Veep

Last updated

Veep
Veep intertitle.png
Genre
Created by Armando Iannucci
Starring
Composers
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons7
No. of episodes65 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producers
Production locations
Camera setup Single camera
Running time26–30 minutes
Production companies
  • HBO Entertainment
  • Dundee Productions (Seasons 1–4)
Distributor
Budget
Release
Original network HBO
Picture format 1080i (HDTV)
Original releaseApril 22, 2012 (2012-04-22) 
May 12, 2019 (2019-05-12)
Chronology
Related shows
External links
Website

Veep is an American political satire comedy television series that aired on HBO from April 22, 2012, to May 12, 2019. [2] The series was created by Armando Iannucci as an adaptation of his sitcom The Thick of It . The protagonist of Veep is Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), a fictional Vice President of the United States. The series follows Meyer and her team as they attempt to make their mark and leave a legacy but often instead become mired in day-to-day political games.

Contents

Veep received critical acclaim and won several major awards, including seven consecutive nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series, winning that award for its fourth, fifth, and sixth seasons. Its second, fourth, and sixth seasons won the Writers Guild of America Award for Television: Comedy Series, and its third season won the Television Critics Association Award for Outstanding Achievement in Comedy.

Louis-Dreyfus' performance won her six consecutive Primetime Emmy Awards, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, two Critics' Choice Television Awards, a Television Critics Association Award, and five consecutive Golden Globe nominations. For his portrayal of Selina's personal aide, Gary, Tony Hale received six consecutive Emmy nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, winning in 2013 and 2015. Other members of the cast who received Emmy nominations include Anna Chlumsky (six nominations), Gary Cole (one nomination), Matt Walsh (two nominations), Martin Mull (one nomination), Hugh Laurie (one nomination), and Peter MacNicol (one nomination).

Synopsis

The series follows the personal life and political career of Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), Vice President and, later, President of the United States. Her party affiliation is never discussed, although it is hinted in the fourth season finale that it is Democratic. Formerly a United States Senator from Maryland, Meyer campaigns for her party's nomination in the 2012 presidential election and is initially the front-runner, but ultimately loses the nomination to Stuart Hughes. Meyer subsequently joins the Hughes ticket as his running mate and is elected Vice President. Her staff as Vice President, upon whom Meyer is almost totally reliant, includes chief of staff Amy Brookheimer (Anna Chlumsky); director of communications Mike McLintock (Matt Walsh); deputy director of communications Dan Egan (Reid Scott); body man Gary Walsh (Tony Hale); and personal secretary Sue Wilson (Sufe Bradshaw). Later additions to her team as president include White House Chief of Staff Ben Cafferty (Kevin Dunn) and political strategist Kent Davison (Gary Cole). Jonah Ryan (Timothy Simons), initially a White House liaison to the Vice President's office and later a New Hampshire congressman, also features prominently.

Meyer frequently finds herself relegated and ignored by Hughes, who is never depicted on-screen at the outset of the series. In the second season, Meyer comes to accrue some power and influence and, by the end of the season, is actively considering challenging Hughes for their party's nomination in the 2016 election. This becomes a moot point when Hughes abruptly resigns and Meyer begins her presidential campaign at the end of the third season. The fourth season finds her adjusting to her new role while continuing her presidential campaign, both of which are undermined by a series of scandals. The election results in a tie between Meyer and challenger Bill O'Brien (Brad Leland), leading to a contingent election in the House of Representatives during the fifth season to decide the next president after a recount in Nevada fails to alter the election's outcome. The House vote ends in a tie; meaning that when the Senate votes to elect the Vice President the winner will be the next president. The Senate vote also ends in a tie; Meyer's disgruntled Vice President Andrew Doyle (Phil Reeves), who did not run for a full term, casts the tiebreaking vote for O'Brien's running mate Laura Montez (Andrea Savage) instead of Meyer's running mate Tom James (Hugh Laurie), leading to Montez becoming president. The sixth season follows Meyer out of office for the first time in the series, as she attempts to ensure her legacy by authoring a memoir, setting up a foundation and attempting to establish a presidential library. At the end of the season, Meyer decides to run for president again. The seventh season sees Meyer attempting to run for president once again in the 2020 election, featuring her former political rivals Ryan and James as major competitors, in addition to introducing the young, likable, and progressive challenger Kemi Talbot (Toks Olagundoye).

The series also explores Meyer's personal life, such as her strained relationships with her daughter Catherine (Sarah Sutherland), ex-husband Andrew (David Pasquesi), and several significant others. The lives, careers, and relationships of the other characters are also explored, frequently intersecting with the series' principal narrative, satirizing the political activities and inner workings of the contemporary U.S. government.

