Sunday, May 4, 2014

VEEP v. VEEP

by Catherine Giordano
CLICK HERE for VEEP DVDs

HBO’s VEEP is a terrific show. The satire is sharp and the pace is frenzied. The plots often don’t make a lot of sense, but this is a show you watch for laughs, not plot.
 
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Julia Louis-Dreyfus stars as Selena Myers, the first female vice president. Louis-Dreyfus looks great and plays the role to perfection. She came to fame playing Elaine on Seinfeld, but I think Selena is her best role ever. She’s been in two sit-coms since, Watching Ellie and The New Adventures of Old Christine, but she really shines in VEEP because she has better material. Maybe because it’s not TV, it’s HBO.

Joel McHale even gave Louis-Dreyfus a shout-out for her role in VEEP. He said, "There’s a lot of celebrities here tonight; they’re the ones that don’t look like ghouls. Look around. The cast of VEEP is here. That’s the series about what would happen if a Seinfeld star actually landed on another good show.”

Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Joe Biden
In a case of art imitating life, Joe Biden, the actual Vice President did a video bit with the fictional Vice President, Selena Myers. Biden was impressive as he played the vice president as a hipster driving a yellow Corvette and wearing a leather jacket and aviator glasses.  The two veeps were bored so they met up, broke into the white house where they encountered Michelle Obama, and then headed over to a tattoo parlor where they found Nancy Pelosi getting a tattoo. The skit was a bit lame—next time get the writers from VEEP.

Here’s the link if you want to watch the two-veeps skit. 
Since I mentioned Joel McHale, I’ll review his performance at the White House Correspondents Dinner too. He was basically awful—awful delivery and a lot of really awful material. Most of the time he read his jokes off of cards on the podium, so instead of making eye-contact with the audience, he was looking down. His good jokes were over-shadowed by his "jokes" that were kind of ugly and unfunny. I won’t detail them—they are being blasted all over the internet. I'll just say that insults are not funny--jokes that use wit and satire will  get laughter instead of groans. Maybe McHale could have used some help from the VEEP writers.
 
However, I thought the bit about Chris Christie struck just the right satirical note.  McHale crosses the line it a joke about Christie being a glutton, and then he says he had no idea the joke was there, but he takes full responsibility. Then he says he is setting up a committee consisting of himself to investigate himself. He concludes by saying the investigation is finished and he had nothing to do with it. It is a great parody of the way Christie handled the bridge-gate scandal.
 
Here’s a link to the McHale performance.
 
Not too many laughs with McHale’s routine at the dinner on Saturday night. For laughs, you’ll have to tune into VEEP at 10:30 pm on Sunday nights on HBO.

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