‘Veep’ Series Finale: Hail to the Peak of Political Satire


The vice presidency “ain’t worth a bucket of warm piss.” Sounds like a line from HBO’s potty-mouthed political satire Veep, but actually, John Nance Garner said it. Can’t place the name? He was the U.S. vice president for eight years under Franklin D. Roosevelt — kind of proving his point.

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We may have undersold Veep by calling it a “potty-mouthed political satire,” even if the show — which wraps May 12 — does have incredible, witty dialogue that’s unfortunately way too crass to print in a family magazine. And the most insightful inside-the-beltway humor on TV. On top of that, it’s a show about striving. It’s about frustration. It’s about anger.

For the last few seasons, the comedy’s heroine, Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), has been in an on-and-off relationship with the presidency (even briefly holding office), yet she began as Veep’s titular No. 2. And who wants to be a No. 2? We all understand that.

(Credit: Colleen Hayes/HBO)

The show is also about working so long and hard for something that you start to believe you’re entitled to it. Selina’s unchecked narcissism is one of her defining traits — next to vanity, bad decision-making, incompetence and cruelty. She won’t take responsibility for anything — that’s what her alternately defensive and defeated staff is for. No wonder nearly everyone on the show curses.

In Veep’s view, everything in politics is publicly polite but privately very foul. We know the characters’ fates will be extreme; we don’t know what we’re rooting for.

Veep, Series Finale, Sunday, May 12, 10:50/9:50c, HBO