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YMMV / Veep

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  • Acceptable Targets: Jonah's height comes for a great deal of mockery.
  • Accidental Aesop: What happens at the end of the Grand Finale. Bad politicians will come into power, but it will eventually come to pass and better people will be in charge.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Amy's meltdown/"The Reason You Suck" Speech in "Convention" ends with her tearfully berating Selina because she believes that her incompetence will destroy the chance of any more women becoming president, implying that her workaholic tendencies and her manipulation of Jonah to get Dan fired in London is out of idealism.
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    • Selina at the end of the show. It is revealed in the Distant Finale that she only had one presidential term and her funeral was upstaged by news that Tom Hanks died. Was her dream a failure because she didn't have her team to back her up or did she lose the motivation to carry it on because she felt guilty over betraying her team?
    • Jonah's increasingly idiotic behavior as the show progresses. Is it the result of Flanderization, or is it Sanity Slippage due to spending too much time in the world of politics? The brief Character Check he gets in the flashback sequence in "Groundbreaking" implies the latter.
    • Is Catherine really any better than her mother? While she's a lot more earnest and emotional than Selina, she comes across as being more than a little spoiled in the early seasons. Later on, she bursts out laughing when she finds out Selina has had a heart attack. By the end of the show, though, she seems to have avoided becoming like her mother, since she's a pretty clear Granola Mom, which Selina finds incredibly annoying.
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    • Is Selina or Andrew the worse parent? Selina often treats Catherine with barely-disguised contempt, while Andrew acts nice but tries (on several occasions) to scam her out of her inheritance.
      • Catherine, for her part, seems to prefer Andrew, as she constantly gives him the benefit of the doubt even though she should know better, and is utterly heartbroken when she finds out about his "death."
  • Awesome Ego: Selina definitely had this at one point. Notably, her egotistical screaming about "how these motherfuckers should be begging me on their fucking knees" has shades of this: it shows Selina at her most narcissistic. But at least prior to Season 6, it's hard not to root for her because of it.
  • Broken Base:
    • To what extent, if any, did the show suffer after David Mandel took over from Armando Iannucci as showrunner?
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    • Selina's progressively worse treatment of Gary and Catherine in later seasons has had a mixed reception. Some fans still found it hilarious, while others thought it had become overly cruel.
  • Catharsis Factor: After seven seasons of watching her scheme and claw her way to the highest office of power (throughout it becoming increasingly psychopathic and downright evil), there’s an almost perverse glee to be had in watching the Distant Finale and seeing Selina’s entire legacy basically amout to nothing. She’s reduced to such a point of irrelevance that her own funeral gets upstaged by another person’s death.
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
    • This gem of a quote in "Special Relationship," when Selina decides to "get the merry old fuck out of merry old England."
      Selina: I need to be driven to the airport at Diana speed. But more carefully, please.
    • When the Nevada poll results come in, Selina demands that they cancel the recount "like Anne Frank's bar mitzvah".
    • Selina on Queen Elizabeth II: "She's a fucking cunt." Note that this was shortly after the show's British creator left it in the hands of the American crew.
    • Jeff Kane taking a liking to Richard in "Congressional Ball"
      Jeff: If you were like ten percent less black, I could make you president.
      Richard: Thank you.
    • When the subject of non-binary genders comes up, Mike brings up a relative who went through multiple sex changes and reverses. Richard walks in the room and gleefully says "Like a turducken!"
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Every character suffers from Chronic Backstabbing Disorder or is incredibly naive and clueless. The title character, Selina Meyer, is willing to do anything to get elected, including supporting genocidal dictators abroad. The last season suffers from this even worse — Selina alienates her allies when trying to secure the nomination, and she's still considered the lesser of two evils when compared to Jonah... She nevertheless accepts him as her running mate. The last episode sees all of her friends abandon or betray her, with the exception of her assistant, Gary...on whom she pins some fiscal misdeeds of her late husband, without even having the heart to tell him. The last scene shows us her funeral, which is quickly overshadowed when Tom Hanks dies the same day. To twist the knife further, it is mentioned that for all of her efforts she only was President for a single term and it's not unsubtly implied that she is utterly forgettable as far as Presidents go.
  • Dueling Shows: (or maybe complimenting shows) BBC America started airing the original The Thick of It around the same time Veep started (they did the same thing for Free Agents).
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: A lot of characters could qualify for this, but particularly Kent, who has attracted lots of fans for his obsession with numbers and data, as well as his deadpan delivery and inability to relate to anybody on an emotional level.
    Kent: Catherine, America doesn't like you.
    Catherine: What?
    Kent: (thoughtfully) That sounded way too harsh when boiled down to a headline thought.
  • Fandom Rivalry: With Fleabag, thanks to Phoebe Waller-Bridge wrecking what had seemed for years like an inevitable clean sweep at the Emmys for Julia Louis-Dreyfus, which also would have given her the record for the most acting Emmys, instead having to "settle" for being tied with Cloris Leachman.
