Critical Condition: Veep

Veep (SoHo, 9.00 Thursday)

“Like The Thick of It before it, Veep is a series that deeply understands the comic possibilities in the hollow and venal world of politics. No matter the course it would have taken, the funny would have still been there. But Veep still would have suffered trying to be a show about an incompetent president in our current times if for no other reason than people would constantly be saying that it’s not as insanely stupid as real life. But now, with Selina Meyer out of office and the characters strewn about in different parts of the political world, the show is nimbly bouncing around commenting on a variety of topics, and the end result is a series that’s in a far better position to burn it all down than ever before.” — The Hollywood Reporter.

“President Trump is not doing any favours … for HBO’s Veep and its central character, the former president Selina Meyer (a role for which Julia Louis-Dreyfus has won five consecutive Emmy Awards). The series begins its sixth season on Sunday with its humour as acidic and gleefully foul as ever. But when real life exceeds the show’s most over-the-top imaginings, it also takes some of the life out of the show’s satire. Coherent story lines and parsable dialogue, applied to national politics, feel so 2015.” — New York Times.

Veep season six is not intended to be a commentary on what our ‘cocksuck of a country’ did to Hillary Clinton, nor is it an exploration of the Trump era. It’s just that occasionally, purely by accident, it feels a little bit like one. For the most part, though, Veep remains committed to the same basic principle: capturing the absurdity that is endemic to the democratic process, then cranking it up to uproarious, acerbic, and squirm-inducingly high levels.” — New York Magazine.

“Given the pace and tenor of coverage of President Trump’s chaotic first months in office, the show’s past seasons feel relevant. But the show’s sixth season doesn’t take place within the corridors of power at all. It’s about the disempowerment of a woman politician who believed she was going to cement her legacy by winning the election, and it’s one of the most daring, and accidentally relevant, narrative turns the show has taken.” — Time.

“Veep is a satirisation of all power-hungry politicians, neutral to their party, past, or principles. But most importantly, it’s telling its own story. This is a serialised narrative that refuses to rewrite history in order to mock it. Doing so wouldn’t only be gratuitous — there’s plenty of relevance to the new season without the writers bending over backwards to skewer old headlines — it would discredit the show’s inherent creativity.” — IndieWire.

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