Unpopular Opinions: ’Veep’ Edition

reblog/comment with your unpopular opinions.

I have to do some severe mental gymnastics to like the “food in buckets” speech. The performance carries it, but even with the semi-distinct timeline between Veep and real world history a lot of terrible things have happened in/to/because of America in the mean time between then and the fictional Meyer presidency. I also really hate that Amy seems to believe that Selina’s failures would prevent other women presidents because it says she really believe that male is the default. (In real life I hated when people said that Obama would be the only black POTUS for more or less the same reason, but I hope that 45 is the last white male POTUS for at least 244 years. Also that by then we really are in post racial society.)

Some of the ways they misread the cynicism of real America are painful, ie. I would love a VP or POTUS Laura Montez, because her closest real world analog is fucking terrifying.

Andrea Martin is underrated.

I think the “food in buckets” speech works, but it rests on assumptions about the character that have never been made explicit. As in, Amy’s intense anger (and all the accompanying hyperbole) only makes sense if you assume she has a passionate commitment to electing a woman to the highest office in the land at long goddamn last, which…I think elements of that have always been there in Chlumsky’s performance, (see her reaction to Selina’s FGM speech, for instance), but the writing has never really committed to the idea that Amy has more incipient idealism than Mike or Ben. (It would have made a lot sense to bring it up as a motivation in season 3 – just WHY did Amy want to be Campaign Manager so badly, why did she go all out and sabotage Dan – but it’s never even eluded to, and Amy’s reasons appear to be entirely personal).

It’s a bit of an inside/outside problem. Because within the world of Veep, a woman had been a serious contender for the Presidency, and has actually been elected as Vice-President, so Amy’s concern that Selina will set women back for centuries seems slightly misplaced, but at the time the speech was written neither of those things were true in the real world – there’d never even been a female nominee. And I feel like Amy’s speech is more emotionally reflective of the latter situation. Even in Europe, I know a lot of women who have been flat out ENRAGED at the way Hillary Clinton was treated, and if you picture that anger being directed AT a woman, for seeming to torpedo HERSELF…I think it would look a lot like Amy’s speech.