|First appearance||"Fundraiser" (April 22, 2012)|
|Created by||Armando Iannucci|
|Portrayed by||Julia Louis-Dreyfus|
|Occupation||President of the United States|
|Family||Andrew Meyer (ex-husband)|
|Children||Catherine Meyer (daughter)|
Selina Catherine Meyer is a fictional character portrayed by Julia Louis-Dreyfus on the HBO television comedy series Veep. Louis-Dreyfus has been critically acclaimed for the role, earning three consecutive Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series awards and two Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy nominations.
Meyer is a former United States Senator and Vice President of the United States following an unsuccessful run for President. During the first season, as Vice President she was powerless and disregarded by most other important officials, leading to various humiliations and indignities. During the second season she begins to amass some power and influence. In the third season, she contemplates challenging the incumbent president for their unnamed party's nomination in light of his political weakness, but the issue is mooted when he abruptly resigns, allowing her to become the president. As the currently-running fourth season begins, she has assumed office but is facing strong primary challengers of her own.
The role garnered Louis-Dreyfus milestone awards. Her fourteenth Primetime Emmy Award nomination for a role in the regular cast of a comedy series surpassed Lucille Ball as the most ever. Her Primetime Emmy Award for her third different regular cast role also was a record-setting achievement for a comedy actress.
Meyer is a former United States Senator who runs a failed Presidential campaign before being asked to be the winning candidate's Vice President. As Vice President, her world is kept in balance by her assistants: Amy Brookheimer (Anna Chlumsky) is the Vice President's chief of staff, while Gary Walsh (Tony Hale) is Meyer's grovelling personal aide. Selina also hires Dan Egan (Reid Scott), who threatens Amy's place in the staff, and Mike McLintock (Matt Walsh), a press spokesman. Meyer has no significant other, and requires that her daughter Catherine, from a past marriage, make appointments to see her.
Some suggest that Meyer is likely a Republican, while others feel she is a Democrat. Alessandra Stanley of The New York Times notes that Meyer's party affiliation is unknown because the show focuses on bullying rather than ideology. James Poniewozik of Time explains the ambiguity as follows: Veep is "almost all politics and almost no political issues". Robert Lloyd of Los Angeles Times explains the lack of need for party affiliations, or even political ideology in a similar manner, saying that Veep is "less a show about politics than about politicking".
Poniewozik describes the season 1 Meyer as a "bumbling and overwhelmed" shadow of her former self. Merissa Marr of The Wall Street Journal describes Meyer as "inept". James Parker of The New York Times describes her as animated, powerless, prone to fits, and at times distracted. He notes that she motorcades and entourages with importance, but also passes time rotating dreamily in her swivel chair. Parker opines that Meyer "swears her head off" because that is what the modern "gaffe-phobic, linguistically constipated" public servant who has sold his/her soul to a lobbyist group does behind closed doors after public speeches about "ceaseless, toneless platitudes". Variety television critic Brian Lowry describes Meyer as "easily flustered, foul-mouthed", saying that her "over-reliance on profanity" is a comedic crutch. David Renshaw of The Guardian describes Meyer as "a perfect combination of ineptness and amorality".
T. A. Frank of The New Republic says that in season 1 she is completely ignored by the president, dismissed by Congress as she endures repeated indignities with a high degree of cynicism. According to Frank, Meyer slowly gains some respect and power, but it is not without effort. Entertainment Weekly 's Ken Tucker, noted that the premise of a politician without influence striving for it suited itself well to a comedy and that her frequent cursing should not have been much of an issue given that it was an HBO production. Laura Bennett of The New Republic states that in season 1 Meyer is "a hapless buffoon, fluffing her hair and running in circles", who endures marginalization and irrelevance, but in season 2, which is set during midterm elections, she is "a player in the administration with concrete involvement in foreign policy". By season 3, presidential candidate Meyer becomes fashion conscious on the campaign trail. In the third season finale, the President resigns, leaving Meyer in charge; however, her position is threatened when she loses the first presidential primary.
The role has established Louis-Dreyfus as the all-time most Primetime Emmy Award decorated actress in terms of regular cast roles in a comedy series (i.e., not counting guest acting Emmys). It is the third character (Elaine Benes on Seinfeld and Christine Campbell on The New Adventures of Old Christine being the first two) for which Louis-Dreyfus has earned a Primetime Emmy Award (Outstanding Lead Actress or Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series). When Louis-Dreyfus earned the second Emmy nomination for this role it marked her fourteenth Primetime Emmy nomination for either Outstanding Lead Actress or Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, surpassing Lucille Ball's all-time record. The win tied her with Ball with a total of four and made her the first actress to win Primetime Emmy Awards for three different regular cast comedy roles. Her second win also made her the first actress to become a two-time awardee as a comedy actress for HBO.
She earned Primetime Emmy Awards for her season 1 and season 2 performances in 2012 and 2013 at the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards and 65th Primetime Emmy Awards ceremonies. She was nominated at the 70th Golden Globe Awards and 71st Golden Globe Awards for her season 1 and season 2 performances. Her season 2 performance also earned a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series award at the 20th Screen Actors Guild Awards. Louis-Dreyfus has earned a wide range of additional nominations and awards for this role including nominations for the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Actress in a Comedy Series, TCA Award for Individual Achievement in Comedy, Satellite Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy, and Women's Image Network Award for Best Actress in a Comedy Series.
In season 3, Meyer continued to be a critically acclaimed role. Louis-Dreyfus earned a Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Actress in a Comedy Series nomination at the 4th Critics' Choice Television Awards. At the 30th TCA Awards, Dreyfus won TCA Award for Individual Achievement in Comedy. Louis-Dreyfus again won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series at the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards. She was also nominated again for the Female Actor in a Comedy Series at the 21st Screen Actors Guild Awards and Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy at the 72nd Golden Globe Awards.
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