Gosh I’m chuffed for Elaine Benes. Whoops, did I say Elaine Benes, you see that’s always been the problem for Julia Louis-Dreyfus the leading lady of this razor sharp new comedy VEEP…She could never get a break after Seinfeld or live down her character Elaine Benes. This was even ‘documented’ on Curb Your Enthusiasm as an episode where he & Julia Louis-Dreyfus pitch a show to HBO (but as usual Larry screws it up).
VEEP is created by the inimitable, HBO. However, it is rather strange that HBO have made this because there is no highly graphic sexual content or profuse profanity or extreme violence. Just Kidding. I know all their shows aren’t like that…
VEEP is closer to Curb Your Enthusiasm with its easy, breezy shooting style which incidentally has roots in French New Wave cinema of the 1960s and comedy that delivers right to your funny gut.
Most important of all is that Julia Louis-Dreyfus plays, none other than the Vice President of the freakin’ United States of America – a foul mouthed, ambitious but possibly absolutely stark raving bonkers character by the name of Selina Meyer. Very ‘Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown‘.
Think the quick-fire repartee of Entourage, that’s how Selina and her team of totally inept but very loveable White House staff communicate, one zinger at a time. Add the quirky eccentricity of Tony Walsh playing Gary Hale, the Veep’s long time Personal Aide and confidante, who is the one person who always has her back, and you have a winner.
I kept waiting for it to fail, I really did, but it did not. Episode after episode it kept me fully plugged in. What keeps it buoyant is the steady flow of screw-ups that occur in the daily life of the Veep and her team, created wholly by the Veep and her team…and then to watch how they try to enact damage-control and also often screw that up too makes it the ultimate comedy of errors. The stakes always feel high, after all it is the White House – which makes the comedy tinged with pain. Sometimes, they do manage to save face – only just.
Its also buckets of fun to hear the Vice President of the U.S.A cuss and swear, as if they could actually be a ‘real,’ person. In fact, the show seems to humanise the institution and office of American government in a way that no show has before. Here in the U.K., we had Yes, Prime Minister back in the day and The Thick of It more recently (penned by Armando Iannucci, also responsible for VEEP). In general we are sort of used to poking fun at those in office, but not so for the Americans. This is very possibly a first for them and I’m glad of it.
However, let’s not hold our breath for a female vice-president shall we? Watch VEEP, laugh till you cry and forget Elaine Benis once and for all. Selina Meyer is the bomb.
VEEP is out on Blu Ray and DVD on Monday 10th June.
DVD and Blu Ray Special Features include:
- Deleted scenes
- Making VEEP
- Governor Chung retraction
- Governor Chung outake
- Anti-Obesity Public Service Announcement
- Anti-Obesity Public Service Announcement outake
- 12 audio commentaries
- Episodic previews (Blu Ray only)