Veep (TV series)

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Veep
Veep intertitle.png
Genre Comedy
Political satire
Created by Armando Iannucci
Starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Anna Chlumsky
Tony Hale
Reid Scott
Timothy Simons
Matt Walsh
Sufe Bradshaw
Kevin Dunn
Gary Cole
Sam Richardson
Composer(s) Rupert Gregson-Williams
Christopher Willis
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 4
No. of episodes 38 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Armando Iannucci
Christopher Godsick
Frank Rich
Chris Addison
Simon Blackwell
Tony Roche
Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Stephanie Laing
Location(s) Baltimore, Maryland
Camera setup Single camera
Running time 26–30 minutes
Production company(s) Dundee Productions
Release
Original channel HBO
Picture format 1080i (HDTV)
Original release April 22, 2012 (2012-04-22) – present
Chronology
Related shows The Thick of It
In the Loop
External links
Website

Veep is an American HBO political comedy television series, starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, set in the office of Selina Meyer, a fictional Vice President, and subsequent President, of the United States. The series was created by Armando Iannucci, who created the British political comedy series The Thick of It, and also wrote and directed that series' film spin-off In the Loop (2009), all of which feature the same writing staff.

Veep premiered on HBO on April 22, 2012,[1] with an eight-episode season. This was followed by a second season of ten episodes debuting on April 14, 2013.[2][3] On May 1, 2013, HBO renewed Veep for a ten-episode third season that began on April 6, 2014.[4][5] On April 21, 2014, HBO ordered a fourth season of Veep,[6] which premiered on April 12, 2015. On April 13, 2015, HBO ordered a fifth season of Veep.[7]

Veep has received critical acclaim and won several major awards. It has been nominated three years in a row for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series, its second season won the Writers Guild of America Award for Television: Comedy Series, and its third season won the TCA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Comedy. It joins The Office, 30 Rock, and Modern Family as the only comedy series since 2000 to win awards from both the Screen Actors Guild and the Writers Guild of America in the same year. Louis-Dreyfus has won three consecutive Primetime Emmy Awards, one Screen Actors Guild Award, two Critics' Choice Television Awards and one Television Critics Association Award for her performance.

Cast and characters[edit]

Main[edit]

  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus as President (previously Vice President) Selina Meyer: a former Maryland Senator and one-time presidential candidate. She often feels powerless, disregarded and discontented in her position as second in command. During her tenure as Vice President, her relationship with the President is portrayed as a strained one. Meyer's party affiliation is revealed in "Election Night" as Democratic.[8] She is divorced with one daughter, but remains romantically entangled with her ex-husband.[9] Louis-Dreyfus has received widespread critical acclaim for her performance, winning three Primetime Emmy Awards and a Screen Actors Guild Award, and receiving two consecutive Golden Globe nominations.
  • Anna Chlumsky as Amy Brookheimer: the Vice President's Chief of Staff. She credits herself as the Vice President's "trouble-shooter, problem-solver, issue-mediator, doubt-remover, conscience-examiner, thought-thinker and all-round everything-doer". Amy is constantly sacrificing her own reputation to save Selina's political credibility. She is known to be uptight and overly dedicated to her career, unwilling to settle down and have children, much to the dismay of her family. She has history with both Jonah and Dan, and may still have feelings for the latter. She is later appointed Selina's campaign manager during her presidential run.[10] Chlumsky previously portrayed a similar character, Liza Weld, in Iannucci's 2009 film, In the Loop. She has received two consecutive Primetime Emmy Award nominations for her performance.
  • Tony Hale as Gary Walsh: the Vice President's personal aide. A long-term associate and confidante of Selina's, Gary is portrayed as an incredibly loyal and giving aide to the Vice President.[11] Hale received a Primetime Emmy Award for his performance on the series.
  • Reid Scott as Dan Egan: Deputy Director of Communications. The most recent addition to Selina's administration, Dan is a highly ambitious up-and-comer in DC who takes pride in his contacts and networking skills. He often dates the daughters of influential politicians to get ahead in his career. He often butts heads with Amy, whom he previously dated. It is suggested he may still have feelings for her.[12]
  • Timothy Simons as Jonah Ryan, White House liaison to the Vice President's office. Self-described as "the go-to guy for all things White House", Jonah takes immense pride that he works for the President and not for the Vice President, much to the annoyance of the Veep's staff. In the third season, he is temporarily fired from the White House for running a blog covering inside information, leading him to create his own news website, Ryantology. In season four, after Selina ascends to the Presidency, he works for the Vice President. He constantly clashes with most members of the Veep's office, particularly Amy, a former love interest.[13] It is shown that he is also disliked by the President's staff, and indeed, just about any politician he encounters (the Prime Minister of Finland compares him unfavorably to Krampus).
  • Matt Walsh as Mike McLintock: the Vice President's Director of Communications. Also a long-time employee of Selina's, Mike has served as her Communications Director since her time as Senator for Maryland. His dedication to his career is often questionable, to the extent where he pretends to have a pet dog so he can escape from work commitments. He is married to a reporter named Wendy Keegan.[14] He later serves as official White House spokesperson for Selina's administration.
  • Sufe Bradshaw as Sue Wilson: the Vice President's personal assistant. A direct and straightforward personality in the Veep's office, Sue boasts she is the third most important person in the world, as she is the one who arranges for people to see Selina, the second most important person in the world.[15]
  • Kevin Dunn as Ben Cafferty: the White House Chief of Staff. Although he is depressed and hapless, he is often very insightful and is treated with respect and even fear throughout Washington. Ben shows little regard for his co-workers or his job, and appears to love his nine-cup coffee thermos more than anything else. Selina refers to him as a "burned-out loser", but he apparently considers her a close friend and resolves to help her become President. (season 3–present; recurring season 2)
  • Gary Cole as Kent Davison: the Senior Strategist to the President. He is a number-cruncher, and is often referred to as being cold and robotic. His adherence to polling statistics is shown to negatively influence the President's decision-making during several episodes in the second season. He attempts to come between Selina and the President, and forced Selina to appear friendly with her hated ex-husband during the previous election campaign. It is implied that he and Sue are in some form of ersatz relationship. (season 4; recurring seasons 2–3)
  • Sam Richardson as Richard T. Splett: an incompetent campaign aide who fills in for Gary during Selina's book tour, later Amy's assistant on Selina's presidential campaign. (season 4; recurring season 3)[16]

