April 23, 2017

The Political Jokes in Veep Are More Realistic Now

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Almost every Grey’s Anatomy fan I know went through the “I’m going to be a surgeon” phase. Despite hating every one of my science courses and getting a 2 on AP Bio, I did too. However, Veep pushed me into a more realistic phase: to work in politics or government. I wanted to work on the Hill in D.C. like Vice President Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus). I thought her chief of staff Amy Brookheimer (Anna Chlumsky) was absolutely one of the coolest, funniest and most competent people ever.

The best way that I can describe Veep is as a fantastic combination of House of Cards and Modern Family. It is perfectly political and serious while also absolutely hilarious.

Season 6 is taking a turn in a new direction. All of the key characters have returned, but have gone their separate ways. They are no longer all in Selina Meyer’s office. Dan is a reporter for CBS, Amy is working on her fiance’s campaign, Mike is a stay-at-home dad and so on. This is also the first season where Selina is not either Vice-President or President of the United States. She holds no position besides former-President, and the season opens with her first public interview since the historic house vote that lost her the presidency.

Gary Walsh, king of the “Leviathan” bag is still right by Selina’s side. I do not know how to put into words how funny Gary is. Everything he does continues to make me actually laugh out loud while watching the show. One thing about watching the show for a sixth season is that I feel like I know the characters so well. Half of the times I laugh at (and not with) Gary are because I know so much about Gary’s life. (Including that he apparently attended Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration)

While a lot of the jokes are rather racist and vulgar, Veep does a great job with keeping up with modern-day trends. The show jokes about Uber and Twitter, while also touching on transgender issues. Selina starts the Meyer Fund for Adult Literacy … and AIDS. As the first female President, she is struggling to stay relevant. Selina discusses her desire to run for President again, to the utter horror of just about everyone around her.

HBO created a number of websites that go along with the show this season. These include a site for the Meyer’s Fund and for Congressman Jonah Ryan (Timothy Simons). I didn’t donate to the Meyer Fund, but I took the online literacy test! The test hilariously included one question: “Do you know how to read?” Answering yes, the test therefore congratulated me for being literate. Thank you Selina! On the Congressman’s site, a quote in italics above Jonah’s tall, shaven, annoying head is “I believe you can change people’s lives until you change their minds.” Both of these sites include so many details and jokes that are not included on the show. It is an awesome way to connect viewers beyond the television.

This season is different, and I like it. Critics of old seasons said every episode’s storyline was too similar. Everything is changing now that Selina is no longer in office. She has new issues, first and foremost being that she is rather irrelevant.

I will say, however, that I think that some of the jokes are becoming more and more realistic given our current president. Some of Selena’s statements that were written as a complete joke are not as far-fetched anymore.

Becky Frank is a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences. She can be reached at [email protected].