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Veep, an American comedy that premiered on HBO on April 22, 2012, focused on political satire. Armando Iannucci, a Scottish television director and writer, is the brains behind the development of this TV show. Armando is a prolific writer, as seen by the success of his earlier works. His talent has not only been demonstrated in television as a video director, but he has also found success as a radio producer, excelling on programmes like Charm Offensive. The Scottish has received local and international awards due to the role he plays as a political satirist in the works he has undertaken over the recent years. The University of Glasgow awarded him with a doctor of letters honorary in an attempt to recognize his impact on both the radio and television industry. The series elaborates how a former senator of Maryland, now a vice president trudges her way up to ascend to the presidency of the United States and the challenges she has to undergo through in her quest for the presidency.
Veep is a unique show that focuses on power and the essentials surrounding power, especially in the capital Washington. Selina Meyer, a former senator, finds herself at crossroads where her opponent defeats her, and she ends up as the vice president to his old opponent. Throughout the entire show, one can witness the various power struggles that the cast face. At one point, Selina is almost rendered powerless by a turn of events in the political sphere especially after losing the nominations in New Hampshire. Meyers faces a significant challenge as she wants to leave a legacy behind but she fails in her attempts, as she does not power to facilitate her legacy.
The show Veep explains political satire through comedy in most of the episodes. The show's producer Armando ensures the audience is fully furnished with funny parts to crack them into laughter. For instance when Gary is nose bleeding, and Meyers helps him look for toilet paper and she finds strange stuff in Gary's briefcase they both burst into laughter forgetting the situation at hand, Gary's nose bleed. The show is hilarious to watch as the satirical theme is well expressed throughout the show.
Politics lure many vices such as incompetence that is brought out in this show. For instance, one might say Selina is good at nothing, as she ends up missing most of the tasks she handles when allocated to her. Mike appears to be very uncommitted to his job, thus making him very incompetent. He gets to the point of using deception to negate his duties at the work place. Johan is incompetent as he discloses insider information to a blogger who publishes a damaging article on Selina.
Meyers feels betrayed by the people of New Hampshire after losing the nominations, if they voted in her favor, she could be president of the US. Tom, the former lover of Selina, tries to sabotage her presidential campaign and when Selina finds out she confronted him leading to a large tongue lashing between the two. Amy and Dan would not flinch to betray Selina when careers came knocking as it is evident when they left her and followed up their ambitions to work in other sectors.
Gary in the show Veep is the epitome of loyalty as he never leaves in dire times nor does he critic Selina whenever she was astray according to Selina. Gary's loyalty to Selina is frightening as he still works for her even though at times she does not appreciate him. Gary is the only individual who stuck by Meyers in the hard times when everyone else opted to leave. To say the least, Gary is like Selina's doormat; he sees the right in her and decides to stay her loyal aide. Mike is loyal to Catherine as he treats her differently unlike the other members of staff.
Society cannot thrive without love as the main ingredient. Meyers does not have a good relationship with her mother as she goes to the extent of fake crying in her mother's funeral. The weak relationship between her and the mother affects her relationship with Catherine, her daughter. The entire cause of all this was from the point of lack of love from a mother to her child; sadly the cycle trickles down to Catherine. Selina's love for her father is immense until she discovers he died while cheating on her mother with his office secretary.
The series on its season debut captivates audiences both in American and internationally. The title Veep comes from the fact that Selina Meyer, a former senator, becomes the vice president, thereby the name veep has appears. She has good looks and is heavily reliant on her staff though at some point she is found to doubt their commitment to her in the execution of their duties. Meyer is not entirely smart as she acquires help from people employed in the Whitehouse to help her make some decisions. The show achieves to eliminate the mindset where Washington is only political as it introduces satire.
In season two Selina's party loses terribly in the mid of election even though Meyer's herself has a successful political campaign which she uses as leverage to promote her. Kent Davidson, a former lover to Selina, makes a comeback. Selina has to deal with relations with foreign nations as it is assigned to her. Gary, on the other hand, reveals Selina's secrets to Dana who in turn leaks them causing a major stir and embarrassing the team. Amy's ailing dad is still at the hospital but somehow recuperating, but Amy is using him as an excuse to dodge responsibilities at work. In the event where a hostage crisis escalates Meyers and the cabinet secretary for defense conflict with each other's opinion. Selina and her staff contemplate on quitting politics.
In season three Selina uses her autobiography signing as a chance to meet and wow voters and persuade them to vouch for her even without disclosing to the public of her intention to run for president Meyers gets busy looking for a campaign manager, but she is faced with a possibility of not becoming president. With his blog, Johan stirs up controversy when exposes insider information. Selina soon ascends into the helm of power when the incumbent president decides to tender his resignation, and she becomes president. Selina had longed for the moment when she would be president of the world, but the question remains was she ready for governance. Before the victory, Selina together with his campaign team is faced with a myriad of challenges for instance, how to make Selina appear and quickly integrate with folks. She does not excel well in the attempt to make her folksier.
When the reporter Quincy left her phone behind a discussion ensues between Selina and her reports on the labeling of their campaign donors as HBDDA and GUMMI all these are recorded on Quincy's phone. Quincy later runs a story on the donor thereby resulting to a dive in the polls for Selina's campaign. Selina goes ahead and labels her staff losers after the incident that lead to a dive for the worst in the polls. Coincidentally a story of the Iraq torture comes up, and it is known that Dan leaked the story, so he has the option of to make the story null and void or get fired. He approaches Jonah who has a way with the internet to take care of the situation. Upon solving the problem by taking, the fall for Dan, Jonah is offered a job in the Whitehouse. In attempts to salvage her already tarnished image, Selina visits a factory in New Hampshire, but still, she comes third and is very infuriated by the results she even states the Nazis were second, not third like her.
