New TV series: Veep
Unlike the British, whose very way of dealing with anything is to make a parody of it, our overseas brothers, the Americans, are rather different.
Plugging patriotism into every citizen, American children are brought up God-fearing and politics-respecting. That being said, Veep, the latest political comedy from Armando Iannucci is about to hit our screens here in the UK after a successful first season over in the United States.
Iannucci, British writer of The Thick of It, brings the newly appointed vice-president, Selina Meyer, to life in this hilarious portrayal of life in the Office. Surrounded by some very individual characters, Veep – aptly named from the shortening of vice president – brings a real, very refreshing look at American politicians.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus plays Selina Meyer, the dry-witted senator who has recently been promoted to vice president. Right from the opening sequence, Meyer comes across as clumsy, and heavily reliant on those around her. The hilarity of watching someone attempt to keep some form of composure whilst struggling with his or her duties will never get old.
Using language to provoke the vast majority of laughs, closely followed by the character’s individually unique attributes, makes for a clever comedy. Although vastly political-based, Veep is not in any way targeted at that specific audience.
Meyer’s character brings an abundance of laughs, starting with a fantastic comparison of spectacles being like “wheelchairs for eyes”, giving Meyer enough reason not to wear them in case she looks “weak”.
Touching on boundaries, Veep does not push. With very little to criticise other than its lack of any real drama or scandal, the first episode of the first series is very easy to get in to.
Iannucci has done a wonderful job at getting Americans to, for once, look at their own politicians and see a humorous side. As Iannucci himself stated, ten or fifteen years ago, the comedy would not have worked as he (Iannucci) would have been battling a huge wall of American pride and patriotism.
Creator, writer, director and executive producer Iannucci was interviewed by presenter Richard Bacon at the press launch for Veep on 20th June 2012. Coming across as incredibly down-to-earth, and genuinely funny, Iannucci was questioned first by Bacon, and then by members of the audience.
Iannucci explained that rather than reflecting concurrent topics in his writing, he rather takes the temperature of what is happening and then depicts this in his work. Ironically, this has led to some similar events taking place both in his series and in real-life American politics.
Taking on a vice presidency is like wearing a big badge emblazoned with number two – in other words: not quite president. Playing about with Meyer’s reaction and probable paranoia at this situation, Veep will be a guaranteed coup here in the UK.
Another achievement for Iannucci’s vast CV of comical victory.