WashingTelevision: Veep Recap, Episode Five, "Nicknames"

Things go from bad to worse for Selina when her staff learns how to use Google.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer in Veep. Photograph by Bill Gray for HBO.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer in Veep. Photograph by Bill Gray for HBO.

This was a good week for machinery metaphors,
Veep-wise. Gary says a senator with emphysema sounds
like “a broken-down leaf blower.” Jonah describes his sweaty
thrash-metal
concert as “like being operated on by a chimp with a hard-on
and a hacksaw.” And a particularly prickly Big Oil senator delivers
this nugget of a threat to Amy: “This bill is a fucking
disgrace, and I’m going to see to it personally that it gets chewed
up like a dead prostitute in a wood chipper.”

To what end, one wonders, is all this Home Depot-esque
descriptive prose? For one thing, it conjures up pretty accurately
how obnoxiously testosterone-y the corridors of power can be,
underlined by the Secret Service agent who snickers dismissively
at Selina, and the way the Veep purrs, “Hi boys” when she
gate-crashes a fiscal responsibility briefing. And lest you were
in any doubt that this is an environment in which penises rule
(remember Selina’s constant affirmation about her “dick and
balls,” and her “ladyballs” from episodes past), we got this
gorgeous phrase from Jonah in last night’s episode: “I’ve got
a cock like a cappuccino frother. One of the big ones.
Industrial.”

Selina might seem to channel Joe Biden, particularly when she’s falling asleep on C-SPAN or dropping bombs on
Meet the Press, but in “Nicknames,” she also seems to
channel the Veep that never was: Hillary Clinton. On learning that her
nicknames in
the blogosphere include “Mammary Meyer,” “Grizzly Madam,”
“Betty Poop,” “the Wicked Witch of the West Wing,” “Veep Throat,”
and “Vaselina,” among others, Selina remains fairly calm, but
“Viagra Prohibitor” goes one step too far. Lip trembling, she
says, aghast, “It doesn’t work? They are saying that a
prescription medication that is guaranteed to sustain a strong and
lasting erection in all men, despite their age or their health,
is rendered ineffective by me?” Instant flashbacks to Amy
Poehler as Clinton and the “boner-shrinker” sketch from 2008’s
SNL.

To cap it all off, the President finally kills
Selina’s signature piece of legislation, the clean jobs bill, and puts
her
in charge of a much more female-friendly policy initiative:
obesity. “I’d have more power in my hands if I joined one of those
moronic Segway tours of DC,” the Veep says, and she probably
isn’t wrong. “You have drawn the fat straw,” says Jonah. Selina
is shut out of meetings, forced to vote against her own clean
jobs policy in the form of an amendment, and shoehorned into
spearheading a movement she approaches with roughly the
sensitivity of a brick–and still the President hasn’t called. In other
words, perhaps Hillary’s better off at the State Department,
anyway.

Best quotes from last night’s episode:

“You have put this entire office into a salad spinner of fuck.” (Amy)

“They reassigned the smiling Secret Service guy. That’s one less grinning idiot with a gun we have to worry about.” (Amy)

“Careful when you go to sleep tonight, Jonah. Maybe I’ll sneak into your apartment with a bag of oranges and fructose you
to death.” (Dan)

“Bats and Alzheimer’s.” (Amy, on the only two things Selina’s afraid of)

“The only intel he has is inside his PC.” (Jonah)

What did you think of last night’s episode? Let us know in the comments.

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