This Veep review contains spoilers.
Veep Season 6 Episode 1
Selina Meyer may not be president, even though she won the popular vote, but Veep’s season 6 premiere, “Omaha,” does not damage her approval rating. It’s been a year since Congress broke the voting stalemate and in that year Selina has gotten to know herself. While she spent her time lounging in a spa, wink wink, her predecessor sold his memoirs for a $20 million advance and her successor President Laura Montez has been running through Meyer’s presidential bucket list.
Let’s talk about the Meyer years. Er, the Meyer year. New CBS co-host Dan Egan (Reid Scott) doesn’t miss a beat. He worked with her as the on-staff shit and he’s such a natural shit that the knows all the shit. Working with the president as long as he did, he knows her moods, her shifts and her bullshit. How she is at that very moment making shit up as she goes along. This isn’t like a lot of her staff, like Richard and Mike (Matt Walsh) who notice nothing. Or if they do, they misinterpret it.
Selina is bright and cheery, talking about her year out of the public eye after she was ceremoniously evicted from the White House. But when Julia Louis-Dreyfus hits the word “devastating,” she lives it. She later describes it by saying it was like she was gang banged by frat boys and never even got the candle-lit vigil. It is moments like these that get her nominated for Emmys as much as the ones that become memes.
The once mighty Kent Davidson (Gary Cole) is a four o’clock shadow of his former self, running his numbers now for Jonah (Timothy Simons). Jonah is too tall. Too bald and he’s just a walking penis. He always was but now it’s inescapable, like Elaine’s huge head on Seinfeld. It’s not Dan’s fault he can’t possibly avoid talking about the shaved elephant schlong in room.
Amy (Anna Chlumsky) at her most exasperating is a campaign manager at her sexiest. Her casual disregard of anything resembling tact passes for dirty talk to the backwoods candidate. Be careful there Buddy Calhoun, remember what cousin Ernie’s mother warned him about city women on I Love Lucy. They be vampin you, but they ain’t even knew they was trying. I love how Amy chooses to play down campaign manager over fiancé in the battle to the bottom of the political barrel. She is a political animal. Just not in bed, at least not as much as Senator Furlong would be.
Amy is on the road as campaign manager and she’s going to bring Buddy’s team of countryfuckers into the 20th Century. You read that right. The 20th century. These people still think free-standing lawn signs are the latest technological advance in sloganeering. Amy’s introduction is a not-so-subtle incident of foreshadowing to Meyer’s solution to her political dilemma.
Former Beltway race champ Ben (Kevin Dunn) is suffering from yellow cab fever. Besides the fetishistic aspect of the condition, he appears to be woefully out of his element with the best and brightest young people running Uber, millennials too lazy to learn to drive drunk. The best part of his erotic confession is that he looks like he just might score a new wife out of it. He does all but wag his tongue.
Gary (Tony Hale) is a sloppy wet dishrag of Machiavellian brilliance. He harumphs and coughs and clears his throat in a passively aggressive attempt to circumnavigate Meyer’s waters. He is sadly successful in his subliminal whining maneuvers because he is as clueless as Meyer is rudderless. Richard is also brilliantly clueless, every single intuition is wrong and yet his every suggestion is right on the money.
The best acting of the evening is Catherine’s (Sarah Sutherland) reaction to Selena’s big news. Her obvious PTSD could only be classified as heart wrenchingly hilarious. Almost painful to witness, its brilliance so horribly effective, it is stomach turning in spite of the belly laughs. For physical acting, it is on par with Louis-Dreyfus’s trench throat cough when she was bedridden last season.
This is a disturbingly funny season opener. It’s not enough that almost every line of dialogue is brilliantly vicious. Almost every word carries its own disturbingly deviant weight. The pauses, which are rare, fill in the blanks that the words don’t bother to say.
“Morning After” was written by Lew Morton and directed by David Mandel.