Cast and characters

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who portrays Selina Meyer Julia Louis-Dreyfus by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who portrays Selina Meyer
Tony Hale, who portrays Gary Walsh Tony Hale at the 2010 Streamy Awards (cropped).jpg
Tony Hale, who portrays Gary Walsh
Reid Scott, who portrays Dan Egan Reid Scott 2014.jpg
Reid Scott, who portrays Dan Egan
Timothy Simons, who portrays Jonah Ryan Timothy Simons 2014.jpg
Timothy Simons, who portrays Jonah Ryan
Matt Walsh, who portrays Mike McLintock Matt Walsh 2014.jpg
Matt Walsh, who portrays Mike McLintock
Sufe Bradshaw, who portrays Sue Wilson Sufe Bradshaw 2014.jpg
Sufe Bradshaw, who portrays Sue Wilson

Episodes

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
1 8April 22, 2012 (2012-04-22)June 10, 2012 (2012-06-10)
2 10April 14, 2013 (2013-04-14)June 23, 2013 (2013-06-23)
3 10April 6, 2014 (2014-04-06)June 8, 2014 (2014-06-08)
4 10April 12, 2015 (2015-04-12)June 14, 2015 (2015-06-14)
5 10April 24, 2016 (2016-04-24)June 26, 2016 (2016-06-26)
6 10April 16, 2017 (2017-04-16)June 25, 2017 (2017-06-25)
7 7March 31, 2019 (2019-03-31)May 12, 2019 (2019-05-12)

Development

Louis-Dreyfus with then-Vice President Joe Biden at the White House Vice President Joe Biden jokes with Julia Louis-Dreyfus.jpg
Louis-Dreyfus with then-Vice President Joe Biden at the White House

The Thick of It

BBC series

Before creating Veep, British satirist Armando Iannucci created the BBC sitcom The Thick of It , set in a fictional department of the British government. The Thick of It was first broadcast in 2005 and won a number of awards. Iannucci directed a spin-off film, In the Loop , which was released in 2009 and nominated for the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

ABC pilot

A pilot for an American version of The Thick of It was produced as a candidate for the 2007–08 season on ABC. Also titled The Thick of It, it was developed for American audiences by writers Mitch Hurwitz and Richard Day and followed a low-level member of the United States Congress and his staff. 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 and directed by Christopher Guest. [17]

In the pilot, John Michael Higgins played newly-elected Congressman Albert Alger, and Oliver Platt played committee chairman Malcolm Tucker. [18] Rhea Seehorn portrayed Ollie Tadzio, an ambitious young speechwriter, 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

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 situated 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 production, [23] and co-wrote the pilot with British comedy writer Simon Blackwell, who also contributed to the British series The Thick of It . [24]

In April 2011, HBO announced that it had ordered Veep as a series, [24] and later announced in January 2012 that the series would premiere on April 22, 2012. [2]

Production

Directors for Season 1 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' first four seasons featured an entirely British writing staff, including Iannucci, Blackwell, Roche, Sean Gray, Will Smith, Roger Drew, Ian Martin, Andy Riley, Kevin Cecil, David Quantick, Georgia Pritchett and Jesse Armstrong, among others, [25] [26] many of whom had previously worked with Iannucci on The Thick of It.

Series creator Armando Iannucci departed as showrunner following the fourth season's end of production. Iannucci stated that his continuing busy schedule, as well as the challenge of maintaining his family life while switching between Baltimore and London, would not allow him to "[dedicate] one hundred percent" as head of the show, and he had chosen to "fire" himself as a result. David Mandel took over as showrunner for future episodes, becoming Veep's first American writer. Mandel retained a small number of Ianucci's writing staff, as well as Chris Addison as director and supervising producer, whilst also bringing in his own staff, and American writers. [27] [28] [29]

Filming

Charles Village, Baltimore, one of the areas where Veep filmed for its first season production Calvert Street In Charles Village Baltimore.jpg
Charles Village, Baltimore, one of the areas where Veep filmed for its first season production

The pilot episode was filmed in February 2011 in Maryland, [31] and filming for the series began in October 2011 in Baltimore, [32] after several months of rehearsal designed to get the actors comfortable improvising with one another. [33] For its first season, Veep reportedly hired 978 local Maryland residents, generating $40 million for the state, according to the Maryland Film Office. [34] [35] Season 2 production began shooting in November 2012, continuing to film in Baltimore and other areas of Maryland. Veep primarily filmed on a sound stage constructed from a Columbia, Maryland industrial warehouse, where replicas of places such as the Eisenhower Executive Office Building and West Wing were also built. [36] [37] [38] The show continued filming in Maryland for its third and fourth seasons, as a bill was approved by state lawmakers in April 2013 that increased tax credits for film and TV productions in the state. [35] [39] [40] Later filming locations included Annapolis and the Physical Sciences Complex in the University of Maryland, College Park campus. [41] [42] [43]

Principal photography moved from Baltimore to Los Angeles in the show's fifth season after being one of a few series to be awarded tax incentives from the California Film Commission, as part of an expanded $330 million California Film Tax Credit program signed by Governor Jerry Brown in 2014. [44] [45] [46] Filming took place for part of the show's fifth season in Washington, D.C., from February 25, 2016, to March 3, 2016. As a result of HBO's Community Impact program, a select number of local D.C. residents also worked on the production during the eight-day film shoot in the area. [47] [48] Areas in D.C. where production was reportedly found filming include the Superior Court, the Spring Valley neighborhood (where Julia Louis-Dreyfus once lived), and Dupont Circle's Kramerbooks independent bookstore. [49] [50] The seventh and final season wrapped filming in December 2018. [51]

