'Veep' finale circles back to the campaign trail
Posted June 26
The following contains spoilers about the "Veep" season finale.
For "Veep" and its central character, Selina Meyer, the indignities associated with life as a former president are going to give way to a return to the foibles of life on the campaign trail.
The sixth season of the HBO series dealt with Meyer, played by Emmy winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus, grappling with being out of office, and actually having the prospect of happiness in a new relationship.
In Sunday's finale, Meyer -- with her political image somewhat redeemed by revelations related to her efforts regarding Tibet -- tossed the latter away to pursue one more shot at the White House.
For the writers of the series, the maneuver marked what amounted to a solution to a problem. Having scattered the characters with Selina no longer possessing her full entourage, a campaign essentially brings the band back together.
On the down side, the show will have to labor somewhat to avoid a been-there, done-that quality, after embracing the opportunity to explore a different phase of Meyer's life.
With the birth of Meyer's grandson, the episode employed a rare flashback structure, going back to the birth of Selina's daughter, her philandering husband and her emotional breakdown, publicly explained away as a trip to "the spa." The show also exposed her ruthlessness and calculation, dumping her boyfriend (Usman Ally) because she and her handlers callously concluded that dating a Muslim was incompatible with her political aspirations.
Prior to the season, executive producer David Mandel told CNN that there have been no conversations as yet about when to end the show, an expiration date that will likely depend in large part on Louis-Dreyfus' interest in continuing. Key members of the cast recently signed contract extensions that will take them through at least one more season. HBO has also renewed the show's customary companion, "Silicon Valley."
As for the occasional parallels between "Veep" and political reality, Mandel noted in a postmortem with the Hollywood Reporter that tackling a primary campaign shouldn't be confused with a return to the corridors of Washington. "Running for president doesn't mean you're going to be in D.C.," he said. "If I was going to be hinting at next season, I would say, get ready to see more of Iowa."