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Veep - Season 6 - Advance Preview: “Former President Selina Meyer”

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“You know what being an ex-President is like? It’s like being a man’s nipple. People go right by it and jerk off a dick.”

You probably could have guessed that “Former President” wouldn’t be a moniker that Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Selina Meyer would embrace. With things picking up one year after her failed bid for re-election, plenty of things have changed for all of the series’ characters. Luckily, even more things have stayed the same.

One of the biggest strengths of this series has been its unparalleled ability to shake things up without ever losing its identity: sure, the show is called Veep, but like the ruthless politicians that the series follows, nobody really gives a fuck. We’ve watched as Selina has gone from VP, to President, to… well, she’s trying to figure that out now. One thing is certain: she isn’t as important as she used to be, and that doesn’t sit well with her.

The premiere throws us into a hilariously quick catch-up, with most characters popping up in rather surprising places. Amy Brookeheimer, played to perfection by Anna Chlumsky, is working on getting her new fiancé elected as governor of Nevada, “a dry coyote turd of a state.”

“Saddle up those emphysema tanks you inbred cousin-fuckers,” she urges his volunteers. “We are going to drag this state into the 20th century.”

Ben, the fantastic Kevin Dunn, is working with Uber, where he quickly gets a lesson in millennial do’s and don’ts after making what’s immediately perceived as a racially insensitive remark. His defense? “My wife is oriental! All of them have been!”

The series, to be sure, has lost none of its bite.

Much of the fun of the premiere comes in discovering where everyone has ended up. Its brilliance, though, is using these jarring realignments to show how little the characters have actually changed despite their new job titles. Jonah (Timothy Simons), now a congressman, is as crude and delusional as ever; Dan (Reid Scott) will still do anything to get to the top; Gary (Tony Hale) is never far behind Selina; Mike (Matt Walsh) is as endearingly inept as ever.

Each of the first three episodes is as sharply satirical and surprising as the last - yet as Selina reluctantly explores new horizons, it slowly becomes clear that she still has an old ambition in mind.

David Mandel deserves high praises for keeping the series both as fresh and funny as possible. With such a dark cloud hanging over our current political climate, it’s nice to get some laughs in that don’t feel like they have a barrage of dark real world connotations attached. It has never ceased to amaze me that Veep has been able to up its game creatively every single season so far. From the looks of things, season six will be no different.

Veep premieres this Sunday at 10:30 on HBO. For more on the series and all my other SpoilerTV work, feel free to follow me on Twitter.

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