey, thanks for making the thread

Seems interesting, I'll check this out for sure.
See you at the premier.
post #3 of 155
I loved "The Thick of It", Peter Capaldi was fantastic as Malcolm, lots of great characters in that show, hopefully "Veep" will live up to the original.
post #4 of 155
Thread Starter 
post #5 of 155
Looking forward to it. I'd seen the previews on HBO. Yesterday, I noticed several huge ads in the DC Metro.

Doug
post #6 of 155
This will be great. Well, hopefully.
post #7 of 155
Thread Starter 
Quote:


Veep will première in April. One wonders if its depiction of politics will inspire in American viewers a similar sense of recognition. Richard Plepler, the co-president of HBO, recently observed that Iannucci, in an unusual turn for satire, has toned down the cynicism of Washington life. Part of Iannucci's genius, he said, was that, in this very heightened and extreme and almost hyper-political culture that we are in, he's softened the voice a little bit, through irony. At a time when politicians describe their opponents as enemies of the state, a comedy of office missteps and compromised principleseven one with relentlessly profane dialogueis a diversion, just as The West Wing offered escape from its own political era.

The diversion is welcome: I recently saw unfinished edits of much of the first season, and each episode was funnier than the last. But it wasn't clear if, with Veep, Iannucci would ever reach a place quite as satisfying as he did with The Thick of It. The various efforts to internationalize the success of The Thick of It may have not fully taken into account that the show is more about work than politics. It's a workplace where one's embarrassments may spill onto the evening news, but it's nevertheless about private humiliations and defeats, and how men in offices are much like boys in high school. As Iannucci himself said, of Veep, A lot of the stories in the end are Everyman stories, and if it didn't happen in the Vice-President's office it would happen in a shoe shop in Milan. It's just people trying to get on, and not wanting to be found out. He said of the situations on Veep, I want the viewer to think, What would I do? I'd probably end up doing the same.

But the size of the stage on which Vice-Presidential affairs occuror any national politics in Americarisks overwhelming that shoe-shop spirit. In Veep, almost any workplace incompetence, or even informality, is a threat to its hoped-for naturalism. Anna Chlumsky's youthful mannerismsthe little shake of the head with which a teen-ager accompanies the word whateveralso have this effect.
I saw that as an interesting challenge, Iannucci said, when asked about Vice-Presidential gravitas. And I like that big stage. With Veep, he said, It's all about showing the big public world Selina inhabits, but once we've clocked it we're moving in, microscopically, onto the four or five people who are stuck in it. And sometimes you can get intimate stuff because it's public. If something embarrassing happens, Selina has to try to find somewhere she can compose herself, and those places are necessarily really quiet and really small.

From a very long interview with Iannucci and history of the show in the New Yorker.

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2...fa_fact_parker
post #8 of 155
Thread Starter 
Review: Julia Louis-Drefyus in HBO's 'Veep'
'SEINFELD' ALUM SHINES IN NEW POLITICAL SATIRE FROM 'THICK OF IT' CREATOR ARMANDO IANNUCCI
By Alan Sepinwall FRIDAY, APR 20, 2012 9:00 AM

Many jobs are what you make of them. When you become Vice President of the United States, though, the job is what the President lets you make of it. Sometimes, the VP gets invested with tremendous power, as President Bush the younger did with Dick Cheney; other times, the VP is marginalized as quickly as possible, as President Bush the elder did with Dan Quayle.

We frequently see Selina enter her office asking her assistant if the President has called. The answer is always no. She's so disconnected from the man in charge that he's never actually glimpsed in the series, instead represented by a twentysomething goon named Jonah whom everyone in Selina's office despises, even as they recognize that his low-level job in the west wing makes him more powerful than all of them combined.*

But Selina never stops dreaming of mattering, even if her pet issues are either dry (filibuster reform) or obscure (replacing all the plastic cutlery in Washington with more environmentally-friendly forks and knives made of corn starch), and even though she's too busy putting out fires of her own creation to get anything else done.

"Veep" was created by Scottish writer/director Armando Iannucci, whose political satire series "The Thick of It" won awards and devoted fans in the UK before being spun off into the continent-spanning film "In the Loop." Now he's doing a series set in the United States, with a beloved star in Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer and other familiar faces like Tony Hale (as Selina's body man Gary) and "In the Loop" holdover Anna Chlumsky (as her chief of staff Amy). *

The accents are different, as is the system of government, but the angle and withering sense of humor are the same. Iannucci's satire isn't about ideology.(*) His characters aren't liberal or conservative.*(It's never even hinted what party Selina is in.) They have no beliefs other than a desire for more power —*or, when that fails, to hang onto the power they currently have, at all costs.

