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3.7 out of 5 stars122
3.7 out of 5 stars
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42 of 46 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 19 February 2013
When I first heard that an American version of The Thick of It was being made, I had very mixed feelings. Popular sitcoms from one side of the Atlantic which are remade on the other have a pretty appalling track record - if you have a masochistic streak & a strong constitution for terrible TV, try searching on YouTube for 'Dad's Army US version'. But this one had three interesting names attached to it - Armando Iannucci, Seinfeld star Julia Louis-Dreyfus & HBO.

I expected it to be just like the original but with American accents, so when I saw there was no American version of Malcolm, I was initially disappointed. But given the significant differences in the UK & USA's political systems, I see now that this simply would not have worked. Instead they have have exported the style of The Thick Of It & transplanted it to the Office Of The Vice President Of The United States. This ties in perfectly with TTOI's rationale since the role of veep is intrinsically absurd. While the job title of Vice President suggests a similar amount of responsibility to, say, the Deputy Prime Minister, apparently the veeps' entire role is to be ready to stand in if the President dies. And that's pretty much it - stood within reach of the seat of power, the VP has very little power of their own. They are generally given some work to do but it's mostly just to keep them busy. And while the President claims the credit for the VP's successes, the VP naturally gets the blame for their failures.

Veep's success owes a lot to Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who superbly conveys the veeps' insincerity via a dazzling array of blatantly fake smiles. The supporting cast are excellent & include Anna Chlumsky of In the Loop fame. The cultural differences are clear to see, with a couple of the veep's team being pathologically career focussed while others are cringingly sycophantic & in good old TTIO tradition, some are just incompetent. Events occur at breakneck speed so it's difficult to keep track of at first but like TTOI, I found this meant that rewatching it is particularly rewarding.

This excellent series is different enough from the original to have its own identity, while retaining the stylistic elements which made The Thick Of It one of my all-time favourites. Nevertheless, it feels a lot more 'safe' & not as hard-hitting as the original.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 14 October 2014
Enjoyable, clever, lively, cynical comedy about an imaginary woman Vice President of the USA and her staff.

Good cast. I especially like sweet little Anna Chlumsky (she pronounces it 'Chumsky') as Amy, with her wonderfully expressive facial expressions and body postures.

Are politics & government really like this? Speaking as an ex-Whitehall Civil Servant (some years ago) who had slight exposure to government ministers, I would guess the answer is 'yes and no', but it is probably closer to reality than we would like to think.

Only 8 episodes this season but a lot of extras, mostly well worth watching especially, the 'Chung' episode 'Apology' scene and the episode commentaries, with the show's Scottish-Italian creator Armando Iannucci and the main cast members. These are mostly great fun to listen to, and sound as though the cast enjoyed recording them too, although there may be slightly too many commentaries (12 in total).

(The next Season, Season 2, has lost a little of its freshness and making it had perhaps become a little more just a regular job for the cast, but it is still good.)
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 11 June 2014
Veep is a wonderfully produced political satire that has me, quite literally, laughing out loud. Julia Louis-Dreyfus is as amazing as you'd expect and in fact the whole cast are top-notch. This is already one of my favourite comedy series to easily rank alongside such classics as Curb Your Enthusiasm and Arrested Development.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 23 April 2014
I was sceptical of the growing reputation of this series. With Armando Iannucci involved a high level of quality seemed guaranteed. It took me about 20 minutes to become comfortable with the speed of the dialogue, the quick fire profanities and to establish the various characters.

After the first episode I watched the rest of the series in two 'sittings'. As with The Thick Of It, despite the machinations and convoluted plotting, because of the excellence of the writing and acting I found myself developing an empathy with the characters, despite at times some comic-book stereotyping. Jonah Ryan, as the White House liaison to the Veep's office is Basil Fawlty incarnate in the level of his grotesqueness. There is not a hint of pretentiousness here.This series is a true classic of its genre. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 May 2015
The American 'The thick of it' with less severe swearing and slightly less British cynicism. Reasonably priced and worth it if you enjoyed The thick of it.
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on 17 November 2015
Usual American slickness, makes English Comedy Drama look like Amateur Dramatics in Barnsley or worse. Dreyfus just rolls out verbose dialogue like a comedy automaton. Like the West Wing, although of a high technical order, I just lost the will to live after a few episodes. Perhaps its because I don't give a flying fook for Political Drama, knowing they're all lying scheming, Janus faced bar stewards. Its won many awards even an Emmy so what the fook buy it, its only money
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 14 July 2015
I love Veep - biting and insightful - unlike most 'sitcoms' from the US.
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on 25 August 2015
Perhaps I didn't read other reviews too closely, but hadn't cottoned on that this was a comedy series - I just wanted something that related to American political life. The humour is sometimes laugh out loud, sometimes a bit slapstick - but it's pretty fast-moving and it is entertaining.
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on 22 October 2014
I'm glad to have seen it, but gave it away to a friend after. It, and the thick of it, just don't quite click for me. I think I go into them hoping for political humour and find that the politics is the sit, and the com coming from the people always slightly disappoints me.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 25 November 2013
The cast is excellent and the humour comes quicks and fast, although it is subtle rather than out and out jokes. I don't tend to watch extras so I can't comment on these but if you're looking for a intelligent, quick witted sit com then this is perfect.
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