• Mon, Jun 11 2012

Hopefully The Second Season Of Veep Moves Away From The Sarah Palin Plot Lines

When Veep first premiered earlier this spring, I had high hopes for this comedy that looked like it would effectively parody the political ridiculousness of Washington D.C.

Read one headline a day from our nation’s capitol and you’ll find approximately 78 jokes hidden within it. And one senator’s cock shot. Our country’s a mess in every single way that a first world country can be a mess and a show pointing that out in hilarious ways would be more than welcome in this tense political climate. Especially a show that stars the talented Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

However Veep quickly went from a show about D.C politics to a show about an inept boss who creates a giant mess for her employees to clean up every single week. The show’s writers clearly wanted to turn Vice President Selina Meyer into some kind of Sarah Palin doppelganger for us to laugh at every single week.

“Golly, gosh darnit, look what Selina’s done this week! Let’s see how this hijink plays out over the 30-minute episode.”

Here’s the problem with that plan though. No one (who watches HBO) likes Sarah Palin. No one wants to watch a show about the misadventures of one of the worst people to ever get a real life VP nomination. It’s not funny, it’s scary. We can’t fall in love with someone we hate in real life. That’s like trying to develop a romantic comedy around Casey Anthony. The jokes might be sharp, but we’re still reeling from the real life trauma.

And that’s not to say that inept TV bosses are unlovable. Look at Michael Scott from The Office (back in its glory days, obviously). He proved that someone could continually mess up at  in the office, but still be liked by his employees — as well as the viewing audience. Why? He actually tried to do a good job for the sake of doing a good job. Yes, he wanted to be well-liked and yes that’s what led to many of his weekly problems. But at the end of the day, he tried to sell paper and he tried to make his company profitable.

And every year he proved that he actually could sell paper in an increasingly paperless world. During almost every season Michael Scott would get recognized for his good work. Whether it’s the fact that his branch stayed open when others closed or the fact that he’s the most profitable branch manager, The Office always tried to show us that Michael could do his actual job. He just couldn’t do anything else well.

Selina Meyer sucks at her job. Not only does she mess up everything she attempts to do, but she’s not even doing any of it for the right reasons. She just wants to be well-known and well-liked. She could care less about her role as the Vice President. So this motivation turns her into  a pretty unlikeable protagonist. A Kardashian of sorts.

Why should I care when her Clean Jobs act falls apart if I don’t really believe that she cares. She’s constantly selling herself out to make people happy and that makes it hard to get behind her on any of her initiatives.

And if I don’t like her, then I can’t really justify liking any of the people working for her. Especially when they’re just as inept as her. Every week consists of them attempting to clean up Selina’s mess, only to make it worse. I don’t think the team saw any successes during the entire first season, leaving us nothing to root for or be excited about going into season two. The season finale last night  included what we thought would be a huge win — Selina improving her ratings by crying on camera — that ended up backfiring in a big way right before the end of the episode.

With so much talent on their cast, they can still change the direction of the show for the second season and make it a comedy that people want to watch as well as make Selina Meyer a woman that we want to cheer on.

They need to make it about Washington D.C and the daily bullshit that happens there. Make it about a good politician trying to navigate her way through corrupt waters. Make her team somewhat competant at doing their jobs. Let them sometimes do their job well. Maybe the president can call once. Just once.

Make me want to laugh with Selina Meyer and not at her. I want to be smiling at the end of the episode with the cast and not cringing as they go into crisis mode.

That’s the show I want to watch. So hopefully HBO makes it happen.

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  • Casey

    I totally agree. Loved the show when it first started and laughed a lot. I barely laughed last night. I love Julia so I want to give season 2 a chance, I just hope they do stop making her such a depressing character.

    • nico

      That’s because she is a depressing character, not only that but a joke, kinda like Palin.

      “They need to make it about Washington D.C and the daily bullshit that happens there.”

      Really on a COMEDY SHOW for Christ sakes lol, please, this isn’t the West Wing like Priya said. This is a comedy but a smart person can see the warning about how we choose our leaders in the future.

  • Priya

    I completely disagree. Having watched the entire season, I never once made a comparison to Sarah Palin. The episodes are not about Veep Selina making a mess that her team has to clean up – her team members are generally the people that are doing the messing up, and that creates the comedic dynamic between the six main cast members. Selina Mayer is nothing like Sarah Palin except for the fact that she has a daughter…which means she really is nothing like Sarah Palin.

    What is to be appreciated about Veep is the natural comedic timing of the entire ensemble, the way that the production value of the show parodies the more well-known political dramas on TV, and the creative, snappy direction that makes way for even more hilarious moments (i.e. in this last episode, when Gary’s hand makes it’s way into the frame to offer Selina a tissue while she is crying).

    I would recommend to you to look past the generally accepted idea of “the plot line” – HBO is attempting to do something different by capturing the day-to-day life of politicians, and in real life, things generally aren’t as dramatic as they appear to be on shows like The West Wing. I applaud Veep’s creators for taking menial, daily tasks of the Vice President’s staff members, and making it funny.

    (Also – if the show were as simplistic as you’re making it sound, HBO would not have picked it up for a second season afer only a few episodes. It’s a smart network, and there’s plenty of Sarah Palin-bashing on Real Time with Bill Maher for them to consider Veep proving the same point).

  • Cassie Gennero

    Give me a break. Unelected officials took over Washington and control over the media after the coup and cover up. Most of the comments online are financed with your tax dollars. Big brother is trying to create the perception of public opinion while burying the truth. They think you can’t handle the truth. Fact of the matter is we have no democracy, president, and freedom of press is an illusion.

    Our next election is shaping up to be as big of a sham as the last. Do you know why Sarah Palin’s bus tour was really canceled? Do you know why she stayed 30 miles away from the second debate and chose the death of Steve Jobs to announce that she’s not running? Know what leaked out? Sarah Palin and Cain aren’t in the race for the same reason, the truth leaked out.

    Search PalinsDirtyLittleSecret for the biggest cover up in world history before it disappears forever.

    • Jenni Maier

      While it’s almost too early in day to say this, it has to be said. You’re in the running for COMMENT OF THE DAY. Congrats!