(*) Inevitably, some people who haven't seen the show have assumed it's some kind of Sarah Palin parody, when, gender aside, Selina has about as much in common with Palin as she does with Estes Kefauver.

When Selina gets word that her toothless Clean Jobs Commission is on the verge of being approved, she boasts, "That is so great for me!" Amy, who still has a thimble of idealism left running through her veins, asks, "And the country?," prompting Selina to clumsily pivot and say, "Yeah, yeah, yeah! That's what I meant!" When she's briefly placed in charge of the country while the President is experiencing chest pains, it's all Selina can do to hide her glee.

And it's not even that she's necessarily a bad person. There's a sense that she once had beliefs that, like those of most of her colleagues and underlings, were slowly ground down after years of being part of the political machine.

As Jonah (Timothy Simons) neatly sums up the apathy and priorities of this town, "When a sexual harasser dies, we sign his wife's card! That's how Washington works!"

It's a fantastic role for Dreyfus, capturing that same Elaine Benes sense of a person who thinks they're smart constantly realizing they're doing something colossally stupid. She tears into Iannucci's dialogue, particularly the creative profanity he had so much fun deploying in "The Thick of It."

There's a kind of collective glee coming from the ensemble, really. Matt Walsh goes to town with the role of Selina's press secretary Mike, who's all but given up on taking any pleasure in his job. Realizing everyone at a party knew a piece of bad news before he did, he sighs, "I'm like the last guy in 'Human Centipede' in this."

Hale has struggled since "Arrested Development" to find a role that didn't make him into a total cartoon, but he finally has the right part as Gary, whom everyone on the staff mocks even as they recognize his unrelenting loyalty to Selina and his unusual skillset. (As Amy explains with admiration while watching Gary aide Selina on a receiving line, he's "like a human teleprompter for small talk.")

In its first three episodes, "Veep" feels like a cut below what I've seen of Iannucci's UK work, if only because it lacks a galvanizing figure like Peter Capaldi's wicked, staggeringly vulgar bureaucrat Malcolm Tucker. But other characters get to utter some hilariously Tucker-esque lines(**), the ensemble works incredibly well together —in marked contrast to Selina's dysfunction, competitive staff — and there's a briskness and intelligence to the whole shebang.

(**) If your strongest memory of Chlumsky is still from "My Girl," then it's particularly bracing to hear Vada Sultenfuss cuss like a longshoreman.

Though the theme song sounds a bit like it could have been part of the score of "The West Wing," this isn't a remotely optimistic show. The Washington that Selina Meyer knows is the place where, at any moment, she can be warned that "the utensils are politicized."

http://www.hitfix.com/blogs/whats-al...s-in-hbos-veep
post #9 of 155
DVR set. Hopefully it's not the mess that the first episode of Girls was. I see much hope in the fact that Stephanie Laing is a producer.
post #10 of 155
There's a glowing review in tomorrow's Washington Post (we get the inserts on Saturday).

Doug
post #11 of 155
Soon!!

lol
post #12 of 155
That was amazing.

Great job, HBO!

post #13 of 155
Thread Starter 
I thought it was pretty good. Not great, but it has potential. There were some very good one liners on occasion but I think it needs more swearing. The original was known for it's very creative use of verbal abuse and this was pretty tame.

I really like Anna Chlumsky in this. I haven't seen her since her White Collar guest spot and she looks good and has spark.
post #14 of 155
I liked it. There was some smart dialogue, and the cast was well chosen.

I agree about Anna Chlumsky. Many people my age grew up watching "My Girl" a lot on TV, so there is definitely a nostalgia factor there.
post #15 of 155
That was average at best. I see room for growth, unlike the crap show that it's paired with (Girls). Will definitely tune in again next week.
post #16 of 155
The initial scene when she went to visit the Senator (?) was all laughs. The camera followed Julia to the couch while the Senator was back at the desk typing..... Man laughs.....
post #17 of 155
During the first few minutes of Veep I was decidedly undecided about the show but as it went on it grew on me. It uses discomfort comedy in much the same way the old Seinfeld show did and The Office still does. I, too, loved little Anna Chlumsky as the Veep's chief of staff, Amy. Chlumsky is the only actress I can think of who is both as short and as funny as Louis-Dreyfus. Veep has promise.
post #18 of 155
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Originally Posted by gwsat View Post

It uses discomfort comedy in much the same way the old Seinfeld show did and The Office still does.

