If you’ve seen any of the hundreds of interviews Julia Louis-Dreyfus has done in the past couple of weeks, you know she’s starring in “Veep” on HBO. It’s a comedy about a vice president of the United States, who’s a woman, who’s also the ultimate politician.
Vice President Selina Meyer is shallow, scheming and mildly abusive to her staff. She has the mouth of a truck driver.
I thought this show was going to be great.
It has all the elements: one of the best comedic actresses of our time, a Washington setting and the undercurrent of the whole show – the old adage about the vice presidency being nothing more than a warm bucket of spit (V.P John Nance Garner, 1932). Dreyfus diligently works to disprove that premise, to no avail.
Meyer is constantly asking, “Has the president called?” The answer is always no. She perks up when there’s a report that the president is having chest pains. She visits the office of a prominent Senator, the great Kate Burton, and can’t divert the woman’s attention from her computer screen.
Everyone but her staff ignores her. They, a bunch of sycophants, are extremely amusing in the way they kiss up and grimace at the same time, but they’re not funny enough to make the whole show.
The characters are Gary Walsh as the vice president’s “body man” (Tony Hale), Amy Bruckheimer, her frustrated chief of staff (Anna Chlumsky), Dan Egan, the scheming deputy assistant (Reid Scott) and Mike McLintock, the cowardly press secretary (Matt Walsh).
Veep, which is a 30-minute presentation leading up to Girls on Sunday nights at 10 is okay, but it’s not hilarious. There’s room for it to grow, though. Let’s hope it does before Vice President Meyer loses the chance to be on the president’s next ticket.