Sunday, April 22, 2012

Am I weird for not liking "Veep" more?

Julia Louis-Dreyfus is the vice president and Tony Hale is her devoted lackey on HBO's "Veep"

Sometimes I just feel out of sync with the rest of the TV-watching world. The new HBO series "Veep," debuted tonight at 10, is the latest show to make me feel this way.

The corrosive sitcom, featuring Julia Louis-Dreyfus as overwhelmed vice president Selina Meyers, has been praised up and down by many critics. And I get that. It's smart, coming from the mind of Oscar nominee Armando Iannucci (writer of "In the Loop") and features a cast full of likable actors, including Tony Hale, Matt Walsh, Reid Scott and Anna Chlumsky (the former star of "My Girl," now grown up and fairly glamorous).

And the premise is certainly interesting. Selina Meyers is a political veteran who keeps trying to carve out a niche for herself as VP, only to be foiled at every turn by political adversaries and her own ineptness at certain aspects of her job (Though, refreshingly, Selina isn't portrayed as dumb and the show makes clear that these mistakes are due more to inexperience than anything else.) There's also a running joke about how the president really couldn't care less about Selina and never shows up nor tries to contact her.

So there's a lot of stuff to like here. Yet I don't like it. I don't hate it or anything, but the show, sadly, doesn't speak to me. As has been mentioned by many other outlets, there's a lot of profanity -- which I don't have a problem with in and of itself. But the show seems fairly pleased with itself for being foul-mouthed. The cursing seems to be continually calling attention to itself in a way that kind of bugged me. And yes, it's funny in spots (and makes good use of Louis-Dreyfus's gift for physical comedy) but, in the three episodes I saw, I found it neither funny enough nor pointed enough to hold my interest for the long run. I might try and watch a few more episodes, but ultimately, I don't think "Veep" is for me.

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