"Veep," Season 2: Douchey and Mean-Spirited Like Washington—But Way Wittier

Mother Jones

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“You know, you’re about as annoying as a condom filled with fire ants. How’s that for a fucking metaphor?” Ohio congressman and gubernatorial candidate Roger Furlong snaps at his aide.

“It’s a simile, sir,” the sheepish, twentysomething male aide replies.

“Shut your mouth, you fat girl,” the congressman rejoins, as he fiddles with his smartphone while lumbering out of the vice president’s office.

If you tuned in to any of Season 1, this exchange from the new season should sound thankfully familiar. Season 2 of Armando Iannucci‘s political satire Veep (premiering Sunday, April 14 at 10 p.m. EDT on HBO) is all the things that made the first eight episodes so worthwhile: It’s a roaringly funny, mean-spirited burlesque that plays out like a good episode of The West Wing—if The West Wing were a slur-filled, punk-rock fantasy.

The passionately petty Selena Meyer (played by a pitch-perfect Julia Louis-Dreyfus) is still the American VP who can’t get any love from the press or administration, and can’t get any face time with POTUS. “I’m about to undergo a national ass-kicking, with no legs…and a massive ass,” Selena remarks. Her staff (played by the series regular Matt Walsh, Sufe Bradshaw, Reid Scott, Anna Chlumsky, and Arrested Development alum Tony Hale) help her pencil-push an agenda while clumsily pursuing their own professional self-interest. Veep has a fairly simple vision of American government: All of them (middle-age senators, cynical data crunchers, aloof operatives) are douchey incompetents—vain, power-hungry, self-loathing, foul-mouthed, back-stabbing, and perpetually upset. In this sense, Veep nails down the tone of Washington in the same way that Scrubs painted an honest portrait of medical professionals: It’s an exaggerated, ridiculous depiction that veers on hitting too close to home.

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"Veep," Season 2: Douchey and Mean-Spirited Like Washington—But Way Wittier

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