In season four Armando avoids a situation where Selina becomes president of the United States without winning an election as this would prove an absolute disaster for the show. As each episode progresses so do the characters experience failure, for instance, Dan and Amy leave whereas bill is on the verge of going to prison. In this season, it is evident that if one messes up, there are repercussions to be faced. This season shows the mastery of comedy by the writers and editors of the show as the show no longer confines Selina to the vice president's role. This season keeps Selina aims to be more likable to the people in a bid to be re-elected to office. The relation of Veep to politics has been well elaborated in a manner such that one may be in Washington and fail to get things done; it develops this by using comedy and better actors. In season four Meyer's thinks of conceding the elections then comes a realization there was a tie.
Season five the day after election Meyers is seen to try and sway congress to get their vote and become president of the United States (Flynn, Caitlin). Her team can lobby for a recount in Nevada, but all this is in vain as she loses the recount on the day of her mother's funeral. She is hysterical, and people thought it is because of her mother's death, but rather it was the fading chances of her being president. Tom James does not become the next president, but Montez does with the help of Meyer's vice president. Gary is vocal pointing out that the staff destroyed an amazing woman (Meyers) what next for Meyers.
In season six, Meyers is aware of her past mistakes, which include listening to everybody's advice even those that did not matter. She recalls having made terrible decisions, the only decision she would be proud of is freeing Tibet, and Montez accomplishes this. In other words, her career as a politician is dead. Selina was a short-lived president who now lives her life as a former president and things turn out to be difficult for her. As the season ends both Selina and Jonah, decide to vie for the country's top seat.
The show Veep does not seek validation from real life events as Armando says; many critics are of the opinion that Selina's role is a replica of that of Sarah Palin (Kaklamanidou& Tall 2016). Armando explains further that the show decides on a female vice president in attempts to thwart comparisons with former vice presidents.
In its season debut Veep got positive reviews from critics such as rotten tomatoes and Metacritic with 71% and 71% respectively. Veep is fun in its quest to find a voice it reveals political satire in a very different way. However, Variety's Brian Lowry felt that the show went wrong by focusing on the vice presidency instead of the presidency. Far from that, the show got excellent approval ratings for season one.
With its airing Veep impressed the critics since its reviews were more improved than on its debut season. Reviews such as a consistent tone and great satire since it combines elements of politics and satire never witnessed before on television. Sioux City Journal's Bruce Miller referred to is as smart program which is full of life. The approval ratings were 75% on Metacritic and 88% on rotten tomatoes.
As it progresses, Veep is no different as the show keeps on ascending on its ratings as far as reviews are concerned. The approach of the show is termed as creative from the politics at Washington and comical in expressing the politics not forgetting the humor brought about by the show. The cast of the show blends very well and execute their roles perfectly says Tim Molloy, an editor of The Wraps. The third season on Metacritic scored 86%, while 100% in rotten tomatoes.
Veep season four does not disappoint the viewers as it keeps on getting better and better with each season. The dialogue between Selina and her staff who are incompetent is simply hilarious as depicted in the various episodes in season four. The approval ratings of season four as per Metacritic are 90% and 100% as it was previously in season three for rotten tomatoes.
In season five, Selina is focused on winning the seat to be America's president. Armando Iannucci announces an exit, and thereby he did not participate in it. One would expect the show to come tumbling when one of it initiators decides to leave, on the contrary, the new producer David Mendel proves he is equally capable as his predecessor. Kevin Sullivan of the Entertainment weekly notes that Veep is still active while The Hollywoods Reporter, Tim Goodman outlines that veep was in a quest to prove something. The ratings once more do not disappoint as Metacritic rates the show at 88% while rotten tomatoes at 92%.
In season six Selina is out to find her purpose. The reviews from Metacritic and rotten tomatoes were quite inspiring as the comical nature of the series is captured even with the different occurrences in season six.
The show Veep is outstanding as lines used are creative and memorable to the viewers; it is easily comprehensible to the audience. The expression of political satire is appropriately addressed in the show. The selection of the cast was perfect as they fit into their roles very well.
Armando leaves the show, but the new guys find a way of keeping it soaring. Suspense is well expressed in the show; the viewer is always wondering what will happen next. "Even Hitler never came in third" a statement used when Meyers lost the election. Humor and creativity are simply elaborated in this show. Veep has helped viewers understand the struggles that politicians and their staff undergo. It has brought out the importance of women in power by putting Selina at the forefront of the entire show.
Addinall-Biddulph, Charles. The Same Authority as God: The US Presidency and Executive Power in the Works of Thomas Pynchon, Philip Roth, and Cormac McCarthy. Diss. Durham University, 2015.
Conway, Joe. "After Politics/After Television". Studies in American Humor, vol. 2. no. 2, 2016.
Conway, Joe. "After Politics/After Television: Veep, Digimodernism, and the Running Gag of Government". Studies in American Humor, vol. 2. no. 2, 2016, pp. 182-207.
Kaklamanidou, Betty, and Margaret Tally. "The political TV shows of the 2010s: showrunners, reality, and gender". Politics and Politicians in Contemporary Us Television: Washington as Fiction, vol. 6, 2016, p. 17.
VEEP Wiki. Season 6., 2017. Retrieved from http://veep.wikia.com/wiki/Season_6. Accessed 20 July 2017.
Sorlin, Sandrine. Power & (Fictional) Politics: Language and Manipulation in House of Cards. Palgrave Macmillan UK, 2016, pp. 1-32.
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