Veep, fortunately for us, has the guts to punish its characters for their abundant, repeated trespasses
Season 6 of the Julia Louis-Dreyfus-helmed HBO comedy wasted no time in punishing the wicked members of its political circus
Warning: This review contains spoilers for the Season 6 premiere of Veep.
The fifth season of Veep ended with a shattering loss. After ignoring the advice of the only intelligent people around her, making one selfish decision after another, and worst of all, failing to reciprocate the love of her only friends, Selina Meyer lost the presidency she worked so hard to luck her way into. This woman not only was incapable of looking after her country, she was seemingly incapable of looking after herself. And yet—this is the magic of Veep—we still grieved for her loss.
Despite the agony of it all, it was sad to see Team Meyer broken. However, for the sake of comedy, Veep could not have done better than to tear them apart. The new season puts the show's grotesquely fleshed-out characters all across its seedy world. Each member of the Meyer staff, whose relationships to one another had all been thoroughly explored, has followed the trail of work to a different hellhole.
"Danny" Egan is now a newsman, just liked he dreamed in the last season, and his co-host is an irascible SNL parody of Hota Kotb with a tendency for eating her co-anchors alive. Ben is seen stumbling his way through the PC culture of Silicon Valley as a lobbyist. Amy, obviously seeking control in some aspect of her life, has taken the reigns of her once hookup, now fiancé's gubernatorial campaign in Nevada. Mike's trapped in Dad-hell with a kid who won't acknowledge his fatherhood. Kent stoically puts in hours for Congressman and cancer survivor Jonah Ryan. And, of course, Gary remains loyally by Selina's side, now competing for scraps of her attention against the new golden child, Richard.
Unlike another comedy on its network, the world of Veep is governed by fairly reasonable laws: sometimes the bad you do will come back to bite you and sometimes the good people around you will be enough to keep you safe. That's why this complete reordering of its character dynamics looks so good on Veep: it makes sense.
That's not to say every show should proceed in a predictable fashion, but it demonstrates a certain level of respect for the viewers to plant the seeds of disaster before ripping the rug out from under them. Veep, fortunately for us, has the guts to punish its characters for their abundant, repeated trespasses and this season's sure lookin' like a healthy dose of punishment. What kind of viewers would we be if we didn't enjoy that?
Veep airs at 10:30 PM EST on Sundays on HBO. Check it out.