It seems anytime a show decides to satirize the workings of the US government in any way there’s going to be some controversy from those that think it’s being a little too edgy and a great deal of appreciation from other that think it’s nothing short of fantastic. The whole idea of Veep being one of the greatest comedies on TV right now, without peer, is that it takes a lot of the stress that we feel from the actual government and it’s day to day operations and allows us to laugh at the comings and goings of those on TV that are giving a rather amusing approach to the reality that we live with all the time. Julia Louis-Dreyfus has for a long time been the kind of comedic actress that has managed to do quite a bit with very little since she’s been seen as one of those individuals that can deliver a stand-up performance with just about any amount of material she’s given. In this show she’s been granted leave to act like the VP of the United States and the POTUS for a short time and she’s nailed it beautifully.
The whole idea of a female president is something that some folks might see as satirical even in the real world but in the show it becomes something that’s just as polarizing since, let’s face it, we’ve never had a female leader in the entire history the United States and some folks would think that we don’t need one now. But there is something to be said about the different perspective it would bring and the historical precedent it would set. Plus, she’s not the only woman to play the role of the president in pop culture and she likely won’t be the last, and it’s a change that a lot of people are responding to with a good deal of approval. Whether it will ever happen in our lifetimes in the real world is hard to say since a lot of people would like to respond that yes it will, while others will say of course not. In truth, if a woman is skilled enough and can do the job then there’s no reason to keep her out of the oval office since as it is in the show and in the real world, this is the land of opportunity and anyone and everyone should have the chance to reach the top spot if they’re qualified. Let’s leave that debate hanging right there a moment and move on, shall we?
Another bit of realism that seems to get laced into the show is that her character does get undercut a few times as her efforts to lead the country do get derailed slightly with the mention of problems in her past that have the ability to keep her from obtaining the spot she seeks. In the real world this is something that happens to many candidates all the time but it would seem that when it happens to a female candidate it’s likely to either be ignored or inflated to such a degree that it becomes the sole fact that people care about when they consider a woman for office of any kind. The politics of the real world are being held to pretty closely in this show and yet it’s being kept light enough that it can be called a comedy, while at the same time poking fun at the world that it’s mirroring. The level of tact and skill that this takes is phenomenal since in this world as we know it now there’s bound to be someone that will get offended by something that has to do with the show no matter if it’s seen as innocent by everyone else or if it is a truly harsh dig at something or someone.
But that’s the joy of comedy. It’s bound by the same freedoms that we all enjoy and is able to take on a lot of things in the real world that some might think are out of bounds but in truth are well within the realm of satire and all that entails. Veep manages to take something that many people find kind of banal and even depressing at times and turns it into something that’s fun, engaging, and a pleasure to watch when you’ve got the time. The fact that it features such a bright and fun-loving cast is even better since it adds to the enjoyment and makes you want to root for certain characters and hope for the eventual downfall of others, or at the very least the eventual humbling. If nothing else this show is great because out of all the shows and movies that have depicted how our government works, it makes you laugh without needing to fully understand the sense of irony that surrounds it.