Review: Veep (Season 5, Episode 7)

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Calamitous

Word of warning: Do not watch this episode with your grandparents.

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Last episode it was Thanksgiving, this episode it’s the Congressional Ball. And we have a lot to be thankful for. Not only for Selina (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) looking downright stunning in her sapphire gown, but for the events that unfold throughout the evening.

‘Congressional Ball’ is a shambles like any other Veep episode, but with one of the most mouth-dropping twists in Veep’s history. It starts with Selina trying not to make her disdain known for Penny (Stephnie Weir) – a member of congress who is more interested in Presidential memorabilia than the actual President herself. Gary (Tony Hale) finds himself on the ‘Twenty-One Staffers List’, with Richard (Sam Richardson) remarking, “Well it makes sense, he’s got beautiful eyes”.

Jonah (Timothy Simons) is roasting the absolute hell out of Selina in his campaign, with his newfound hatred towards the President. The media are swarming around the rumours surrounding Catherine’s (Sarah Sutherland) sexuality, and finally there is the reveal of Tom’s (Hugh Laurie) mysterious season-long plan – telling congressmen and women to abstain from voting between Selina and O’Brien, because if there isn’t an eventual vote, the tie-breaking vote goes to the Senate. And if the senate votes between Selina and O’Brien, Tom will become president.

Selina is eventually told of Tom’s catastrophic, albeit genius plan, and marches off to tear him to pieces. She does so, but… in another way. Which Gary witnesses. Full on. As do we. Hence why you should not, under any circumstances, watch this episode when your grandparents are over. Even if your excuse is that you have to review it. Gary’s scarred, you’re scarred, everyone’s scarred, but hey. Selina and Tom are doing it. How many shows on television these days have a central, 40+ year-old female president who is actually portrayed as a human being? Not many.

Whilst Tom is being ‘torn to pieces’, Jonah has found his footing in his newly found campaign – by trashing Selina. Though that’s all that Jonah is good for. It is clearly seen that he has literally no idea what he is talking about, with his uncle (Peter MacNicol) coming to this realization, and referring to him as a “sentient enema”.

Dan: “How would you vote to erase the debt ceiling?”

Jonah: “Well, as the late, great Lionel Richie once said, ‘Oh what a feeling, I am dancing on the debt ceiling.'”

Dan: “A, Lionel Richie is not dead. And B, what the fuck does that even mean?”

Oh, if only British politics were like this…although, by the state of it at the moment, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was.

Veep airs on Sky Atlantic on Tuesdays at 11:10pm. 

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A film student stuck in a 90s timewarp of FBI agents, UFOs, conspiracy theories, alternative rock and grunge.

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