Julia Louis-Dreyfus stars in the new HBO series, Veep. As the title suggests, the comedy revolves around America's first female vice-president as she attempts to carry out her agenda without making too many blunders along the way. As you can probably guess, she fails and these blunders often become the focal-point of each episode.
Our leading lady, Louis-Dreyfus' Selina Meyer, is a bit hard to get a handle on in the first few episodes. It is clear that she and her staff members are well-intentioned and Louis-Dreyfus does a lot with the material she is given, but Selina's motivations are often self-centered and one is left to wonder why she got into politics in the first place. However, that does not stop Louis-Dreyfus' incredible comedic timing or charisma and I found myself fascinated with Selina despite not really knowing what she is all about.
The same can be said for her co-workers. Anna Chlumsky is excellent as Amy Brookheimer, Selina's overworked chief of staff who, despite being good at her job, is often side-tracked by political movers-and-shakers who give her and the office of the vice president very little respect. Chlumsky has excellent chemistry with Reid Scott, who plays Meyer's newest staff member, Dan. It is clear that Dan wants to make himself completely invaluable to the VP and he will step on any one of his colleagues to do so.
In the second episode of the show's premiere season, Scott's Dan has several antagonistic (and extremely funny) interactions with Matt Walsh's Mike as the two wait for Selina to arrive at a yoghurt shop and those scenes are the highlight of the episode. Arrested Development's Tony Hale and relative newcomers Sufe Bradshaw and Timothy Simons round out the ensemble cast as Selina's personal assistant, secretary and White House liaison, respectively.
Veep boasts an extremely talented cast and smart, sharp writing but what really works for the show is its leading lady, Julia Louis-Dreyfus. I am in the minority in that I was not a fan of Louis-Dreyfus' biggest hit, Seinfeld, but I think her performance as Selina is spot-on. The actress bats around the F-bomb like a seasoned HBO star and manages to utilize her vast physical comedy skills to both entertain and earn her character a bit of empathy.
If you are a fan of political satire, work-place sitcoms, or funny leading ladies, Veep is the show for you.
Veep airs Sunday nights at 10/9 c on HBO.