The satirical political comedy VEEP has gone DEEP–into darkness, that is. Fear not; this isn’t some metaphor for lousy ratings or poor writing. VEEP has always been awesome, and continues to be awesome. But be warned: if you’re heading straight into this show via Season 5, then you’re probably going to be a little unsettled.
Selina and her crew are just as witty and funny as ever–if not a little jaded–so finding the show’s trademark humor and style is still easy. However, in the third- and second-to-last episodes (C***Gate and Congressional Ball), Selina suddenly becomes a lot darker. And I’m not referring to a tan.
I’m hesitant to compare this show to House of Cards, because the comparison is pretty tired–but, in all honesty, Selina’s bitterly resolute (and yet, somehow, fragile) speech in her office about everyone “trying to get” her reminded me of no one more than Frank Underwood. If I was picking a scene to show at an awards ceremony, I would pick this one, because Julia Louis-Dreyfus is fantastic. She allows us to see Selina cracking, bit by bit, and even though Selina Meyer has definitely had some previous spin-outs, there’s something in Julia’s acting that makes it clear: this cracking is something deeper.
The artfully crafted scene in Selina’s office is from C***Gate, and the next episode (Congressional Ball) is subsequently like being hit over the head with a hammer. This episode features the most explicit sex scene yet in VEEP, as well as some very, very vividly detailed threats from Selina to a Congresswoman and a Congressman. Selina might have seemed disturbingly unstable in the previous episode, but she’s practically spitting with malice in this one*. That storm that was inside her? It’s coming out.
Overall, VEEP is still a fantastic show, and one that I love to watch. It retains its hilarity, and actually seems to be getting even funnier–but all viewers should prepare for Selina’s storm. Otherwise, starting at this season will probably be a bit of a shock. And, if you loved the show Numb3rs, then seeing Peter MacNicol play the increasingly foulmouthed Jeff Kane could be even more of a jolt.
As for the most recent episode, Camp David? This one was nowhere near as dark as the previous two. Perhaps we’re in the eye of the storm (yes, Hurricane Selina).
*her dress, of course, was lovely.