You know, I was thinking it had a little Seinfeld feel to it. I agree with you.
post #19 of 155
Awful, just awful. Made me pine for "The New Adventures of Old Christine".
post #20 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by kromkamp View Post

Awful, just awful. Made me pine for "The New Adventures of Old Christine".

Seinfeld wasn't popular at first, either. In fact NBC almost didn't pick it up and even after they did, it didn't draw very good audiences for a while. This all goes to show that sly, slightly meanspirited humor like Veep isn't for all tastes. That said, I have no idea where the show will go but the first episode showed me enough for me to stick with it, at least for a while.
post #21 of 155
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Originally Posted by VisionOn View Post

I thought it was pretty good. Not great, but it has potential. There were some very good one liners on occasion but I think it needs more swearing. The original was known for it's very creative use of verbal abuse and this was pretty tame.

I really like Anna Chlumsky in this. I haven't seen her since her White Collar guest spot and she looks good and has spark.

I liked it, but I also agree that it needs to be a bit more brutal in the verbal abuse like the original was, although most of that was generated by Peter Capaldi's character and I'm not sure anyone in this show can pull it off as well as he did. There doesn't seem to even be a Capaldi character yet in "Veep"(maybe the female senator?), not that this show is an exact copy of "The Thick Of It", but it seems very similar in structure so I'm guessing it's headed in that direction.
post #22 of 155
Wife & I are both big Julia fans, but we felt that this show didn't offer much entertainment value. Hope it improves - we'll give it a few more episodes.
post #23 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwsat View Post

Seinfeld wasn't popular at first, either. In fact NBC almost didn't pick it up and even after they did, it didn't draw very good audiences for a while.

For every great show that started off not being very popular - there's a 100 crappy shows that also started off not being very popular.
post #24 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaydigi View Post

The initial scene when she went to visit the Senator (?) was all laughs. The camera followed Julia to the couch while the Senator was back at the desk typing..... Man laughs.....

Yet that was the scene that struck me as the least realistic, no senator (no matter how self-important) is going to disrespect the VP like that (not to their face anyway), I think it's ok but nothing special (so far).
post #25 of 155
Well, if the show fails, Matt Walsh might be able to go unscathed with the claim of plausible deniability. The writers, on the other hand, would be pencil ****ed with little-to-no romance beforehand.
post #26 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by CPanther95 View Post

For every great show that started off not being very popular - there's a 100 crappy shows that also started off not being very popular.

There you have me, alas. I did think that the first episode got better as it went along, however. In any event we agree that so far the show falls far short of being a boffo, can't miss hit.
post #27 of 155
I expected not to like it, never much saw the point of JLD, but I laughed all the way through. Nice ensemble, and they are trying to establish a verbal rhythm/style that will be interesting and recognizable. It's an odd style, cutting remarks, but delivered as normal conversation - it's the only conversation really, that's how they seem to communicate.

This constant insult thing could get old fast, but for a first episode I thought they pulled it off well. I like the White House guy - he should be the sex guy on Girls.
post #28 of 155
It was OK, and I agree MUCH better than the show that followed it. Right now it seems to lack a point of view, lacks redeeming qualities in the characters, and just isn't very funny.
I guess you can build a show with few likable characters, but man, It'd better be funny. And to have a Vice President who gets so little respect outside of her immediate office just doesn't seem very realistic. I mean, even Palin would have fans in her party. Makes you wonder how anybody like that could ever get on the ticket, so I have to suspend disbelief.
post #29 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by VisionOn View Post

I thought it was pretty good. Not great, but it has potential. There were some very good one liners on occasion but I think it needs more swearing. The original was known for it's very creative use of verbal abuse and this was pretty tame.

Really? It seemed to me f**k was uttered practically every other line. Not that that language offends me, but sometimes it can be overused to the detriment of the scene. I'm not familiar with the original.

I thought it was passable - nothing great, nothing terrible. I’ll give it another chance or two.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VisionOn View Post

I really like Anna Chlumsky in this. I haven't seen her since her White Collar guest spot and she looks good and has spark.

I had my eyes on Anna, and the thing that struck me the most were her facial expressions. Its what you do when you aren’t the main focus of the camera that helps contribute to the entertainment. Also, nice to see she hasn’t gone the way of the super thin that is so popular.
post #30 of 155
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aliens View Post

Really? It seemed to me f**k was uttered practically every other line. Not that that language offends me, but sometimes it can be overused to the detriment of the scene.

Which was partially my point, although I probably should have been clearer that it wasnt the frequency that was really lacking, but the variety.

If you've seen clips of the original with Peter Capaldi he strings together insults and expletives in a far more varied and creative way, which in turn also makes it funnier.
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