Oct 8, 2016

Veep: In the Vice President's Office, Everyone is Obsessed with One Thing

In the midst of the strangest presidential campaign in U.S. history, where one of the candidates can spout racist and sexist polemics worthy of the Ku Klux Klan, yet still draw over 40% of potential voters in the polls, it's nice to escape to a fictional world where elected officials get in trouble for far milder statements.

Veep (2012) stars Julia Louis-Dreyfuss (formerly of Seinfeld and The New Adventures of Old Christine) as Selena Meyer, a presidential hopeful squashed in the primaries and forced into a degrading, superfluous role as Vice President.  Her main job is to spearhead a healthy eating campaign and fix the messes she talks herself into.





She asks whether her adversary Danny Chung, the governor of Minnesota, was born in the U.S.

She accidentally insults Finland.

Her daughter writes a paper critical of Israel.

She claims that she understands the plight of the farmers, because when she was a girl, her wealthy parents bought her a pony.

Selena is surrounded by obsequious yes-men:

1. Driven chief of staff Amy Brookheimer (Anna Chlumsky).



2. Gary Walsh (Tony Hale, left), personal assistant and bag-man.

3. Director of communications Dan Egan (Reid Scott).

4. Press secretary Mike McLintock (Matt Walsh)

5. Jonah Ryan (Timothy Simons), a liaison with the President's office.

And others as the series progresses, all amoral, schmoozing, with their own agendas and career aspirations.




Beefcake: None.  Since every episode takes place almost entirely at work, there is little opportunity for shirtless shots.  The main cast is exceptionally unattractive, with the exception of Dan Egan (that's why I have three pictures of him posted).

We don't even see a lot of musclemen hired for bit parts.  The only one I could come up with was Walid Amini (top) as Rahim, a third-generation Iranian immigrant who Selena's daughter dates, causing a scandal.  Apparently whoever does the casting is told "make them ugly!"

Gay Content: Not much.  There is a brief bromance between Dan and Jonah in the first season, but it devolves into antipathy.

Jonah is subjected to sexual harassment by a staffer who keeps grabbing his crotch, but the other victims are all women.

Everyone sees a hunky guy leaving Gary's hotel room, and assumes that he hooked up, but it turns out to be a masseur.

We are not told about the personal lives of most of the minor characters, so they could be gay.

Heterosexism:  Not much.  Since we know little about the characters' personal lives, we are spared the constant "wife and kids! wife and kids!" drone of most sitcoms.

Penises:  Lots.  Everyone is obsessed with them.  There's nearly as much discussion of penises as in a cruise bar on Saturday night.  Bragging about your own size, wondering about someone else's size, denigrating someone by suggesting that they're too small.  It's penises all the time.

I think that's the main reason I watch.  And to see if Jonah and Dan ever kiss.