Political shows are no stranger within the general pop culture landscape, but few get the business “right”.  Sure, we all wish “The West Wing” were real, but it’s too idealistic and too perfect to actually represent the political life.  I think a lot of people think “House of Cards” is more accurate, with all the behind-closed-doors dealings and general nastiness, but it’s safe to say that’s not the norm, either.

If I had to pick any current show that correctly mirrors my experience in the wild world of political life, it would be “Veep”.

Helmed by Brit Armando Iannucci (who is a genius; check out “The Thick of It” or “In the Loop” if you want more hilariousness), “Veep” properly blends the good with the bad to create a flaw-free and constantly funny look at the upper echelons of the American political system.  In fact, “Veep” might be the most consistently funny show on TV, and has a string of award-show wins behind it going into its fourth season, beginning April 12 on HBO.

It follows the life of VP Selina Meyer and her staff, a hilarious group of characters who fulfill virtually every archetype of modern office-type coworker you could possibly encounter.  We’ve all encountered an Amy, who is a career-driven young woman with virtually no personal life, or, worse, a slimy, soulless social climber like Dan Egan.  The staff in the VP’s office are really what make the show, and their interactions and incompetence are where much of the humor comes from.

At the center of it all is Selina, played masterfully by the always-funny Julia Louis-Dreyfus.  She’s flippant and bored in her position, wishing the President would call and taking off her heels to sprint to a secret White House meeting she wasn’t invited to.  It’s not that she doesn’t care, but rather that she’s so focused on the way she’s perceived as a cultural figure that actual politicking falls by the wayside.  She’s much more likely to sing a hilariously bad rendition of “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” at an important Washington dinner than she is to talk about her feelings on policy issues.

The writing on the show is airtight and perfect in every way.  It’s fast-paced and clipped like “The West Wing”, but with as many barbs and creative insults as you can possibly interject into a half-hour HBO show (hint:  it’s a lot).  My favorite love-to-hate character is Jonah, a former self-important White House liaison that has finagled his way into Selina’s world and was known, at one point, as “Jolly Green Jizzface”.  If you laughed at that just now, you’ll love the whole thing, I promise.

As the show’s third season came to an end, we saw Selina on the campaign trail, fighting off potential challengers for the nomination.  Just when we thought she was down and out, the President steps down to take care of his ailing wife, and we go into the fourth season with Selina rising to power as the leader of the free world.  Hugh Laurie is joining the cast for the new season, probably as her running mate, which will undoubtedly shake things up in ways I can’t even fathom.

“Veep” is an easy watch from both a timing and content perspective, and worth stealing your best friend’s HBOGo password over.  There’s a reason why it’s beating all your faves at the Emmys and Golden Globes — it’s the best show on television, hands down.

About The Author

Self-deprecating fundraising lackey, avocado connoisseur, pop culture aficionado, latte-drinking liberal elitist.

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