Louis-Drey­fus gets the vote for comic tim­ing

The Jewish Chronicle - - LIFE -


WHO WOULD have thought that Ju­lia Loui s - D r e y f u s would prove the most suc­cess­ful of the fa­mous four from Se­in­feld be­yond “the show about noth­ing”? She was im­pres­sive as a sin­gle mum in the sit­com, The New Ad­ven­tures of Old Chris­tine, al­though that raised barely a rip­ple over here. It’s a dif­fer­ent story with Veep, in which she plays gaffe-prone Amer­i­can Vice-Pres­i­dent Selina Meyer.

In best-yet Se­ries Three — cur­rently be­ing shown on Sky At­lantic — Meyer and her mot­ley en­tourage of po­lit­i­cal geeks and spin­ners are on the pres­i­den­tial trail, re­plete with laugh-out­loud mo­ments of naked am­bi­tion and self-serv­ing cover-ups. But for devo­tees and new­com­ers, the Se­ries Two DVD shows Veep get­ting in­tel­li­gently into its stride af­ter a rather un­even first sea­son. The slightly slug­gish be­gin­nings may have been partly at­trib­ut­able to direc­tor, writer and ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer, The Thick of It’s Ar­mando Ian­nucci, find­ing his way around the Amer­i­can po­lit­i­cal scene.

As with The Thick of It, Veep ben­e­fits from pin-sharp writ­ing and char­ac­ter­i­sa­tion. Dan Egan ( Rei d S c o t t ) a n d AmyBrookheimer (Anna C h l u msk y ) are the Ol­lie Reeder and Emma Messenger types; Mike McLin­tock (Matt Walsh) is Meyer’s hap­less press man and Tony Hale — scene-steal­ingly bril­liant as man-child Buster in Ar­rested Devel­op­ment — is the Veep’s des­per­ate-to-please bag man Gary Walsh. And just as the prime minis-


ter is off-screen in The Thick of It, so we never get to see the pres­i­dent, sub­ject of Meyer’s con­tin­u­ing ire.

There is no lack of shouty plot­ting, big-time fall-outs and re­crim­i­na­tions, but noth­ing on the deci­bel or ex­ple­tive scale of a Mal­colm Tucker, leav­ing cen­tre stage for Louis-Drey­fus’s ex­quis­ite comic tim­ing. It’s never bet­ter il­lus­trated than in the episode — di­rected by Chris “Ol­lie Reeder” Ad­di­son — in which Meyer is un­will­ingly despatched to a hog roast as part of a “lis­ten to ru­ral Amer­ica” ini­tia­tive.

As she at­tempts to quell break­ing con­tro­versy over her daugh­ter’s col­lege re­view of a Pales­tinian film, those back in DC watch­ing the TV news feed are mor­ti­fied to see her “voic­ing sol­i­dar­ity with the Jewish peo­ple in front of ro­tat­ing pork”. Af­ter bean­pole White House li­ai­son Jonah Ryan (Tim Si­mons) is in­structed to drape him­self across the of­fend­ing car­cass, the com­plaint from Wash­ing­ton is: “I can still see the pig’s arse.” Price­less.



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