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Veep: Elaine Benes Is a Heartbeat Away from the Presidency!


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#151

ganesh

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Posted May 7, 2012 @ 8:32 PM

I don't find it too crazy she wanted the name of the hurricane changed actually. I mean, the talk show hosts would have a field day with that. That's just part of managing your image. It goes on all the time.

The entire oil guy plot was really well done and I liked how the lobbyist and senator got totally played.

I loved the daughter. What I took away from her was that the campaign must have been a nightmare for her, when all she does is just want to go to college. The whole crack about the secret service following her seemed really exasperated. And a nice quick backstory that the VP is divorced too. I'd like to know how that played out.

The line about the "yes men" and Tony Hale nodding in agreement really got a good laugh from me as was the daughter's look to TH when Selina brought up the new roommate. And "guy who looks like a police sketch rapist."

The receiving line had to have been ad libbed. I was thinking that TH's "brother in RATM" really stumped JLD so shot back with the "no he isn't" for the triathlete.
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#152

Irlandesa

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Posted May 7, 2012 @ 8:54 PM

The entire oil guy plot was really well done and I liked how the lobbyist and senator got totally played.


I loved that too and I feel the show really needed something like this for the Veep's team.
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#153

WrorpBB

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Posted May 7, 2012 @ 11:09 PM

Matt Walsh (Mike) was just on Conan and was really funny. Am I the only person who's been confusing him with Louis CK for years now? Everytime I see him pop up in a movie or tv show I always think he's Louie at first.
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#154

frac ture

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Posted May 7, 2012 @ 11:09 PM

Subjunctive said:

I must have replayed at least four times Dan telling the pervy senatorís widow she was quite the WILF...


Thank you! I watched the episode twice, and I couldn't understand what he was saying there...that's hilarious, though!

My unsolicited summary of the show after watching the first three episodes:

I got a sort of low- to medium-grade enjoyment out of the first two episodes, but I think that as it's now accumulating more of a body of installments and establishing its feel, it's growing on me more than that. As some shows with ultra-snappy dialogue will, I think it runs the risk of seeming too successfully glib and witty at times (to this day, my dad will bitch about how the dialogue in both MASH and The Gilmore Girls was always too much like constant machine-gun sprays of cleverness to be believed), but I'll always take that over obvious, cliched sitcom joke-anvils thudding to the ground...

The supporting cast is pretty terrific, and already seem to inhabit their roles really well. I'm looking forward to learning more about some of them (Sue especially intrigues me for some reason -- I like how it seems to be an ongoing bit already that at least once an episode, Selina will ask her if the President called, and Sue will allow a pregnant, awkward pause to hang in the air for a few moments before responding with a "No," whose tone seems to silently add, "I'll help you maintain the fiction that he might have, because it's my job, but...are you kidding me?").

Jonah and Gary are consistently funny to me, I like Amy and Mike, and Dan is another one who intrigues -- in fact, it concerns me that he just joined the team, and he already seems like the primary source of smart, successful solutions for all their problems. Why this concerns me is his already clear willingness to betray people for whom he should actually have some loyalty (like his former boss, his former girlfriend...). Of course, what might be bad for the other characters should he yield to that kind of urge might make for great TV for us viewers...

Anyway...I think it's a good show so far, and might end up being even better than "good" in the bigger picture.

("F-DOTUS"...Jonah really is a tool...)
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#155

ganesh

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Posted May 7, 2012 @ 11:57 PM

Stop saying F-DOTUS.

I also forgot to add that they did a funny callback to the hand sanitizer too. I'm getting flashes of Arrested Development with the longer paying off of the jokes like that. The thing about the fake dog too.

I was looking at the opening credits, which I really like because they kind of give a prologue to the current show, and when they run the head line about Selina being thrilled to be the VP, there's a picture of her scowling. I am wondering now how she got picked for VP. And this episode featured her having a party for being in DC for 20 years. Did they day what she was before?
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#156

annakam

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Posted May 8, 2012 @ 6:43 AM

I agree that this show is coming together with the third episode. I loved it. But the one thing that is already old for me is Selina asking Sue, "Did the president call?" Sadly, according to a review I read, that's going to be a running joke. But one running joke that's working for me is Selina's pretend talks. Always funny.

I love it that the younger cast members are holding their own against the talented veterans as well. I just love Amy.

And I hope they never "redeem" Dan. He's so effortlessly a jerk that he's wonderful. I loved his Catch-44 tactic and the way he just brushed off poor Catherine when she tried to make conversation. I thought that she was going to be attracted to him or that he would hit on her, and that neither happened was great. And the "WILF" aside was so funny.

