What’s the difference between following D.C. politics and watching a mockumentary about D.C. politics? Lately, it’s hard to tell. And as it enters its second season, that’s good news for Veep, which continues to milk Washington’s real-life cringe comedy for jokes. As Selina (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) deals with the fallout from a disastrous round of midterm elections — somehow, platitudes like ”There is no I in freedom. Freedom is not me-dom, it’s we-dom!” didn’t help her party win — she accidentally makes a weird double entendre while swearing in a new senator. (Shades of Biden’s ”Spread your legs, you’re going to be frisked!” quip.) Caught tweeting during a grave announcement, she inspires a meme that shows her checking her phone at inappropriate moments throughout history. (Someone’s been reading Texts From Hillary!) When her daughter posts a controversial diatribe online, she tells her assistant Gary (the great Tony Hale), ”Get some towels, I may need to daughter-board her.” (Somewhere, John McCain is shaking his head in sympathy.) They say comedy is just a way of telling the truth faster than real life can, and that’s the case here: The wit is rapid-fire, and keeping up with Louis-Dreyfus as she sprints between appointments, all shaken up like a soda bottle about to explode, is good fun. But the humor is so meta, it’s easier to find yourself thinking ”This is funny” than actually laughing. And oddly, Veep’s mock-doc vibe makes it feel less real. If everything’s being filmed, why isn’t Selina more careful about what she does in front of the camera? C’mon, writers. Give a little more credit to you-dom and me-dom. B
Anna Chlumsky, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tony Hale, and Reid Scott in 'Veep' (Lacey Terrell/HBO)
Genre: Comedy; Starring: Julia Louis-Dreyfus; Series Premiere: 04/22/2012; Broadcaster: HBO; Status: In Season; Seasons: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Posted April 5 2013 — 12:00 AM EDT
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