Recurring[edit]

  • Dan Bakkedahl as Roger Furlong: an ambitious Ohio Congressman and ranking member of a congressional oversight committee. Ill-mannered and foul-mouthed, he constantly hounds the Vice President's office and threatens investigations, even after he loses his campaign to be Governor of Ohio. Despite this, however, Furlong supports Selina's presidential campaign by helping her prepare for a primary debate and doing post-debate "spin" on her behalf. (season 1–present)
  • Randall Park as Minnesota Governor Danny Chung: a young veteran who is not shy about exploiting his military record for political gain. A member of the President's party, he covets the presidency himself and is seen as Selina's chief rival for the nomination after the President leaves office. (season 1–present)
  • Phil Reeves as Andrew Doyle: a senator and chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. After Selina becomes President, she appoints him as her new Vice President. (season 1–present)
  • Sarah Sutherland as Catherine Meyer: Selina's reserved, put-upon daughter. Catherine is often caught in the middle of Selina's issues, especially with her father. She tends to have highly liberal views concerning social rights. Although she tries to highlight the differences between herself and her mother, it is consistently shown that Catherine suppresses her own streak of foul-mouthed ambition. (season 1–present)
  • Brian Huskey as Leon West: a veteran political reporter who frequently antagonizes Mike at briefings. (season 1–present)
  • William L. Thomas as Martin Collins: a Secret Service agent once reassigned for laughing in Selina's presence. (season 1–present)
  • Andy Buckley as Ted Cullen: Selina's former lover. (season 1)
  • Nelson Franklin as Will: Congressman Furlong's aide. He is often subjected to vulgar verbal abuse from Furlong. (seasons 1–2)
  • Peter Grosz as Sidney Purcell: an oil lobbyist. (seasons 1–2; 4)
  • Isiah Whitlock, Jr. as General George Maddox: the former Secretary of Defense and one of Selina's rivals for the presidential nomination. He appears to bear an unusually high degree of personal animosity towards Selina. (season 2–present)
  • David Pasquesi as Andrew Meyer: Selina's ex-husband and occasional lover. He is disliked by Selina's staff, primarily for being one of her weaknesses. (season 2–present)
  • Zach Woods as Ed Webster: Amy's boyfriend who is often neglected in favor of her job. Woods also appeared in "In the Loop" as a State Department aide who was a rival to Chlumsky's character. (season 2–present)
  • Jessica St. Clair as Dana: Gary's over-possessive girlfriend. (season 2)
  • David Rasche as Jim Marwood: Speaker of the House of Representatives. (seasons 2; 4)
  • Diedrich Bader as Bill Ericsson: a well-respected campaign manager who worked for the Thornhill campaign. He later abandons Thornhill and Selina appoints him her new Director of Communications. (season 3–present)
  • Paul Fitzgerald as Owen Pierce: a socially awkward congressman and previously one of Selina's rivals for the presidential nomination. (season 3–present)
  • Kathy Najimy as Wendy Keegan: a reporter and Mike's wife. (season 3–present)
  • Glenn Wrage as Joe Thornhill: a former Major League Baseball coach and one of Selina's rivals for the presidential nomination. He constantly uses sports analogies to describe politics, something which greatly annoys Selina and her staff. Despite a good early start in the primaries, he later loses momentum in the race. (season 3)
  • Patton Oswalt as Teddy Sykes: the Chief of Staff to Vice President Doyle. (season 4)
  • Jessie Ennis as Lee Patterson: a competent and straightforward staffer for Selina, whose name is constantly misremembered by her and the rest of the White House staff. (season 4)
  • Hugh Laurie as Tom James: a charming senator and Selina's new running mate after Doyle leaves the ticket. (season 4)