  • Friendly Fandoms: With House of Cards (US). Also to Parks and Recreation and The West Wing to a lesser extent.
  • Growing the Beard: A more gradual case than most. The first season earned positive reviews, though it was with the second season that the show earned recognition for more than Julia Louis-Dreyfus' performance, with many noting the strengthening of its supporting characters and citing episodes like "Hostages" as a case for the show expanding its scope.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Post-2016 election (although apparently not restricted to just the post-2016 political environment), members of the Veep cast have revealed in interviews that they've been told by members in the White House that their show is more Truth in Television than House of Cards (US) and The West Wing are. Reality Is Unrealistic?
    • Two episodes in season 2 deal with debt negotiations that fail, leading to a government shutdown. Fast forward to October 2013...
    • The hostage crisis in Turkmenistan became a controversy In-Universe because the President failed to inform Congress that one of the student hostages was a CIA spy, therefore endangering the lives of the other hostages. In May 2014, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was released after 5 years of captivity by the Taliban in a prisoner exchange for the Taliban five from Guantanamo, a move of which Congress was not informed 30 days prior by the White House (Congress is supposed to receive 30 days' notice for the release of prisoners from Guantanamo). Not only is that a thorn in (former) President Obama's side now, but Sgt. Bergdahl himself has been charged with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy (for which his disappearance cost the lives of several comrades looking to recover him).
    • In universe: The jokes made during the third season at the First Lady's expense become this when she attempts suicide.
    • The fallout from a data breach haunting the woman nominee in the 2016 presidential election is something Selina Meyer and Hillary Clinton have in common even if the circumstances are different. Selina’s team was the perpetrators (they outed a little girl from Alabama as being HIV+ and got other confidential medical information trying to target bereaved parents) whereas Hillary Clinton was the victim of two data breaches. The first was from the Bernie Sanders campaign in December 2015 for which he later apologized and fired the responsible actors (like in the show). The second data breach(es) were on the DNC by, according to the U.S. intelligence community, the Russian government in their attempt to hurt her in the election. They stole Team Clinton's emails which were later disseminated across the internet and even used in congressional elections. Most of the emails were released late in the election before most people understood the scope of what was happening and were used against her till the end. While in such a close election (it roughly came down to about 78k votes in three states), it's impossible to say one way or another to say what exactly was the nail in the coffin but the stolen emails did a lot of damage to her image. The scandal is undoubtedly what hurt Selina very badly in her run as well.
    • Jonah's anti-vaccination stances resulting in a deadly chickenpox outbreak is a bit less funny than intended because it aired shortly after anti-vaxxers brought back the measles.
    • Likewise, the final season has Jonah's team realizing his rallies are super-spreader events for the outbreak. Cue 2020 when rallies for certain political figures were cited in the same way with Covid-19.
    • The show's final joke has Tom Hanks dying at 88. Just a year later, he contracted coronavirus (he got better, though, as seen when he hosted Saturday Night Live's first "stay at home" episode).
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • When she's on her book tour, a fan presents a butter sculpture of "the great state of Iowa" to a visibly unimpressed and flustered Selina. Cue Ted Cruz campaigning for the Iowa caucuses.
    • In season 4, Selina's campaign slogan was "Continuity with Change". Then, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull made several references to "continuity and change", a fact that did not go unnoticed by the creators, who commented that they'd picked it because "it was the most meaningless election slogan we could think of".
    • "Election Night" has an obvious stand-in for Nate Silver be repeatedly mocked as his predictions about the election go up in flames before his eyes on national television. The exact same thing happened to the real Nate Silver on the 2016 election night as Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton, who Silver had predicted for months would be the winner.note 
    • Jonah Ryan racing against the widow strongly resembles the race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. A populist with many exaggerated gaffes and little experience wins against a woman running for the position her husband once held.
    • The Republican candidate in Seasons 4 and 5 appeared briefly in season 1, expressing his desire to build a wall along the southern border.
    • Mike frantically racing to stop Selina from making public posts on Twitter seems positively quaint after Donald Trump's notorious constant use of it.
    • The sixth season premiere has Ben meeting with Uber's ultra-progressive board of directors and getting fired for being racist. Uber's board is treated as heroic in this scene, but by the time the episode aired, Uber was embroiled in a massive series of scandals (several of which were related to misogynistic behavior by management and CEO Travis Kalanick) that caused several of its executives to resign in disgrace. Taking it even further, a few months after the episode aired, Uber board member David Bonderman was forced to resign after making a sexist joke during a board meeting meant to discuss how to reduce sexism at Uber.
    • Julia Louis-Dreyfus and the main star of House of Cards (US), Kevin Spacey, were enemy leaders in A Bug's Life.
