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HBO's 'Veep': Four More Years!
April 20, 2012  | By Theresa Corigliano
 
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I am still smiling, and I watched HBO's three preview episodes of Veep ten hours ago.

It's just that funny.

In this new and very welcome half-hour comedy (debuting Sunday at 10 p.m. ET), Julia Louis-Dreyfus is pitch perfect as Selina Meyer, vice president of the United States. The catch to being the free world's second-in-command has always been that it's a largely ceremonial position. (Except when it's not, but more about this later.) Never has the truth of this and the attendant frustrations been so razor-sharp funny.

If you were a fan of Aaron Sorkin's rat-a-tat overlapping dialogue in The West Wing, you will adore the havoc that creator/writer/director Armando Iannucci has wreaked here. And he's got the perfect cast to deliver the goods, led by Louis-Dreyfus. She is brittle, broken, bitchy, bizarre and just plain bananas. Plus, she looks great in a sleeveless dress.

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The writing is sly and smart, but the best thing about it -- and maybe the scariest -- is that you can well imagine many of these moments actually happening in today's White House. If you actually read Game Change, or anything else detailing how our government actually works, you will recognize the truth in some of this sitcom's political machinations. Perhaps Iannucci didn't have to exaggerate all that much.

The entire supporting cast is superb, replete with harried chief of staff (Anna Chlumsky), bumbling body man (Tony Hale), sweaty and beleaguered spokesperson who gets no respect (Matt Walsh), and crackerjack executive assistant (Sufe Bradshaw), whom Selina asks pretty much once an episode: "Did the President call?" The answer, of course -- well, you know.

Louis-Dreyfus is perhaps best in a scene when the whole "heartbeat away from the presidency" thing comes into play. Still hilarious, but it's Meyer's conflicted reaction to being, at least for one brief moment, relevant, that elevates Veep from something great to an absolute comedy godsend.

 
 
 
 
 
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