Veep is a comedy show that focuses on the politics of the United States. The show has been created by Armando Iannucci, who has had much experience in this genre. The show made its debut on April 22, 2012 on HBO. Good response from the audience got the network to order more seasons. Currently, the fifth season of the show is in the making.
The show focusses on the life of Senator Selina Meyer. The senator is offered the position of Vice President that she cordially accepts. However, she immediately realizes that it was not the best decision she took. The reason is the nature of the office she is holding. She has a lot of work to do, especially anything that the not-so-great duties delegated by the President, with whom she does not share the best of relationships. That is not all. She is also pushed around by the Senate and the Congress. The worst part is that despite all the work falling in her lap and the hustle, she has no real power. This is her journey being a Vice President and later, the President.
The role of the protagonist, Selina Meyer, has been beautifully played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus. This is unarguably the best role she has done after the iconic comedy series, Seinfeld. She successfully projects the character of Meyer, who is real and lovable. She also has an interesting personal life. She is divorced with a daughter, but is somehow still in a romantic relationship with her former husband. The Seinfeld actress has put forth an exceptional performance in the show that has been loved by one and all. Not surprisingly, she has won a number of awards for the role. She has been awarded a whopping four Primetime Emmy Awards. She also has won a Screen Actors Guild Award and has been nominated thrice for the Golden Globe Awards.
Then there is the dedicated career woman, Amy Brookheimer, who is also the Chief of Staff for Selina. She is literally the one-stop solution for all of Selina’s professional issues. So much so that she does not even mind staking her own reputation to save that of Selina’s. The uptight lady does not want to get married or have kids because that would be a distraction to her political ambitions. Later, she is also takes the role of the campaign manager, when Selina runs for the office of the President. However, she resigns from the positions, following the appointment of one of Selina’s friends on the campaign team, who did not contribute much.
Then there is the fiercely loyal personal aide to the Vice-President, Gary Walsh, a role played by Tony Hale. The heartfelt and convincing performance of Hale in the show has already fetched him two Primetime Emmy Awards.
Given the nature of the show, the cast is pretty big, with each of the characters playing an important role. These include the ambitious Deputy Director of Communications, Dan Egan, played by Reid Scott, Jonah Ryan, the White House’s point of contact portrayed by Timothy Simons, and Mike McLintock, played by Matt Walsh is the Director of Communications. Other roles in the show have been played by Sufe Bradshaw, Kevin Dunn, Gary Cole and Sam Richardson. There are also many actors like Dan Bakkedahl, Randall Park and Phile Reeves, among others, who have featured in the show in recurring roles.
Each of the actors have done their job really well. Whether it is dialogue delivery, comic timing or anything else, they have maintained the standard of the show for four consecutive seasons and there is no reason they will not continue to do so in the future too.
The show has been created by Armando Iannucci, who in the past, has given a number of British comedy series such The Thick of It, In the Loop, and so on. He has retained the same writing staff as in his earlier shows. He is a brilliant director with a different approach to comedy and that shows in the series. He can very well make a cocktail of swearing and yelling characters, who still manage to speak intelligently. He is also one of the executive producers of the show along with Christopher Godsick, Chris Addison, Frank Rich, Tony Roche, Simon Blackwell, Stephanie Lang and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
The rehearsals for the show started months before the actual filming started, and they were designed in a way to make the actors better at improvising by getting comfortable with each other. The shooting started in the February of 2011, and the filming for the actual series began in October of the same year in Baltimore.
The first season of the show received favorable reviews from both the audiences and the critics. While it got around a rating of 72/100 on Metacritic, Rotten Tomatoes gave it an average score of 6.1/10. But Huffington Post and Variety were not impressed by the show and gave it a negative review. However, as the seasons progressed, the ratings started jumping up and fast. This is the best kind of progression any show can ask for. From the first to the last season that was aired, the ratings have only gone up on Metacritic. This trend has continued with other critic sites as well. Other critics are all praises for the show, calling it ‘savagely hilarious’, ‘one of television’s best comedies’, and ‘incomparable’, among many other good things. The audiences have also warmed up to the show that is loaded with political satire and hilarious moments.
The show has won many awards since it was first aired. The list includes Women’s Image Network Awards in 2012, AFI Award in 2013, Gracie Awards and TCA Awards in 2014, Critics’ Choice Television Awards in 2015 and so on. It has been nominated for a large number of awards during the course of its airing. The various cast and crew of the show have also won many accolades, including the Primetime Emmy Awards, Writers Guild of America Awards, and many others.