Episodes[edit]

Main article: List of Veep episodes
Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 8 April 22, 2012 (2012-04-22) June 10, 2012 (2012-06-10)
2 10 April 14, 2013 (2013-04-14) June 23, 2013 (2013-06-23)
3 10 April 6, 2014 (2014-04-06) June 8, 2014 (2014-06-08)
4 10 April 12, 2015 (2015-04-12) June 14, 2015 (2015-06-14)

Development[edit]

Louis-Dreyfus with Vice President Joe Biden at the White House.

The Thick of It[edit]

BBC series[edit]

Veep uses the same cinéma-vérité filming style as Iannucci's BBC television sitcom The Thick of It, which is set in a fictional department of the British government. The Thick of It was first broadcast in 2005, gaining a number of awards and in 2009 inspired a spin-off film, In the Loop, which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

ABC pilot[edit]

A pilot for an American version of The Thick of It was produced as a candidate for the 2007–08 season on ABC. The ABC pilot, also titled The Thick of It, was developed for American audiences by writers Mitch Hurwitz and Richard Day and would have been about the day-to-day lives of a low-level member of the United States Congress and his staff. Original series creator Armando Iannucci had a production credit on the show, but he was not otherwise involved. The pilot was produced by Sony Pictures Television and BBC Worldwide. Christopher Guest directed the pilot.[17]

In the pilot, John Michael Higgins played Albert Alger, a newly elected Congressman, and Oliver Platt played committee chairman Malcolm Tucker.[18] Rhea Seehorn portrayed Ollie Tadzio, a young and ambitious speech writer, and Michael McKean played Glen Glahm, "a former campaign operative who's now the chief of staff" for the congressman.[19]

ABC did not pick up the show for its fall 2007 schedule.[20] Iannucci distanced himself from the pilot stating, "It was terrible...they took the idea and chucked out all the style. It was all conventionally shot and there was no improvisation or swearing. It didn't get picked up, thank God."[21]

HBO development of Veep[edit]

After The Thick of It was dropped by ABC, several networks including HBO, Showtime and NBC expressed interest in adapting the show.[22] Iannucci re-entered talks with HBO (his initial preference) about adapting the series, with the result that a new pilot episode for a series based in the office of the Vice President of the United States called Veep (a nickname derived from the position's initials "VP") was commissioned in late 2009.[21]

Iannucci was given much more creative control over the show and co-wrote the pilot with British comedy writer Simon Blackwell, who also contributed to the British series The Thick of It. HBO announced that it had picked up the show for a full season in April 2011.[23]

Louis-Dreyfus has described Veep's intent not to have the President on-screen, or to reveal the political party of the characters.[24]

Production[edit]

Directors for season one included Armando Iannucci, Tristram Shapeero and Chris Morris. Veep is executive produced by Iannucci, Christopher Godsick and Frank Rich. Co-executive producers are Simon Blackwell, Tony Roche, with Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Stephanie Laing as producers. The series features an entirely British writing staff, which consists of Iannucci, Blackwell, Roche, Sean Gray, Will Smith, Roger Drew, Ian Martin, Jesse Armstrong and others.[25][26] Each of these writers previously worked with Iannucci on the scripts of The Thick of It. Series creator Armando Iannucci departed the series after the fourth season finished production, as Iannucci found it challenging to maintain his family life in London, and then to produce a series in the U.S., as well as wanting to pursue new projects. David Mandel will take over as showrunner for the fifth season.[27]

The pilot episode was filmed in February 2011 in Maryland,[28] and filming for the series began in October 2011 in Baltimore,[29] after several months of rehearsal designed to get the actors comfortable improvising with one another.[30]

