Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Seinfeld, New Adventures of Old Christine) and Tony Hale (Arrested Development) recently won Emmy’s for their roles on HBO’s Veep. Dreyfus plays former Senator/current Vice President Selina Meyer, who is constantly surprised by the banality of her new job. Hale plays Gary, Selina’s extraordinarily loyal personal aide. The cast is rounded out with Selina’s staff played by Anna Chumsky (My Girl!), Matt Walsh (Upright Citizen’s Brigade), and Reid Scott (My Boys, The Big C).
Veep features exceptional satirical writing, but what makes it work is the chemistry and experience of the cast. It would be easy to write off Dreyfus’ Selina as Elaine Benes 2.0, with her nervous energy and superficial nature, but despite her lack of power outside of her office, she has true power over her staff (a power dynamic that Elaine never had). Their deference to her leads to influxes of ego, which are deflated by having to comply with the President’s expectations and perform mundane tasks.
I would be remiss if I didn’t emphasize how great Tony Hale plays Gary. He deserved the Emmy he won for this role, because he somehow quietly, often in the background, overshadows Dreyfus (not an easy task!). Hale’s Gary is Buster from Arrested Development, if Buster could function outside of his mother’s living room. Hale and Dreyfus bring out the best in each other’s characters and the writing. I would recommend this series to fans of Arrested Development, Seinfeld, Parks and Recreation, and Louie.