Matt Smith reviews the third episode of Veep season three…
With last week’s episode perhaps being received less than well, this week’s episode (and the veep herself) had a lot to answer for and win back.
Harkening back to a classic episode of The Thick Of It, an appearance by the main politician, this case Selina Meyer, is hampered by a speech that must constantly be rewritten. With Meyer’s principles being tested by the powerful in her party, can she find a way to be received well without caving in to the jeopardising demands of others?
Unlike the powerlessness shown of in British politics by The Thick Of It, Veep gives off a wave of hatred that seems to fit the brand if politics on show here. Hatred of both others in the same party and of the public they’re supposed to serve sets up a wonderful juxtaposition that serves Veep well, giving the show something other than the fantastic swearing, put downs and weariness of older characters who don’t need or want to care in order to just about survive.
This week, as with most weeks, Selina’s ego and her unique brand of tunnel vision is on display. Treating everyone (including her daughter) like her personal staff. Providing excruciating scenes, her daughter manages to both fix and receive the chastising of Selina. Every character is both lovable and hateable at different times, and this is what Veep consistently gets right. The one moment you think you’re rooting for a character is the moment they choose to do something underhanded and cruel. And the moment you think they’re beyond redemption, they show a weakness that reminds you they’re human.
‘Plenty of principles, you just have to pick another one’ sums up politics, and Selina Meyer, perfectly. A fitting and easy subject for this week’s episode to delve into in order to get back on track, there’s plenty of laughs among the fast paced antics. Unlike last week, which seemed downbeat and almost cruel, episode three gives us a group who’re trying their very best. It’s just a shame it’s usually the best for themselves, otherwise they might get somewhere.
And so sprinting along some well trodden ground, both in terms of a political setting and the tone of delivery, Veep this week has been enjoyable if not ground breaking. So far it’s been so-so from Selina Meyer and the rest. With more laughs in the first five minutes than the entirety of last week’s episode, it’s hopefully time for Veep to up the quality after the false start of week two.
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