    • The clip of Kent and Ben trying to explain to Selina that she can't just order vote counting to stop got a lot of play during the 2020 election, in which Donald Trump made several attempts to do just that in various states he was losing, none of them taken the slightest bit seriously.
    • The show's in-universe 2020 election featured Kemi Talbot, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York turned United States Senator from New York who ran in the 2020 primaries but lost, only to be shown to have been elected President at some later date. The real-life 2020 election featured Kamala Harris, Attorney General of California turned United States Senator from California who ran in the 2020 Democratic primaries but lost, only to later being selected as that year's vice presidential nominee on the Democratic ticket and winning, becoming America's actual first female Vice President as opposed to Selina in the show. Kamala even actually bears a resemblance to Kemi. Plus, Joe Biden signaled early on that he intended to not run again in 2024 due to his age, potentially putting Harris in the same position as Selina (and Kemi).
    • Pfizer is one of the companies involved in Tom James' conspiracy to stall the Representatives' tie-breaking vote. A few years later, their public profile was raised astronomically when they were the first to develop a vaccine for the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Laura Montez pretending to have Mexican heritage is quite reminiscent of when Alec Baldwin's wife Hilaria was caught having lied for years about being Hispanic rather than white (to the point it was revealed that her actual name is Hillary).
    • Julia Louis-Dreyfus' role as Madame Hydra in the Marvel Cinematic Universe got many, many comments of being a seamless extension of Selina's story.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Selina nervously laughing and muttering "What the fuck?" has been a popular reaction gif to use in response to something messed up, often with the captions "*nervously laughing* What the fuck?".
    • Mike asking Siri, "Siri, why does God allow suffering?", has also become a popular reaction gif for disappointing situations.
    • "How could you let this go on Tumble?!" "Tumblr."
    • "Did you do it?" "Yes." "What did it cost you?" "Everything.", borrowing the memetic Avengers: Infinity War exchange to refer to the Grand Finale of Veep, where Selina alienates her allies in order to win the presidency and only afterwards does she start to wonder if it was worth it.
    • There was a surge of polls asking if Arabic numerals should be taught in schools after Jonah used this to rouse his Islamophobic supporters. The (un-)surprisingly high results for those against it serves as evidence to ignorance and xenophobia.
  • Memetic Loser: Jonah, oh so very much.
  • Misaimed Fandom: The Dan/Amy pairing is quite popular, although some fans believe that they should be happily together, which is not the point as the show depicts them as jerkasses who still act like jerks to each other in spite of how much they get along.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Selina crosses it in the finale when she resolves to become president at all costs. First, she gets Tom James's mistress to make false sexual harassment allegations against him to sink his campaign, then she agrees to ban same-sex marriage (which would annul her daughter Catherine's marriage) to secure Buddy Calhoun's delegates. Next, she promises to make the Islamophobic and dangerously incompetent Jonah Ryan vice-president. Finally, she frames Gary, the last member of her staff who actually cares for her, for Andrew's financial crimes.
  • Narm: In its final season, the show completely drops all subtlety to its political satire and bends the characters into an absurdly exact recreation of the 2016 election, no matter how little sense it makes with their prior personalities. Special shoutout to Selina deliberately being complicit in the Chinese hacking the South Carolina primaries and Amy becoming a blatant take on Kellyanne Conway.
  • Never Live It Down: Discussed in "Helsinki" after Selina is sexually assaulted by the Finnish prime minister's husband, and the reason why they can't let anyone know about it.
    Amy: It's not like we can go public about it. Your tit being fondled by a Finn, that'd be all you were remembered for. You can't build a statue on that.
  • Squick:
    • Selina tearing up her face and hand when she shatters a glass door by walking into it.
    • Gary having a bloody nose in the bathroom after Selina reveals she's going to be president while also trying to find paper towels for him.
    • In Season 7, Jonah marries his former stepsister. He reasons that it's okay because they're Not Blood Siblings and their parents are divorced now... And then it turns out that his stepsister really is his biological sibling.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Dan and Amy's individual arcs in Season 7 are criticized for Demoted to Extra and feeling out-of-character.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: At the end of Season 6, Amy reveals to Dan that she's pregnant with his child and they have to figure it out. In Season 7, however, after Dan fails to notice her advances, Amy goes through with an abortion and they ultimately see other people (Amy ends up with Bill of all people). This sideplot is criticized for not expanding on Dan and Amy's relationship, although the consistency of the two being horrible people is admired. The showrunners have also said they were very disappointed with how short Season 7 was and unable to do everything they wanted, which may have included more with this.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?: Veep's creators were adamant that the Trump administration would have no impact on the show's plot, but it's hard to see Selina and Jonah running for President against one another in the sixth season finale and not be reminded of the 2016 United States presidential election. In this article, Mandel flatout admits that Season 7 was inspired by the post-2016 political climate.


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