Hooray for the return of “Veep” tonight, but why does it have to be the final season? The comedy series aired no new episodes in 2018, so it’s been a long, long two years leading into this Season 7 debut for HBO on Sunday, March 31. Let’s celebrate by touring our photo gallery above featuring our choices for the top 25 greatest episodes, ranked from worst to best.
“Veep” is the brainchild of British writer, Armando Iannucci, who had previously created the hit BBC political satire, “The Thick of It.” As the first few seasons aired, Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) became the first woman Vice President of the United States as she navigates holding a pivotal but largely ceremonial position and her attempts to stay relevant. Her office is populated by her tense chief of staff Amy Brookheimer (Anna Chlumsky), incredibly clumsy communications director Mike McLintock (Matt Walsh), very ambitious deputy deputy communications director Dan Egan (Reid Scott), no-nonsense personal secretary Sue Wilson (Sufe Bradshaw), loyal personal aide and bag man Gary Walsh (Tony Hale), childish White House’s liaison to VP’s office Jonah Ryan (Timothy Simons) and long-suffering daughter Catherine (Sarah Sutherland).
As the show has progressed, several other central characters have been added to the show’s cast. Among the most notable are high-functioning alcoholic White House chief of staff Ben Cafferty (Kevin Dunn), cold and statistics-obsessed strategist Kent Davidson (Gary Cole) and relentlessly cheerful aide Richard Splett (Sam Richardson).
From the beginning, critical reaction to “Veep” was very positive, with the first season receiving a score of 72 out of 100 on Metacritic. David Weigand of “The San Francisco Chronicle” wrote that “Everything you fear might be true about how our government works–or doesn’t–becomes hilarious fodder for ‘Veep’s’ biting satire.” Tom Gilatto of “People” singled out the show’s star by saying “The comedy here…comes from watching Louis-Dreyfus’s sophisticated, furiously sharp timing applied to a character who has the intelligence of a finch.” Some weren’t as favorable like Maureen Ryan was at The Huffington Post, writing that the show “isn’t particularly fresh or funny, and most of its jokes are telegraphed from a long way away.” Subsequent seasons have only seen the show’s critical fortunes rise, reaching a series high of 90 out of 100 on Metacritic for its fourth season.
Emmy voters gave “Veep” three awards for the first season (Comedy Series, Comedy Actress and Comedy Casting), categories for which it has been nominated every year. Each subsequent season has received the same number or more bids than the previous one, culminating with 17 nominations at the 2017 Emmys.
Louis-Dreyfus has been the most constant presence for the show at the Emmys, winning the prize for Comedy Actress for all of the show’s seasons thus far. Those wins, combined with her previous wins for “Seinfeld” (Comedy Supporting Actress, 1996) and “The New Adventures of Old Christine” (Comedy Actress, 2006), give her eight Emmys for performing, tying the prime-time record currently held by Cloris Leachman. The show has also won the top prize for Comedy Series three consecutive times (2015-17), for which Louis-Dreyfus also won trophies for as a producer. Hale is the only other actor from the show that has won Emmys, taking home Comedy Supporting Actor twice, in 2013 and 2015.
Charles Bright was the writer on much of this article earlier in 2019.
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