case, which makes Veep a surprisingly authentic portrayal of that
political reality.
In the HBO sitcom Veep, Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-
Dreyfus) is the Vice President of the United States, a position
supposedly focused more on service than navigating political
power. Selina tries to maintain a dignified reputation despite
constant reminders that she is only the President’s substitute. Her
incompetent staff is incapable of accomplishing pretty much every
task she assigns while their obliviousness only insinuates her more
deeply into difficult situations. Selina perpetuates a culture of
sarcasm and swearing during her furious fits when incompetent
members of her staff are obviously trying to hide their inferiority.
For example, in the episode “Full Disclosure,” Selina threatens to
fire someone from her staff whom she calls “non-fucking-
functional.” She stands over the staffer, who sits on a couch
looking down at the ground, and goes on to blame the employee
for her continuously low approval ratings, although she has no idea
how to raise them either. As a political satire, one would expect
that Veep would be ready to tackle many of the current political
issues race, feminism, gay marriage, etc. head on, but the stakes
turn out to be considerably lower in the scheme of things. The
show is not meant to satirize political issues per se; instead, it
targets politicians who are supposed to know how to handle them
but do not. Veep suggests that politicians are normal people
suffering from imposter syndrome, and that they are people who
do not care for political correctness, American ideals, or the
general public, a depiction that contrasts with popular expectations
of American politicians. Although the show does not include
cameo appearances by real politicians, there are obvious parallels
between Veep and America’s current political climate, similarities
that set the show up as a primer for understanding president-elect
Donald Trump.
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