‘Veep’ season 6 premiere recap: Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Selina confronts a dream deferred in ‘Omaha’

At the end of its fifth season, “Veep” shockingly ousted Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) from the White House, a plot development that once again upended the status quo of the series. The Season 6 premiere “Omaha” picks up one year after Selina’s election loss and finds her as desperate for political relevance as ever. With Gary (Tony Hale) and Richard (Sam Richardson) by her side, Selina tries to stay in the public eye by creating a foundation and writing a memoir about her sole year as President, while the rest of her incompetent staff find new jobs inside and outside of the political arena. Below, let’s look at the Top 5 moments from “Veep” Season 6, Episode 1.

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America’s Great Tapestry of History — To commemorate the one year anniversary of her Presidential loss in the House of Representatives, Selina appears on “CBS This Morning” for a sit-down interview with former staffer Dan (Reid Scott), now a temporary anchor on the show. Despite their exchanged pleasantries, Dan fires some hard-hitting questions at Selina, which she fields with her hallmark clumsiness. Beginning the premiere with Selina’s interview, which we see play out on TV screens in the offices and homes of many of her former staffers, nicely establishes the new careers of the series regulars: Amy (Anna Chlumsky) has gotten engaged to Buddy Calhoun (Matt Oberg) and now runs his campaign for governor, Ben (Kevin Dunn) works as a political consultant for Uber, Jonah (Timothy Simons) continues his term in the House of Representatives with Kent (Gary Cole) at his side, and Mike (Matt Walsh) is a stay at home dad to his three young kids.

The Diary — Convening at Catherine’s brownstone, Selina, Gary and Richard work on a chapter of her memoir on her negotiations in the Middle East. Selina struggles to recall details about her meeting with the trade minister, which Gary handily remembers but Selina’s ignores, so she calls Mike to have him refer to his diary. In spite of his superfluous daily food journaling, Mike’s notes prove useful to Selina and he asks to be paid for his contributions. The scene showcases the signature traits of all four of its characters and proves that their interactions haven’t lost any of their spark in their new, unfamiliar setting.

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“I Think You’re Definitely Ready For This” — Looking for ways to increase cash flow now that daughter Catherine (Sarah Sutherland) and partner Marjorie (Clea DuVall) hold the purse strings, Selina asks Richard to line up some speaking engagements, with an appearance for Mutual of Omaha at the top of her list. In confidence, Selina admits to Gary that she wants to visit Omaha because of its close proximity to Iowa, where the annual Madison-Monroe dinner will take place, which Selina must attend because she intends to run for President again. Tony Hale nails Gary’s hysterically pain-stricken look of anxiety and horror as he encourages Selina’s idea. At home, Selina calls a family meeting with Catherine, Marjorie and ex-husband and current beau Andrew (David Pasquesi) to share her announcement and give them an opportunity to raise concerns. When they hear the news, Catherine ugly cries and Andrew concurs that it’s a bad idea, which leads Selina to declare, “I really don’t care what you think … Mommy’s going to be President again … I didn’t expect anybody to object, did I? This was a test folks, and you all failed!” The scene features Selina at her most egotistical and Louis-Dreyfus at her most hysterical in the episode as she mocks Catherine and abruptly ends the discussion.

The Razor’s Edge — After Dan learns that he’ll most likely be tapped as permanent co-host of “CBS This Morning” opposite a monster lead anchor, he tries to sabotage his chances by booking Jonah as a guest on the show. While visiting Jonah in his dressing room before the interview, he spots him shaving his head and realizes that Jonah has lied about the severity of his testicular cancer and the length of his treatments. On the air, Dan teases Jonah with winking double-entendres and Jonah has a meltdown, ranting about his cruelty and storming off set shouting expletives in a scene tailor-made to Simon’s strengths as an actor. Satisfied that the disaster will destroy his chances of getting the job, Dan hates to learn that the producers loved the explosive segment and he ends up with the job.

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“It’s Over” — One of the marvels of Louis-Dreyfus’ performance throughout the entire run of “Veep” has been her ability to make viewers sympathize with the mostly irredeemable Selina. That incredible skill gets its proper due in a quiet scene where Selina shares her idea of running for President with Ben, who she’s always trusted most closely as a political strategist. Ben immediately shatters Selina’s dream, telling her, “You don’t have the party support, you don’t have the donor support … I can’t watch you lose again. There’s nobody out there who wants to see a Meyer comeback, Selina. It’s over.” Both Dunn and Louis-Dreyfus play the emotionally frank dialogue beautifully, especially Louis-Dreyfus’ heartbreaking look of disappointment as she comes to realize how foolish she’s been to even consider another presidential bid.

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