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WashingTelevision: Veep Recap, Season Two, Episode One, “Midterms”

The results are in and they’re not pretty, but Meyer’s on fire nonetheless.

Selina Meyer is back in business. Julia Louis-Dreyfus as the Veep; photograph by Lacey Terrell for HBO.

Did you miss Selina Meyer? Was the sight of her bobbleheaded
likeness floating around
near the White House and gatecrashing the Presidents

not enough? Did the pictures of JLD sitting in the West Wing
with her real-life Veep
counterpart Joe

offer any consolation?

Not really, because as last night’s episode proved, the real charm of this Veep lies
in her unending uttering of profanities, strung together like twinkling holiday lights
on a snowy front porch, and you can’t break out that kind of vocabulary while at a
baseball game or sitting next to the second most powerful man in the country. The
gap between season one and season two, during which
Julia Louis-Dreyfus won an Emmy and was nominated for a Golden Globe for her role as Selina Meyer, gave
us plenty of time to miss Selina and her spastic, self-involved team. Now they’re
back, and the unthinkable has actually happened—the Veep’s stock is up (by 0.9 percent,
but it still counts). What will this mean for season two? It’s anyone’s guess, but
we’re grateful for the return of lines like, “There’s no ‘i’ in freedom. It’s not
me-dom. It’s we-dom.” Here are the winners and losers from last night’s episode, “Midterms,”
which interestingly enough was directed by elusive comedy genius
Chris Morris.


Selina: Months of campaigning in dreary states such as Arkansas and Wisconsin have helped
the Veep get her folksy schtick down pat. “I met a brave firefighter in a wheelchair,”
she tells people on one stop. “Back then we didn’t know what HIV was, which meant
he had to lose his kidney. He said, ‘You don’t remember me, but I am your grandpa.’”
This is the kind of surreal but hysterical stuff Morris excels at (watch
Jam and
Brass Eye if you need more proof). Anyway, all this banter has actually seen a small bump for
candidates in states where Selina’s campaigned, so the President’s giving her new
foreign policy chores and 27 morning interviews to do on no sleep. This is what winning
feels like.

Rape jokes: There is a way to do them, believe it or not. It just has nothing to do with Daniel
Tosh. Gary going through Selina’s bag muttering, “Is this a rape alarm? Like she’s
ever going to need that. I mean, she’s not ugly, but she’s got a wall of security,”
should be in the textbook for emerging comedians who don’t hate women.

Google: Amy has a sister, Sophie, who’s horrendous (as all people named Sophie are). “Oh,
my God, Amy,” she says in their father’s hospital room. “You work for the Vice President.
It’s not like it’s Google.”

Nerdy, Nate Silver-esque numbers guys: I can’t find his name on IMDB because IMDB flat-out sucks, but Selina’s unlikely
savior in “Midterms” is a wonky statistician who becomes her new best friend after
he tells her that her campaign appearances have actually had a better bump than the
President’s. “You’re like Neo from
The Matrix,” he says. “Everything he does is awesome.” The bump is 0.9 percent, which isn’t even
a real number, but it’s enough to get the Veep into the Oval Office and math back
into the mainstream.


The President: He finally called. If that doesn’t tell you enough about the lay of the land, status-wise,
nothing will. But he also suffered a “shellacking” in the midterms and went to sleep
on election night. Plus he has Jonah.

Kent Davidson: The “Pol Pot of pie charts,” as played by
Gary Cole, is a new character here to indulge in a memorable battle of egos with Selina, which
ends with him begin punched in the face and her getting a promotion of sorts. I’m
predicting the two of them will make out before the end of the season, based on the
quality of barbs alone. Kent’s office is by a portrait that looks like fat Wolverine,
and according to Selina, used to be a toilet. Enough said.

Miriam: Pity the poor morning-show booker who gets Sue on the line: “Miriam, you have as
much chance of getting the Vice President on your show as you do your husband to leave
that cheerleader.”

Amy: Her father has a stroke, and still all Selina cares about is herself. When poor Amy
finally gets to ditch her team and head to the hospital, everyone in her family gives
her a hard time, and she gets stuck in a weird battle of wits with Dana, Gary’s new
girlfriend, over Gary’s desirability.

Dan: I confess to not remembering at all what Dan’s beef was with Roger Furlong, but Furlong
lost his Senate bid and is somehow still furious at Dan, and
Reid Scott had barely any snippy put-downs in this episode, so we’re marking it down as a loss.

Lipstick: No, not on a pig. Miami Sunburst is supposed to make the Veep’s mouth say “carnival,”
even though her eyes say “Holocaust,” but it ends up being purloined by Dana and ground
into the President’s carpet.

Best Lines

Mike: “Although the Vice President appreciates your offers of stale pastries and conversation,
she will not be doing the morning shows tomorrow.”

Selina: “I have a very strong feeling that Kent is going to get in between me and
the President like some thick rubber condom, and I need unprotected access.”

Dan: (On Gary asking if he’s seen his lipstick.) “Yeah, it’s in the office, next to
your Klonopin and feminine itch powder.”

Ben, the President’s chief of staff: “POTUS has noticed your 0.9 percent and he’s
giving you an enhanced role in foreign policy. Kim Jong-whatever is swinging his nuclear
d**k again.” (Points for topicality.)

Selina: “I’m about to enter a national ass-kicking contest with no legs and a giant
f**king ass.”

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

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