Veep 3.03 Review: “Alicia”

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This episode of Veep dares to dream what would happen if a local activist collided with the self-serving, issue-avoiding Veep team.  And it’s magic.  The local activist is Alicia who is canvassing her neighborhood to increase support for universal child care.  As she’s walking the neighborhood, Jonah pulls up in an eye sore of a vehicle.  Alicia remarks that the “clown car got a giant clown in it.”  Strike one, Jonah..  Jonah explains that he’s running Ryantology.net and wants to share her story.  In the most self aggrandizing way possible Jonah suggests that he’s a storyteller “like John Steinbeck in that regard or Denzel Washington.”  Jonah, keep that dream alive man.

Back at Veep campaign central, the team talks about where Selina will announce her presidential candidacy.  It’s clear that no one really cares about Selina’s true qualifications for the role.  At no point does anyone stop to really consider if this is good for America.  This candidacy is about her team finding the right political levers to push in order to get themselves better jobs.  The team debates which issues Selina should stand for in her campaign. The best part of their discussion is the cold wisdom from White House veteran Kent, “children are of no value.  Forget child care.”  In the end Selina is left with a white board full of half stances on issues and she remarks, “you start picking this thing apart and what am I left with? Some optimistic war monger with a soft spot for educated gays.”

At Annapolis, Selina gets prepared for her press conference.  The team has brought Alicia onboard to stand in the background with other “normals” who prove that Selina is in touch with America.  Sue coordinates the citizens who will stand behind Selina as she announces, handing out red stickers to the chosen ones.  What could be more humiliating than believing that the Veep has invited you for an opportunity to participate in democracy and realizing that you’re getting herded like cattle for the media?  Veep, you do such a great job of making the political process look horrible.

And speaking of political pawns, Catherine shows up to support her mother’s announcement.  Selina couldn’t be more ungrateful for her appearance, primarily because they’re wearing the same outfit and also because Selina just isn’t that big a fan of motherhood.  Dan breaks the happy reunion to announce that Saturday Night Live has been parodying Selina.  Selina’s inflated ego cannot handle the mockery.

Jonah, lurking in the background like the phantom of the Opera, catches Mike at inopportune moment insulting Alicia.  For the record Mike, calling a constituent a “stupid cow” is typically career suicide.  Mike panics because Jonah finally has a small amount of political power with his awfully named Ryanology website.  He tries to appeal to Jonah’s better nature to which Jonah admits that he doesn’t have one.

We close this episode with Selina announcing her candidacy and Mike sitting alone in the shame corner, surrounded by balloons.

Bulleted observations:

-  Julia Louis-Dreyfus was actually on Saturday Night Live from 1982-1985.

- I know Jonah always looks awkward but that man cannot pull off a blazer.

- Best Jonah insult of the episode goes to Leon, “Jonah, you are the dick that keeps on giving.”

-Anyone else wish Selina’s ex-husband would have made an appearance at the announcement?

 [Photo via  Lacey Terrell/HBO]

Jenni Wright was born in the worst weather possible in Chicago and moved to Los Angeles for sunshine and wine. You can find Jenni's work at winewillfixit.com.
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