TCA 19: HBO’s Veep will push boundaries till the end

Veep stamp

The seventh and final season of HBO’s brilliant political satire, Veep, will start airing at the end of March. Over the last six seasons, we’ve watched as Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus in a role that has won her multiple Emmy awards), scheme and scream her way to the top, only to have a disastrous presidency end in scandal and chaos. The last season was spent watching her struggle through the life of an ex-president and still choose to pursue her ambition of running again, taking her team of ragtag political animals along with her for the ride. The final season will show the end of this hectic and hilarious journey.

Speaking at the TCA‘s this year, showrunner David Mandel and Louis-Dreyfus discussed how they put together this last batch of seven episodes and how Veep may inadvertently reflect or predict political realities. In the last few years, Veep has become even less ridiculous than modern-day politics, which poses a challenge for the writers to keep the show exciting.

Veep groupSaid Louis-Dreyfus:

“…I mean, I think that given our current political climate it’s more – it’s been more challenging for us to sort of push boundaries, so to speak, but having said that, we have this virtue of having not identified party in our show and not really identified any contemporary political figures, and so we’re in an alternate universe, and that’s helpful, particularly now. It’s sort of, I think it’s, in many ways, why the show has lasted as long as it has, because it kind of invites everyone to the party, which I’ve said before, and I think it’s, in a way, it’s more apt than it ever has been given the current insanity that we’re all living in.”

While there have been significant developments in world politics in the last few years, certain boundaries have not yet been pushed, certain historic moments not yet realized, and these are some of the possibilities Veep can still explore, even when the news can be pretty outrageous.

Veep HBOLouis-Dreyfus had more to say on this:

“Yes. There are plenty of times when I think that is, actually, in fact, too extreme for our show. But bear in mind that I play a character who was in office, a female President of the United States. That boundary hasn’t been pushed yet. And, so, we – – That groundwork has been laid, and there’s more that we’ve done in this upcoming season, which you’ll see, that, in fact, there – Well, anyway, never mind. I was going to say, you know, we sort of, in lots of ways, we kind of touch on things that then sort of happened or are happening purely by coincidence, but that’s been our experience all along. But, I mean, I think just the fact of that I played a female President of the United States was boundary pushing in and of itself.”

When speaking of Selina’s journey in this last season, as previously reported, Louis-Dreyfus mentions that while “evolution is [not] necessarily her game,” Selina does end up as true to herself as she can possibly be. For all her mishaps, she did make history by, as the trailer notes, “taking a dump on the glass ceiling,” among other things.

Veep GaryThe star and driving force of Veep also talks about how emotional she felt filming her last episodes as Selina since the character has been such a part of her life for the better part of a decade:

“I would say that the, in terms of the bittersweetness, I was so overcome with joy and grief, a joy and grief mash-up as this show ended and it really was very surprising to me and I mean I’m an emotional person anyway, but I will say that it was really, caught me by surprise. And I think that’s because this show frankly has been my baby for now eight years that I’ve felt fiercely protective of and proud of and have grown to, you know, we were on location for four years this team of actors and writers.

And then we moved the show to Los Angeles and we morphed with David and it worked and that was a miracle because you know, you never know, it’s such a risk. And it carried on and we’ve been through a lot as a group with illness and losing people and it’s been an enormous, huge journey but ultimately one that has been extremely powerful for us, just personally to be a part of something this gratifying on a creative level is, you know, it’s not lost on me that that is not something that comes along with frequency. And so saying goodbye to it was a very hard thing to do even though it was our decision to do it. Ultimately it was a very sad thing. I don’t know how else to say it.”

Veep also stars Tony Hale as Gary, her devoted bodyman; Anna Chlumsky as Amy, her right hand; Matt Walsh as Mike, her former spokesperson; Reid Scott as the ultra-ambitious Dan; Timothy C. Simons as Jonah Ryan, a former hanger-on turned congressman; Kevin Dunn as Ben, her campaign manager; Gary Cole as analyst Kent; Sam Richardson as staffer Richard; and Sarah Sutherland as Catherine, Selina’s daughter. Overall, the show has won 17 Primetime Emmys.

Veep bows out for one last campaign starting March 31 on HBO.

Check out the trailer below:

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