Poor Mike, though. I think the Dan praise might be getting to him.

Jonah is also a treasure. A creepy, tall treasure who thinks that Amy is an 8, but Sue is a 9, and got shot down both times! And him hitting on the daughter: "I can see through your shirt. Was it designed that way?" Ew!

("F-DOTUS"...Jonah really is a tool...)

The whole "F-DOTUS" dilemma was gold!

My favorite moment was Gary telling Selina that FLOTUS hated her because she was prettier, and the mouthed "But thank you"/"You're welcome" between them. Tony Hale's bitchface in that moment was amazing.

Another amazing Hale moment: when the Senator was trying to talk to Selina as she was walking down the corridor and he was semi-blocking him while looking over his shoulder. And of course the "Garyoke" at the end of the episode: "Wife, not daughter. Wife, not daughter!" Lol!

I see similarities between Selina and Nicola too, but I would also add Hugh from Thick of It season 1 and Simon from In the Loop to the list and yet I don’t really think of any of them being incompetent. I see them all being more intelligent and selfish, but overwhelmed by the political chaos around them.

Maybe not accidentally-destroy-the-world incompetent, but I think they're incompetent in the sense that they tend to be helplessly buffeted by whatever crisis happens next, and they bumble a lot in trying to fix it.

Yay for a fellow TTOI fan! And this just after I saw a picture of none other than Chris Morris with JLD. He apparently directed episode 7.

Edited by annakam, May 8, 2012 @ 6:57 AM.

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#157

Princess Aldrea

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Posted May 8, 2012 @ 9:01 AM

A creepy, tall treasure who thinks that Amy is an 8, but Sue is a 9, and got shot down both times!

Well...he did blackmail Amy into a date once.
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#158

ganesh

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Posted May 8, 2012 @ 12:11 PM

I could totally buy that there's a big freak out over the dogs. With the 24/7 news cycle, it would be all over the place. The first lady calls the VP a diva and then they both get dogs? It would be awful.
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#159

blixie2

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Posted May 8, 2012 @ 12:15 PM

As some shows with ultra-snappy dialogue will, I think it runs the risk of seeming too successfully glib and witty at times


But one of the biggest gags in episode 2 is the Veep shitting her pants, and while "a fistful of fucks' is really really funny I'm not sure it's witty. I actually don't find the pacing of the back and forth in the machine gun area, and frequently enough it's just the usual sort of humor from not particularly witty things being put out there, like Mike and his Rubik's cube analogy or him working so hard for the human centipede shit eating one.

That's something I'm enjoying that these really smart driven people find themselves in situations where they do not no what to do or say other than FUCK ME, or they babble nonsense speak about how nuanced things are. I guess I'm just not finding it overly writerly (and as much as I love it In The Loop felt more like that).

I loved it. But the one thing that is already old for me is Selina asking Sue, "Did the president call?" Sadly, according to a review I read, that's going to be a running joke. But one running joke that's working for me is Selina's pretend talks. Always funny.


Oh I'm the opposite, I love the did the president call joke, it's perfect since it constantly underlines how out of the loop the VP is, that it's just a trophy wife relationship, the Veep exists to do what the President tells them to do and how and when. Selina in particular wanting to feel like she's still vital and part of a this most important inner circle, and never getting that validation, is really funny to me. But the fake phone calling can work on a WILF, but no one else buying it makes way less funny.

I hate how much I love Book of Shit Dan, and I agree he should stay as shitty as Amy described always, but I would not blame her for hitting that again.
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#160

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Posted May 8, 2012 @ 12:27 PM

I think the funniest (creepiest) thow-away moment was seeing the photo of Rapey Reeves with the biggest smile standing between the female swimmers.
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#161

frac ture

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Posted May 8, 2012 @ 2:26 PM

from blixie2:

I actually don't find the pacing of the back and forth in the machine gun area...I guess I'm just not finding it overly writerly


Just wanted to clarify that I wasn't saying the show is going too far into overly writerly territory as of yet -- I was just kind of musing aloud that it could be a possible pitfall at some point, that's all (and maybe I don't need to be approaching from a position of looking for trouble where there hasn't been any yet, either...).

I'm in the camp of definitely liking the gag about whether the President called -- I think it's a neat and concise way to shed a lot of light on Selina's character, and I find it comical, too.

