While Girls has dominated the blog cycle with forcefully dividedopinions about its particular take on the modern youth experience, HBO's other freshman comedy series Veep has quietly become a mandatory part of jam-packed Sunday-night television viewing. Veep, whose finale airs this Sunday, is a workplace sitcom centered around a charismatic but questionably stable authority figure; Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Vice President Selina Meyer. The opening credits quickly dispense with any need for exposition and set the tone for the show's cynical (but not heartless) take on American politics. Like The Wire, Veep is about the unforeseen inevitable conflicts between agendas, egos, and reality. It also calls to mind the cool office clashes of The Good Wife and occasionally the goofier politicking of Parks and Recreation.
Exactly 200 years after their last semi-successful attempt at razing Washington, D.C., the British are finally back to finish the job with Veep. A funny, transatlantic fusillade of the first order, the new HBO comedy — debuting this Sunday night at 10 p.m. ET — smartly takes aim at the softest target in the capital: the vice presidency. Needless to say, it doesn’t miss. Starring a never-better Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer, the country’s first female second-in-command, Veep punctures every shred of pompous Washingtonian pomp and circumstance. Meyer is craven, misanthropic, and curses like a sailor stubbing her toe on a pirate. A heartbeat away from the most powerful job in the world, she’s utterly powerless, reduced to reading absurdly redacted speeches, sniping at her staff, and asking her secretary if the president has called. (She seems both infuriated and relieved that he never does.) For a brief moment every four years, the vice presidency is the most coveted position in the world. The rest of the time it’s a joke — and Veep has the punchlines to prove it.