Matt Smith reviews the sixth episode of Veep season three…
This week, Veep is all about tension. Suffering from both literal, physical tension and the more obvious tension politicians must have in their lives when running for office, Selina Meyer this week must ensure that, with everything going well, she can fix things when they inevitably get worse.
Meyer this week is announcing thousands of new jobs that’ll make her look, to the eyes of the voting public, like a prime example of a President-elect. Unfortunately, in the build up to the event, a ‘Meyer hates guns’ rumour is spread, due to the fact Selina Meyer hates guns, and she must back peddle quickly in order to appease people across the nation. Having angered possibly the worst group there is to anger, this is no small feat.
Once again, this week’s episode of Veep features a plot starting out positively for the titular character but ending in full circle failure. Along the way there are pithy put downs and the joy of watching Jonah not get what he wants while not realising how lucky he has it. The little touches as we watch Mike mock him for not having a retractable lanyard are almost what make the series what it is, the little lights of joy amongst the cynicism.
It’s in this way the series keeps from being a depressing look at the reality of sad politicians who’re desperately reaching for power (apart from week two’s down in the doldrums episode).
When people see themselves in characters from a TV show, it’s not often that the idiot who’s terrible at his job is the best around but despite his idiocy Mike might be the best person in the group. This is also a part of Veep that makes the show, in that everyone has a mixture of good and bad. Selina Meyer, when not reaching for more power or using people to get what she wants, is someone who struggles to create a relationship with her daughter. The two who ran for campaign manager, Amy and Dan, are just two people who’ve been sucked into the moral vacuum of politics and power plays. One is strung out and struggling to look good while the other has too many ties to her own conscience to really make it big in DC.
So while in one moment we’ll hate them, the next we’ll side with them. As all the characters get an opportunity to mingle this week, it’s also a great opportunity to see each character in a good and bad light. And with the jokes coming just as well as the plot points, this week’s is a well-paced, funny episode. And in the end, it’s about the release of tension, as everyone gets some relaxing pleasure while Gary’s left holding the bags.
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