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Not Sarah Palin: Julia Louis-Dreyfus Makes an Intentionally Humorous 'Veep'

By · April 17th, 2012 · Television
Thanks to a certain Alaskan, woman’s journey to the White House will forever have an embarrassing footnote left over from the 2008 election. After countless women, from Eleanor Roosevelt to Hillary Clinton, fought for gender equality in politics, the woman who came closest to the presidency famously flubbed the story of Paul Revere.

Thankfully, the channel that brought us the recent Palin flick Game Change takes a break from retelling election history with Veep (10 p.m. Sundays, HBO), starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus as a fictional second-in-command. Based on the style of BBC sitcom The Thick of It, Veep shows that there’s a lot of BS that goes into being VP. 

Louis-Dreyfus’ character, former Maryland Sen. Selena Meyer, is still getting her feet wet as vice prez. She and her staff struggle to make their mark and go down in history as a successful administration, but are mostly caught up in daily mundane tasks of the office and touchy politics. An ongoing joke in the series is Meyer asking her staff if the president has called (he never does). With The Thick of It writer/director on board along with Matt Walsh (recognizable from small but funny roles in Bad Santa, Role Models and The Hangover) as Meyer’s press secretary and Tony Hale (Arrested Development’s Buster Bluth) as Meyer’s bodyguard, it’s shaping up to be a solid comedy.

In Sunday’s premiere, Meyer takes on a pet project but a couple public blunders force her and her staff to go into damage-control mode.

Veep gives us a much-needed break from right vs. left humor by poking fun at politics as a whole — and isn’t that something we can all agree on?


Modern Family (9 p.m., ABC) – When Cameron’s father comes to town, Jay gets annoyed (“He treats my son like the wife in the relationship”) and the visit ultimately results in a competitive dad-off.

South Park (10 p.m., Comedy Central) – Determined to get the most out of spring break, the boys spend their last day off school ziplining in the mountains.

When circumstances turn grim, it’s survival of the fittest. Grab your crossbow, Katniss!


30 Rock (8:30 p.m., NBC) – Jack sets Liz up on a blind date to shake things up with her and Criss; Tracy helps Jenna stage a public meltdown to attract Paul’s attention.

The Office (9 p.m., NBC) – Andy returns from his love-fueled journey with Erin in tow, but instead of a pleasant homecoming, his manhood and his job in Scranton are put into question. 

Parks and Recreation (9:30 p.m., NBC) – Leslie discourages city council from making mandatory budget cuts to the P&R department without realizing this will affect her campaign budget. Bradley “The Weasel” Whitford guest stars.


Cheech & Chong Still Smokin (10:30 a.m., Comedy Central) – Why are we suggesting an ’80s stoner comedy playing during a work day? If you have to ask …

Magic City (10 p.m., Starz) – While the Miss 1959 Pageant makes its home in Miramar Playa, Ike tries to take illegal measures to get legal gambling in the hotel.


Paul F. Tompkins: Laboring Under Delusions (Premiere, 11 p.m., Comedy Central) – Now known for his contributions to Mr. Show, Real Time with Bill Maher and several VH1 countdown/recap pop culture programs, writer and actor Paul F. Tompkins has been doing stand-up for 25 years. In this one-hour special, Tompkins dishes on his less glamorous past jobs from Glendale, Calif.’s Alex Theatre.


Game of Thrones (9 p.m., HBO) – Robb Stark’s victories cause Joffrey to take out his aggressions on Sansa; Arya and Gendry are held at Harrenhal’s prison and subjected to gruesome torment; Daenerys and her people seek refuge in the thriving city of Qarth.

Nurse Jackie (9 p.m., Showtime) – Jackie exits rehab, against her counselor’s suggestion, to find All Saints all new and her husband in the loop about her affair.

Mad Men (10 p.m., AMC) – Peggy struggles through a painful pitch; Don visits a potential client.

Girls (10:30 p.m., HBO) – Hannah’s AIDS paranoia (thanks to Forrest Gump) and Jessa’s pregnancy scare result in an ever-awkward trip to a women’s clinic for the girls.


Glee (8 p.m., Fox) – The gang pays tribute to the late, great Whitney Houston.

CONTACT JAC KERN: jkern@citybeat.com



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