The WILF thing is still making me laugh days later, and I'm just sorry I didn't grasp what Dan was saying when I was actually watching the show. I also love the little quick, subtle bits, like Selina having no idea what to do with "His brother's in Rage Against The Machine..." or Jonah bitching under his breath about how the widow was cock-blocking him...
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#162

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Posted May 8, 2012 @ 2:42 PM

I totally didn't like the first epi, didn't get any humor out of it at all and deleted it from my DVR lineup, but thought I'd check in here to see what the consensus of it is now. I am glad to see it's gathering fans, maybe I should watch another epi to see if it grows on me as well.
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#163

Princess Aldrea

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Posted May 8, 2012 @ 2:58 PM

Just wanted to clarify that I wasn't saying the show is going too far into overly writerly territory as of yet -- I was just kind of musing aloud that it could be a possible pitfall at some point,

I get the impression that most of Selina's stuff and some of the others are the 'how did these people get in a position of power when they're so incompetent' type and that type doesn't really lend itself well to witty dialogue. If they were good at dialogue, after all, they'd probably be able to talk themselves out of situations better.
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#164

ganesh

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Posted May 8, 2012 @ 3:12 PM

Oh I'm the opposite, I love the did the president call joke, it's perfect since it constantly underlines how out of the loop the VP is, that it's just a trophy wife relationship, the Veep exists to do what the President tells them to do and how and when.

Not that the VP has much to do independently, but they do cast the tie-breaking vote in the Senate, which would make for a pretty funny later episode, with everyone actually needing her vote now. And they also have a seat on the national security council, but I don't know if that would be a good plot for the show.

What's interesting is that the VP is divorced because you see the First Ladies doing stuff together from time to time.
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#165

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Posted May 8, 2012 @ 3:49 PM

I was thinking that TH's "brother in RATM" really stumped JLD so shot back with the "no he isn't" for the triathlete.

Maybe but that actor had to be in his '80's so IMO her saying "no he isn't" to the idea that he's a tri-athlete made sense.

"Wife, not daughter. Wife, not daughter" So great and I bet there are alot of men in Washington,DC who that applies to.

Did they day what she was before?

In the opening credits they refer to her as, "Senator Meyer". They also show a headline asking if she'll be the next President and then they show a graphic of an arrow going down(I'm assuming her favorability rating) and eventually her becoming Veep. So I believe that she intially ran as a presidential candidate, probably came in second or third so the eventual President tapped her as his Veep running mate, sort of like what Obama did with Clinton.
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#166

txhorns79

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Posted May 8, 2012 @ 9:02 PM

I agree that she's kind of incompetent, but I think, though, that Selina doesn't see herself as incompetent, so of course she'd love to be POTUS.

I don't view her as incompetent. I think she's just really marginalized as VP, so we see her struggling with mundane stuff, while at the same time having to act as though what she is doing is really important.
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#167

ganesh

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Posted May 9, 2012 @ 12:02 AM

Maybe but that actor had to be in his '80's so IMO her saying "no he isn't" to the idea that he's a tri-athlete made sense.

Oh there's triathletes that are old. I was thinking JLD snapped at TH because either he cracked her up or needed a beat because she was running out of ad libs.

In the opening credits they refer to her as, "Senator Meyer". They also show a headline asking if she'll be the next President and then they show a graphic of an arrow going down(I'm assuming her favorability rating) and eventually her becoming Veep. So I believe that she intially ran as a presidential candidate, probably came in second or third so the eventual President tapped her as his Veep running mate, sort of like what Obama did with Clinton.

I missed the senator part, but saw the big arrow going down. I want to hear what happened! I wonder if it had to do with the hat?!

That kind of sucks if she was a senator for a long time and now the senators are treating her like shit because she is VP.
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#168

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Posted May 9, 2012 @ 4:17 PM

Protocol secretary: The Reverend Terrence Clark, Church of the Living Christ.
Gary (sotto voce): He's a baker.
Selina: Ohhh, Christ is risen!

I just about DIED of laughter. If that was improv (and I desperately hope it was) he set her up PERFECTLY for that line.
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#169

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Posted May 9, 2012 @ 5:35 PM

I just about DIED of laughter. If that was improv (and I desperately hope it was) he set her up PERFECTLY for that line.

I doubt very much that it was improv, but that in no way diminishes my admiration for a very clever piece of writing.
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#170

ganesh

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Posted May 9, 2012 @ 11:59 PM

I thought that the entire receiving line/end credits was all ad libbed.
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#171

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Posted May 10, 2012 @ 10:36 AM

Maybe but that actor had to be in his '80's so IMO her saying "no he isn't" to the idea that he's a tri-athlete made sense.

Oh there's triathletes that are old.


