I was watching the very boring Emmy Awards last month and to be quite honest the best part of the whole night happened to be when Julia Louis-Dreyfuss won her 2nd Emmy for her role on the show “Veep”. Though I didn’t understand the whole bit with fellow “Veep” cast members Tony Hale and Anna Chlumsky, I did find the whole thing humorous itself so I thought I would take a gamble and watch it as it was On Demand (Thanks Cablevision!) It only took me about 2 days to watch the entire series and the conclusion that I got on it was that Veep is truly the best comedy on television for so many different reasons. Each cast member brings something incredibly unique to the show that makes it really work as an ensemble comedy, something that seems to be a working formula for other shows like Modern Family and 30 Rock for instance. Take this as “The West Wing” but with a lot more curse words and realism. Funny indeed.
Julia Louis Dreyfuss, who many of us of course know for as Elaine Benes from “Seinfeld” (which earned her her first of four Emmy’s) plays Selina Meyers, a somewhat reluctant Vice President who was one time presidential candidate and former senator. She feels that way because being second in command always has her feeling disregarded and discontent to the president, who is never actually named or shown on the series. The president himself always seems to get himself into really bad situations and she seems to take the brunt of it. And the situations that she gets herself into only seem to make it worse for the 2nd year Vice President, who had to deal with walking through a glass door and doing an interview in front of a pig getting roasted as two of the several issues she had to confront head on in the public (no pun intended). She has her wacky team around her that seems to do a really good job at keeping her together and yet tearing her apart at the same time, yet just like many sitcoms there always seems to be resolve at the end of it.
Of course, it can’t just be one person who makes an ensemble cast shine. The supporting cast who spend their every minute supporting (and not so supporting) Selina are just as good if not better in certain scenes than Julia herself. Cue in Tony Hale, who plays Gary Walsh, Selina’s long term associate and confidant of her’s. A longtime character actor, he truly broke out onto the scene with his hilarious role on Arrested Development as Buster Bluth, the youngest of the Bluth family in the hilarious but short lived FOX series (resurrected by Netflix). He surprisingly beat all of the Modern Family contenders who are the usually shoo-in’s to win at the Emmy’s this year for Best Supporting Actor in a comedy and boy did he deserve it. He plays the character in such a creepy yet funny way as he shows over and over again the lengths that he will go to keep Selina happy. The first episode of Season 2 is a prime example when he goes beyond what is necessary just to find a particular lipstick for Selina.
A big one for me at least include Anna Chlumsky as Amy Brookheimer, who plays the VP’s chief of staff. Most of us of course remember her for her role in “My Girl” over fifteen years ago. Now she has taken back the spotlight on cue with her witty and funny role that often at most times has her delivering some of the best lines possible. Best example for me is when her sister tricks her into thinking her father is dying. When she visits the hospital, it turns out he is fine but nothing bad has happened yet. After some back and forth banter, her sister says on the way out “Always have to get the last word in”. Amy replies- “Well you’ve had three kids by two different men, so maybe your last word should’ve been no”. Tee hee. Love it.
Matt Walsh plays Mike McLintock, who is the VP’s director of communications and is oft times the one at the end of a really cruel joke, in particular just how in debt he is and how desperate he is to sell his boat to try to get out of debt (watch the show for more). Under him is Reid Scott playing Dan Egan, who is the deputy director of communications and on again/off again lover of Amy’s. Finally rounding things out is my particular favorite, the stone faced Sue Wilson played by Sufe Bradshaw, who kills it as the personal assistant to Selina’s. She is a takes no prisoner type of character and someone who is really blossoming on this series.
I don’t want to give too much away in this article because anyone who reads this should immediately go and watch the show, but for the people who do watch it- season 3 is going to be off the chain seeing how season 2 ended. Go to their official website to watch full episodes and be on the lookout for season 3 when it starts sometime in 2014. Can’t wait!