Reception

Metacritic ratings per season
Season1234567
Rating72 [52] 75 [53] 86 [54] 90 [55] 88 [56] 88 [57] 87 [58]

Season 1

The first season of Veep 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. [52] The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 78% approval rating with an average rating of 7.22/10 based on 46 reviews. The site's consensus reads, "The jokes are funny and Julia Louis-Dreyfus is great in the lead, but Veep is still working to find its voice." [59] 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." [60] Rob Brunner of Entertainment Weekly gave the season a positive review: "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." [61] 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." [62] Brian Lowry of Variety gave the show a negative review and said a "show about an always-second office becomes second-tier TV." [63]

Season 2

The second season received acclaim from critics. It averaged a Metacritic score of 75 out of 100 based on reviews from 10 critics. [53] On Rotten Tomatoes, it received an 92% approval rating with an average score of 8.59/10 based on 24 reviews. The site's consensus reads, "In Veep's second season, the satire is sharper, the insights are deeper, the tone is more consistent, and the result is a comedy of unexpected heft." [64] 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". [65] 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." [66]

Season 3

The third season received acclaim from critics. It received a Metacritic score of 86 out of 100 based on 10 reviews. [54] It scored a 100% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with an average rating of 8.64/10 based on 26 reviews. 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." [67] 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." [68] 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." [69] 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." [70]

Season 4

The fourth season received acclaim from critics. It received a Metacritic score of 90 out of 100 based on 11 reviews. [55] As with the previous season, Veep scored a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 25 reviews, with an average rating of 9.12/10. The site's consensus reads, "Veep shows no signs of slowing down in its fourth season, thanks to sharp, funny, rapid-fire dialogue between POTUS and her hilariously incompetent staff." [71] 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." [72] Ben Travers of Indiewire wrote, "Veep is incomparable in comedy" and that "the HBO comedy has crafted a style so unique the series itself is entirely its own beast." [73]

Season 5

The fifth season received acclaim from critics. It received a Metacritic score of 88 out of 100 based on 18 reviews. [56] The season scored a 94% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 36 reviews, with an average rating of 8.66/10. The site's consensus reads, "Thanks to the spot-on comedic prowess of Julia Louis-Dreyfus and company Veep is back with as many laughs and expletive-filled absurdities as ever." [74] Tim Goodman of The Hollywood Reporter wrote that "Veep doesn't just feel like it's firing on all cylinders, it feels invigorated and out to prove something", [75] while Kevin Sullivan of Entertainment Weekly wrote that "in the switch to new showrunner David Mandel, the state of Veep is strong". [76]

Season 6

The sixth season received critical acclaim. On Metacritic, it has a score of 88 out of 100 based on 15 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim". [57] It has a 94% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 36 reviews with an average score of 8.17/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "A move from the White House hasn't dulled Veep's razor-sharp satirical edge, thanks to Julia Louis-Dreyfus and her castmates' deft comic chemistry." [77]

Season 7

The seventh season received critical acclaim. On Metacritic, it has a score of 87 out of 100 based on 20 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim". [58] It has a 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 59 reviews with an average score of 8.94/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Brash and bonkers as ever, Veep bows out with an unapologetically absurd final season that solidifies its status as one of TV's greatest comedies." [78]

Awards and honors

Through its seven seasons, Veep has received critical acclaim and won several major awards, including seventeen Primetime Emmy Awards, two Critics' Choice Television Awards, a Peabody Award, four Screen Actors Guild Awards, two Television Critics Association Awards, three Directors Guild of America Awards and three Writers Guild of America Awards.

Home media

SeasonRelease datesBonus features
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4 Region A Region B
1March 26, 2013June 3, 2013April 3, 2013March 26, 2013June 3, 2013"The Making of Veep", "Veep: Misspoke", "Veep: Obesity", deleted scenes and outtakes, 12 audio commentaries with cast and crew [79]
2March 25, 2014June 2, 2014May 28, 2014March 25, 2014June 2, 2014Deleted scenes, 4 audio commentaries with cast and crew [80]
3March 31, 2015March 30, 2015April 1, 2015March 31, 2015March 30, 2015Deleted scenes, 4 audio commentaries with cast and crew, "Governor's Visit" [81]
4April 19, 2016April 18, 2016April 20, 2016April 19, 2016April 18, 2016Deleted scenes [82]
5April 11, 2017April 10, 2017April 12, 2017April 11, 2017April 10, 2017Deleted scenes; audio commentaries [83]
6September 12, 2017September 11, 2017September 13, 2017September 12, 2017September 11, 20177 audio commentaries [84]
7January 14, 2020January 13, 2020January 15, 2020January 14, 2020January 13, 2020"Character Retrospectives", "Inside the Final Season", 8 audio commentaries [85]

Notes

  1. 1 2 3 This amount represents the total qualified expenditures for the California Film & Television Tax Credit and excludes other non-qualifying costs.

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