Yeah, I know it's a small thing, but that actually bugged a bit. When I ran the LA Marathon I met a woman who was 67 and a man who was 91, and who had been running it since he was 84, and they both did fine. It very well could have been a mistake in the receiving line, but he had been correct about everyone else. She shouldn't have snapped to judgment on that.
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#172

bulldawgtownie

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Posted May 10, 2012 @ 11:18 AM

I doubt very much that it was improv, but that in no way diminishes my admiration for a very clever piece of writing.

I believe it was, they've done multiple interviews stating there is a lot of improv on the show and I find it hard to believe they would improvise throughout the episode but not that part.
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#173

ganesh

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Posted May 10, 2012 @ 1:10 PM

The final scene just struck me as something that would be ad libbed because the dialogue is all one-liners. It wasn't central to the plot where some lines would be set up for a joke later in the show. The "christ is risen" line was so hilarious, I just don't think that was written.
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#174

arc

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Posted May 11, 2012 @ 7:58 PM

a Matt Walsh interview:

Where did the fake dog of his come from?
That's based on an actual White House staffer that I met, who created a fictional dog to get out of work. Because those people don't sleep. They are completely sleep deprived. So that fake dog lets him go home, just to get time away from the job. At least it worked for a while. [Laughs.] It's a good excuse, until the jig is up.


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#175

bulldawgtownie

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Posted May 12, 2012 @ 5:05 PM

That's awesome...I wonder who created the fake dog?
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#176

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Posted May 13, 2012 @ 2:18 PM

I just watched the first three episodes of this show, and I have to say it's pretty funny. Clearly a sanitised version of In the Thick of It, so no surprise that Armando Iannucci is behind it.

I really like Tony Hale's obsequious sycophancy, and Anna Chlumsky's direct, no bullshit competency (and boy, do I have a crush on her). They've been the stand outs of the show for me, so far. I've never really watched Julia Louis-Dreyfus in anything before, but found her very believable as the slightly out of her depth politician, careening from one mess to another with little grace.

It's not as funny as The Thick of It, but there have been some great jokes sprinkled around. Jonah saying 'FDOTUS' amused me, and then completely cracked me up when Amy told him to stop saying it. The silly, PR discussions they have, regarding hurricane names or favourite frozen yoghurt flavours seem like just the sort of inane nonsense that stops people from getting real work done.

Unlike The Thick of It, they established a truly sympathetic character in that last episode, with Selina's daughter. I felt genuinely bad for that poor girl, being treated like a forgettable accessory, wheeled out for more PR and completely ignored as a person. Hope she appears again, because she offers a nice counterpoint to the dreadfulness of the rest of the characters.

Edited by Danny Franks, May 16, 2012 @ 1:21 PM.

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#177

ganesh

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Posted May 13, 2012 @ 5:15 PM

I've never really watched Julia Louis-Dreyfus in anything before, but found her very believable as the slightly out of her depth politician, careening from one mess to another with little grace.

The thing is, they just had a party for 20 years in DC for her, and she was a Senator. So it's not like she isn't familiar with politics. I think the sticky point is now that she is VP she has little to do and the other Senators just have no time for her. So she's banging against a wall mostly.
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#178

bulldawgtownie

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Posted May 14, 2012 @ 11:50 AM

Selina should've listened to Amy. Forming an alliance with those guys will really come back to bite her. Although it's always good to see Buddy Garrity on my screen.
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#179

Danny Franks

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Posted May 14, 2012 @ 2:37 PM

Selina should've listened to Amy. Forming an alliance with those guys will really come back to bite her. Although it's always good to see Buddy Garrity on my screen.


Definitely nice to see Brad Leland, though he might be getting typecast. A racially insensitive southern politician? Well, I guess he fits the bill.

I suppose the premise of this show is that, no matter what they do, things will always be almost disastrous. They seem to just get out of these tight spots at the end of each episode, so either that's going to be the theme of the series (not unlike it was in In the Thick of It), or it's all building up to a monumental cock up, where everything comes home to roost at once.
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#180

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Posted May 14, 2012 @ 3:18 PM

Honestly, I find it hard to enjoy shows or movies where everything goes wrong. I love the dialog here, but I hate watching the accumulation of f-up after f-up.

Jonah: Look who it is, everybody! Itís your favorite Jonah.
Amy: Youíre not even your motherís favorite Jonah, Jonah.

I love the shot where the limo door is opened and you see Mike sleeping there. I also liked the bit where Gary and Amy are being grossed out by Selina and her guest's sex talk.

Selina: Sending Gary over there was crazy. He was completely out of his element.
Gary: I agree. I agree.

Was the Pro-Caucasian Caucus supposed to be a real thing?

Selina: I am going to throw up a leg
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