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Viau’s View/Scott Viau

‘Veep’ makes for a good presidential pastime

March 28, 2013
The Daily Mining Gazette

"Veep,"?an original show that airs on HBO, starts off slow. It's not particularly funny, the acting is too staged and the vice president played by Louie-Dreyfus is unimaginably dim-witted.

Thankfully, that's just the first episode.

Out of the eight episode first season, the episodes only get better. While the pilot episode may be enough to make some not want to tune in again, "Veep" has recently been released on DVD and Blu-ray, making it easier for those who like to watch TV like an alcoholic on a binge.

Those who stick around are rewarded with a genuinely funny show that gives a glimpse of the inner workings of a vice presidential office, despite how obvious it may be that it's not exactly how things work - except, of course, for nothing getting done.

There's definitely a lot of swearing that goes on in the veep's office, but it's so much that, while indeed funny, it took me out of the situation and reminds me that I'm watching a show that can do the things it does because it airs on HBO.

The plot of the first season revolves around Vice President Selina Meyer, who after losing the presidency, becomes the vice president, but it's not at all what she thought it would be. With no real power, Meyer must put up with the whims of a president who's never seen on screen, as well as a staff that's just as incompetent as she is. She is given meaningless things (to her) to do, such as the fight on obesity as well as filibuster reform and the clean jobs act. All of these issues tend to blow up in her face.

While Julia Louis-Dreyfus is pretty solid as the vice president, her supporting cast is not as steady. The one standout who needs the most work is Anna Chlumsky, who plays Meyer's chief of staff. Some may remember from the hit movie "My Girl," but her comedic skills have not developed well over the years. She gets a bit better as the episodes go on, but through it all you can still see someone just barely able to keep up with the rest of the cast. Tony Hale, whom most people may remember as Buster Bluth on "Arrested Development," comes the closest to matching Louis-Dreyfus's charm and charisma. It's subtle and more subdued, but he's able to deliver a punchline to a joke better than most of the cast.

Overall, "Veep" is a show that needs some time to get used to, but once you get a feel for the characters, plot and tone, you should have a lot of fun. The second season starts at 10 p.m. April 14 on HBO and I know I'll be tuning in to see what laughs the latest misadventures of the vice president of the United States brings.

 
 

 

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