America may elect its first female President later this year, but on HBO that glass ceiling was shattered accidentally back in 2014 by the irrepressibly narcissistic Selina Meyer. Now Veep is back on April 24 for its fifth season, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Meyer is seeking the Oval Office via her own election — and is more refreshingly foul-mouthed and self-involved than ever before. As I say in video review above, Veep Season 5 gets my vote and should get yours too as the scathing satire has a brand new bounce.
The first season since creator Armando Iannucci exited last year at the helm of the Best Comedy Series Emmy-winning show, the new cycle of Veep is all about a divided America in an election that has turned out to be a tie and then just gets worse for all concerned. With new showrunner David Mandel penning the “Morning After” episode that opens Season 5, Veep takes a recount that is very reminiscent of the contested 2000 Bush-Gore result and makes that travesty feel fresher than ever.
As President Meyer, her sycophantic staff of incompetents and potential VP Tom James (played by the very busy Hugh Laurie) face death, both political and actual, Veep proves it has lost none of its wonderful and meandering verve. At the same time, the series now shot in California has become all the more sharper, saucy and actually more stable – especially compared to a real-life election cycle that often seems like the inmates are on the verge of taking over not just the asylum but the nursing home next door.
Revealing the characters’ private contempt for so much of America and what blow-dried politicians praise publicly, there is an near-endless and widely entertaining acerbic attack on anyone and everyone that gets in the way of Meyer being elected POTUS. Along the way, Charlie Rose, jazz, Kid Rock, Smith College and the UN are just a few of the four-letter-worded victims behind Oval Office closed doors.
To that end, the supporting cast of two-time Emmy winner Tony Hale, Anna Chlumsky, Matt Walsh, Timothy Simmons, Reid Scott, Sarah Sutherland, Gary Cole, Kevin Dunn and Sufe Bradshaw are stronger than ever as the stakes become higher than ever for their undeserving boss – who multiple Emmy winner Louis-Dreyfus portrays to such perfection you almost forget her other iconic roles.
Among the new additions, John Slattery shows up in Season 5 in a role that could easily be a descendent of his Mad Men character Roger Sterling – no spoilers. What I will add though, is that Veep Season 5 is a shedding of one skin and the solidifying of some tried and true political predilections for a series that is cutting deeper than ever.
Click on my review above and tell us if you’ll be casting your ballot for Team Selina beginning Sunday.