In Veep’s uneven fourth season, President Selina Meyer and her staff learn that it isn’t easy being on top.
From the moment Vice-President Selina Meyer became Madam President Selina Meyer, you knew things weren’t going to end well. Because if there’s a mantra to the Meyer administration, it’s that everything eventually goes to shit. Even in Veep’s bumpy fourth season, they take that very idea to its fruition.
Unlike past seasons of Veep, there isn’t one through line throughout the fourth season. While there are still re-elections to win and legislation to push, there isn’t a single idea that ties this season together. Veep instead tries to bombard the Meyer administration with as many problems as it can. President Meyer’s staff – played by such comedic powerhouses as Tony Hale, Matt Walsh, Gary Cole, Kevin Dunn, ect. – usually end up taking the brunt of the hits. But then again, that’s the life of a US President and its staff. A job that means whatever decision you make becomes the wrong decision to somebody. Veep as a political farce encapsulates that perfectly.
The fourth season of Veep starts off interesting enough, Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) as President of the United States. It’s an interesting jumping point considering the very backbone of the show consists of dick jokes, general governmental incompetence, and most of all failure. Much like Linus and his blanket, Veep feels most at home when it drapes their characters in defeat. So putting Meyer in the position of being the most powerful leader in the free world makes screw-ups that much more prominent. The problem with the fourth season however is while the core idea of governmental incompetence being a laugh riot still stands, it’s at the edges where it looks to come undone.
This particular season of Veep, has been uneven in spots. The theory behind Veep has been that it’s about the characters. Everything else from DC culture to farces in American politics has always been reflected by these characters. The show is at its strongest when focused on them. Meyer and her staff had to be the focal points for all this to work. Sadly with some episodes featured in season four, Veep looks more interested in pushing the plot forward than anything else. Even with the barrage of problems that have been bombarded by the Meyer administration each week, sometimes this season of Veep looks to be more interested in talking to the audience about exposition than letting the characters tell a story.
With that said, it’s still easily one of the best political comedies on television. Even with an uneven fourth season, Veep still lands more blows than misses. Episodes like “Election Night” and “Testimony” show how clever the show can be. There’s a point in the final episode of the fourth season where the Meyer’s team asks “why make the total number of electoral votes an even number?” Without giving the season four cliffhanger away, it’s smart political jabs – along with its profanity riddled insults – that make Veep still one of the smartest political shows ever. Even when it’s not hitting on all cylinders.
(Photo Credits: HBO)