Tax credits[edit]

Because most of Veep is filmed in Maryland, the show is eligible for a Maryland state tax credit.[31]

  • For season 1, the company received a tax credit of $3.4 million because the company hired nearly 1,000 Marylanders and had an estimated economic impact of $30.6 million.[31]
  • For season 2, the company could receive a $5.5 million tax credit because the company hired more than 1,000 people and had an estimated $44 million economic impact.[31]
  • For season 3, the company could receive up to a $6.5 million tax credit because the company hired more than 2,000 people and had an estimated $52 million economic impact.[31]
  • For season 4, the company filed an application and letter of intent to film in Maryland.[31] The company was "promised $7.4 million in tax credits, slightly less than what state economic development officials hoped to give".[31]

Reception[edit]

Season 1[edit]

The first season received generally positive reviews from television critics. Review aggregator site Metacritic gave the season a score of 72 out of 100 based on reviews from 30 critics.[32] The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 71% approval rating with an average rating of 6.1/10 based on 22 reviews.[33] Hank Stuever of The Washington Post praised the series, writing: "Thanks to Louis-Dreyfus, and the show's remarkable knack for dialogue and timing, Veep is instantly engaging and outrageously fun."[34] Rob Brunner of Entertainment Weekly gave the season a positive review calling it "Charmingly goofy as ever, Louis-Dreyfus isn't quite believable as a Vice President – even a sitcom VP whose lack of gravitas is the show's central joke. But she's still a joy to watch, especially when she shows off that famous gift for physical comedy."[35] Maureen Ryan of The Huffington Post gave the show a lukewarm review, writing: "Despite the clear talents of the assembled cast, Veep merely reinforces what most people already think and revisits territory many other politically-oriented movies and TV shows have thoroughly covered."[36] Brian Lowry of Variety gave the show a negative review and called it a "show about an always-second office becomes second-tier TV."[37]

Season 2[edit]

The second season received acclaim from critics. It averaged a Metacritic score of 75 out of 100 based on reviews from 10 critics.[38] David Hiltbrand of The Philadelphia Inquirer praised the series saying "HBO's Veep is the sharpest Beltway satire the medium has ever seen, mostly because it focuses not on the power wielded by politicians, but on their desperate venality".[39] Bruce Miller of Sioux City Journal also praised the show, writing: "The show is smart—smarter than most on network television—and it has life."[40]

Season 3[edit]

The third season received acclaim from critics. It received a Metacritic score of 86 out of 100 based on 10 reviews.[41] It scored a 100% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with an average rating of 8.9/10. The site's consensus reads, "Veep continues its winning streak with a mix of smart comedy, bright performances and a refreshing approach to D.C. politics."[42] Matt Roush of TV Guide praised the show, and in a joint review of Veep and Silicon Valley wrote: "[Silicon Valley is] paired with the third season of the savagely hilarious Veep; this combo promises to be HBO's most robust and certainly most entertaining comedy hour in years."[43] Brandon Nowalk of The A.V. Club wrote the show "has become the clearest heir to 30 Rock and Arrested Development, and specific bits throughout the season recall both series."[44] Tim Molloy of TheWrap praised the cast saying, "The show works because all of its actors seem so human, so likable, despite the words coming from their mouths."[45]

Season 4[edit]

The fourth season received acclaim from critics. It received a Metacritic score of 90 out of 100 based on 11 reviews.[46] Tim Goodman of The Hollywood Reporter wrote, "Veep enters its fourth season, firmly established as one of television’s best comedies, and then immediately does what seems impossible—it delivers its most thoroughly assured, hilarious and brilliantly written and acted episodes."[47] Ben Travers of Indiewire wrote that "Veep is incomparable in comedy" and that "the HBO comedy has crafted a style so unique the series itself is entirely its own beast."[48]

Home media[edit]

