I’ve just heard that Veep’s ratings are down slightly, even after Julia Louis Dreyfus did what most women have to do who are looking for a leg up in the entertainment industry: showed some skin. Veep had a stumble or two heading into this season – it didn’t feel quite as funny. Mad Men, for its part, also seemed to stumble. But, like Veep, it hit its natural stride last night. Veep had the Veep visiting a tech giant Clovis, something akin to Facebook, with nothing short of the future of America resting in its incapable hands. The best line probably came from Amy who said “I’m a grownup. I stopped wanting to play with toys when I was a kid.”
It didn’t sneer at the millennials because this isn’t a crew that can sneer at anyone. They are always the butt of the joke. But it did give this silly generation and all of its tech fascination an appropriate bitch-slapping. The “Smarch” is the new social network watch they were just about to release at Clovis. You speak into it and it shows you web pages or you connect it to another person and then you’re socially connected. Of course none of it works properly.
Selina tried to call up her new website — Meet Meyers — but it had already been parodied into Meat Meyers – and then there was another porn parody website of Selina that, in an effort to protect his boss’ image, Gary hurled himself up upon the screen to cover. If there has been a funnier scene in all of television this year I haven’t seen it.
But the real blow came to the tech industry when Veep took a darker turn and nailed the Clovis super genius who first said he wasn’t interested in politics then asked for a massive tax break.
Veep is at its best when it veers slightly away from slapstick and into truly dark satire, which it did last night. It also helped introduce the idea of the political blogger — Jonah — who is ready to go with a story before waiting for the facts. He calls it “journalism 101” — don’t wait for sources nor confirmation. Go with it and the rest will sort itself out.
Hopefully the “press” will pay attention to that jab and write about it. Perhaps that will drive the ratings up. Smart television has a place in our blitzed out, numbed out culture. I just know it does.