April 23rd, 2012
10:48 AM ET
Confession time: If someone told me a show that was equal parts "The West Wing" and "The Larry Sanders Show" was forthcoming, I'd already be intrigued.
Throw in Julia Louis-Dreyfus and a strong supporting cast, including Anna Chlumsky, "Arrested Development's" Tony Hale and "Upright Citizens Brigade" vet Matt Walsh, and it's hard to see how it can miss.
Sunday night's premiere episode definitely lived up to its potential. This being a comedy, you have to guess that Louis-Dreyfus' Vice President Selina Meyer is not going to be an idealized figure like Martin Sheen's President Josiah Bartlett by any stretch of the imagination.
At the same time, she's thankfully not a clone of Amy Poehler's Leslie Knope from "Parks and Recreation," either. (She's also not "Seinfeld's" Elaine Benes, for that matter.)
Vice President Meyer is constantly on the verge of avoiding some kind of crisis or another, and just trying to keep her head above water. The job of vice president, of course, can be a thankless task, and this "Veep" is certainly keenly aware of that.
Chlumsky and Hale, as Selina's two most trusted staffers, Amy and Gary, provide a great balance as the overachiever and the less-than-competent.
An early moment where someone made a throwaway joke using the word "retard" ended up coming back to haunt Selina when she repeated it in a speech (at an event the president ditched, and she didn't even want to attend, anyway).
The next thing you know, Selina had to apologize for her gaffe and her staff is fielding calls from press and others. In the midst of a meeting with a representative for the mentally challenged, she learns that Amy accidentally signed her name instead of Selina's on a condolence card, and leaves the meeting to chew out Amy - then returns to the meeting right back in gracious-vice-president mode.
Amy ends up agreeing to a date with Jonah, the unctuous liaison to the president, in order to get a new card to save face.
There were definitely some big laughs in this show – though not non-stop laughs by any means – and I really like its unvarnished, unglamorous treatment of material we've seen quite a few times before. The big question is whether the laughs can be consistent. With the talent involved, I'm pretty confident it will.
Does "Veep" have your vote as well? Will you keep watching? Share your view on video or comment below.
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