Why Every Barnard Student Should Be Watching Veep

by Laura K. Garrison

Where are my Veeple people?

Tonight, girls around campus will share HBO GO passwords and crowd around lounge televisions to watch the continuing saga that is the fourth season of Game of Thrones and the season seven premiere of Mad Men. Afterwards, they will return to their last-minute homework, plan for L-course signup, and eventually try to get some sleep for the busy week ahead. Unfortunately, these students will be missing out on one of the funniest, and most underrated, television shows currently on air: HBO’s Veep, starring Seinfeld‘s Julia Louis-Dreyfus, My Girl‘s Anna Chlumsky, and Arrested Development‘s Tony Hale. Veep has been well-received by critics, garnering numerous awards including two Emmys for Julia Louis-Dreyfus and one for Tony Hale.

Season three of Veep premiered last Sunday, as Vice President Selina Meyer (Louis-Dreyfus) stopped in Iowa during her book tour for Some New Beginnings: Our Next American Journey. Her bumbling staff is back in DC for the wedding of her Director of Communications, Mike McLintock (Matt Walsh), and the President (unknown, but referred to as POTUS) is forced to make a major announcement after a social media-related mishap by Jonah Ryan (Timothy Simons), the annoying White House liaison to the Vice President. Though off to a bit of a slow start, season three promises a bright future for the Veep’s political career, including a possible presidential campaign, new staff members, and continued rivalries with some of Washington’s most influential men.

Every Barnard student should watch Veep, a true lesson in women’s strength and leadership.

Selina Meyer is the Vice President of the United States, the closest a woman has ever come to the office of the president.

While Selina perhaps isn’t the greatest example of women in elected positions, she is fiery and determined and doesn’t take crap from anyone. After serving as a senator in Congress, she ran for president but was instead chosen as a candidate for VP. Despite this setback, she still has her eyes on the White House and is an inspiration to women running for office everywhere.

She has spent years fighting the patriarchy, so nothing can stop her.

During season two, Selina heads to Finland for a diplomatic trip in which she is fondled by the husband of the Finnish Prime Minister. Unable to report his behavior for political reasons, she vehemently decries the “axis of dick.” While there seems to be less emphasis on Selina’s gender than one might expect, in all her dealings with the powerful men of Washington she holds her own despite often being the only woman in the room.

She has a creative comeback for every situation, and I suggest you keep those tucked away for your own use.

As an HBO show, all of the characters on Veep use language not always appropriate in polite society. Selina in particular drops some of the best one liners against her political enemies. She often uses very colorful language and overt sexual innuendos to describe whatever difficult situation she and her staff find themselves in, and she sometimes borders on being verbally abusive when dealing with members of the DC establishment. She speaks her mind and doesn’t care what anyone thinks.

She hires other strong women in important positions, who equally can hold their own in male-dominated Washington politics.

Amy Brookheimer (Chlumsky) serves as Selina’s Chief of Staff. Amy is by far the most competent person in the Vice President’s inner circle, and she is often tasked with fixing whatever disaster threatens the Veep’s political future (including claiming she was pregnant and miscarried when rumors swirl about a pregnancy test in the VP’s office). Most importantly, she is Selina’s friend and confidant and remains loyal to the Vice President during her most trying moments. Sue Wilson (Sufe Bradshaw), who refers to herself as the “third most important person in the world” after the President and VP, is Selina’s personal assistant. She is abrasively sarcastic with callers on the phone and is dismissive of anyone she deems unworthy of her time. Like Amy, she is one of the few competent people in the Vice President’s office, which during last season almost fell apart during her absence due to testimony at a congressional hearing. In a running joke, Selina asks whether the President has called, to which Sue usually curtly replies, “No.”

Veep airs Sundays at 10:30pm on HBO and can be watched online at HBO GO.

Laura K. Garrison is a junior at Barnard and Editor in Chief of The Nine Ways of Knowing.

Images courtesy of HBO AsiaVulture, Tumblr, and Thought Catalog.

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