Season Release dates Bonus features
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4 Region A Region B
1 March 26, 2013 June 3, 2013 April 3, 2013 March 26, 2013 June 3, 2013 "The Making of Veep", "Veep: Misspoke", "Veep: Obesity", deleted scenes and outtakes, 12 audio commentaries with cast and crew[49]
2 March 25, 2014 June 2, 2014 May 28, 2014 March 25, 2014 June 2, 2014 Deleted scenes, 4 audio commentaries with cast and crew[50]
3 March 31, 2015 March 30, 2015 April 1, 2015 March 31, 2015 March 30, 2015 Deleted scenes, 4 audio commentaries with cast and crew, "Governor's Visit"[51]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result
2012 2nd Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Actress in a Comedy Series Julia Louis-Dreyfus Nominated
64th Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Comedy Series Armando Iannucci, Christopher Godsick, Frank Rich, Simon Blackwell, Tony Roche, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Stephanie Laing Nominated
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Julia Louis-Dreyfus Won
Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series Jennifer Euston, Allison Jones, Pat Moran Nominated
17th Satellite Awards Best Actress in a Series, Comedy or Musical Julia Louis-Dreyfus Nominated
28th TCA Awards Individual Achievement in Comedy Julia Louis-Dreyfus Nominated
Women's Image Network Awards Best Actress in a Comedy Series Julia Louis-Dreyfus Nominated
Best Comedy Series Veep Won
2013 2013 AFI Awards Top 10 TV Show of 2013 Veep Won
3rd Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Actress in a Comedy Series Julia Louis-Dreyfus Won
Best Comedy Series Veep Nominated
70th Golden Globe Awards Best Actress – Television Series (Musical or Comedy) Julia Louis-Dreyfus Nominated
29th TCA Awards Outstanding Achievement in Comedy Veep Nominated
Individual Achievement in Comedy Julia Louis-Dreyfus Nominated
Writers Guild of America Awards 2012 Best New Series Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Roger Drew, Sean Gray, Armando Iannucci, Ian Martin, Tony Roche and Will Smith Nominated
65th Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Comedy Series Armando Iannucci, Christopher Godsick, Frank Rich, Simon Blackwell, Tony Roche, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Stephanie Laing Nominated
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Julia Louis-Dreyfus Won
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Tony Hale Won
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Anna Chlumsky Nominated
Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series Allison Jones, Pat Moran and Jennifer Euston Nominated
2014 American Comedy Awards Best Comedy Series Veep Nominated
Best Actress in a Comedy Series Julia Louis-Dreyfus Nominated
Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Tony Hale Nominated
Art Directors Guild Awards 2013 Best Half Hour Single-Camera Television Series Jim Gloster Won
71st Golden Globe Awards Best Actress – Television Series (Musical or Comedy) Julia Louis-Dreyfus Nominated
Gracie Awards Outstanding Comedy Veep Won
66th Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Comedy Series Armando Iannucci, Christopher Godsick, Frank Rich, Simon Blackwell, Tony Roche, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Stephanie Laing Nominated
Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series Gary Cole Nominated
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Julia Louis-Dreyfus Won
Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (Half-Hour) Bill MacPherson and Richard Davey Nominated
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Tony Hale Nominated
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Anna Chlumsky Nominated
Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series Simon Blackwell, Tony Roche and Armando Iannucci for "Special Relationship" Nominated
Outstanding Art Direction for a Contemporary Program (Half-Hour or less) Jim Gloster, Sharon Davis and Jennifer Engel Nominated
Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series Allison Jones, Pat Moran and Meredith Tucker Nominated
Producers Guild of America Awards 2013 Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television Comedy Armando Iannucci, Christopher Godsick, Frank Rich, Simon Blackwell, Tony Roche, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Stephanie Laing Nominated
19th Satellite Awards Best Actress in a Series, Comedy or Musical Julia Louis-Dreyfus Nominated
20th Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Sufe Bradshaw, Anna Chlumsky, Gary Cole, Kevin Dunn, Tony Hale, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Reid Scott, Timothy Simons and Matt Walsh Nominated
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series Julia Louis-Dreyfus Won
30th TCA Awards Outstanding Achievement in Comedy Veep Won
Individual Achievement in Comedy Julia Louis-Dreyfus Won
Writers Guild of America Awards 2013 Best Comedy Series Simon Blackwell, Roger Drew, Sean Gray, Armando Iannucci, Ian Martin, Georgia Pritchett, David Quantick, Tony Roche and Will Smith Won
TV Guide Fan Favorite Awards Best Comedy Series Veep Nominated
Best TV Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus Nominated
2015 72nd Golden Globe Awards Best Actress – Television Series (Musical or Comedy) Julia Louis-Dreyfus Nominated
Producers Guild of America Awards 2014 Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television Comedy Armando Iannucci, Christopher Godsick, Frank Rich, Simon Blackwell, Tony Roche, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Stephanie Laing Nominated
21st Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Sufe Bradshaw, Anna Chlumsky, Gary Cole, Kevin Dunn, Tony Hale, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Reid Scott, Timothy Simons and Matt Walsh Nominated
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series Julia Louis-Dreyfus Nominated
5th Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Comedy Series Veep Nominated
Best Actress in a Comedy Series Julia Louis-Dreyfus Nominated
Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Tony Hale Nominated

References[edit]

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