VEEP (2012) by Armando Iannucci

I’m not entirely sure why this series, about a vainglorious VP and her inept staff’s attempts at creating a legacy is as well known as it is. It has one unique character, that of the VEEP and then the rest are all just more or less the same. Sure they have varying levels of competence and morality but none really feel like their own being. They are all mean, and somewhat the same. Now one could say that this is a joke about the kind of people that exist in politics but surely for entertainment purposes we need the characters to be richer than just that joke.

But if that was not criminal enough, it’s not very funny. Now I say this fully aware that comedy is truly difficult to write and not even my forte. That said, while watching the show, you certainly do not laugh out loud. The occasional chuckle does break through but otherwise I got through two seasons with a bemused smile, mostly watching the show cause I wanted to see what political satires were like.

There is some wit and mild satire about US politics but unless there is something I am really missing out on, nothing is so insightful or original that it feels funny. Sitcoms in my opinion should either warm your heart (FRIENDS) or give you some insight into humanity while still keeping things light hearted (Community). Veep does not really deliver on any of these fronts. Then again, it got seven seasons made so it must be doing something right?

There is nothing really fascinating about this show that makes you want to know more about the characters nor are the premises so unique that you wish to see how they fuck it up further. That said, despite my seeming contempt, the show is just average enough to be watchable. I somehow got through season 1 and got some insights about how a political satire might work. At least in the sense that I have an idea of the kind of topics one could pick on.

I think VEEP’s best quality is that it somehow manages to have shit people be somewhat entertaining to watch. Perhaps it’s because we know they won’t succeed and it treats an otherwise respected office with some irreverence but none are enough to make me keep watching.

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