The great thing about cable on demand services is having the ability to catch up (or keep up) with shows you might not have in regular rotation.

Based on the British show The Thick of It, created by Armando Iannucci (who also did a film I admire, In the Loop), VEEP went though another incarnation or two in the US before landing on HBO.

Over the weekend I watched the eight, half-hour episodes of season one (it has been renewed for a second season) and discovered that I was ambivalent about the first half of the season but drawn in by the second half of the episodes.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus plays Vice President Selina Meyer, and she’s pretty unlikeable.  Honestly, it was her chief of staff Amy (played by Anna Chlumsky, who is also featured in In the Loop) and body man Gary (played by Tony Hale) who kept me engaged in the early episodes.

I can’t say I like any other characters more in subsequent episodes, but a visit by the VEEP’s daughter, a pregnancy scare, and a few other story elements ratchet up my interest level as the series progresses.

What continues to bother me about VEEP is the idea there is no real service in public service – just a lot of self-serving players.  The series presents a cynical view, and I know there are plenty of people who are one-dimensional in politics, but the idealist in me cries out, “Say it ain’t so…”

Is the shallowness of political life represented in this series all there is?  I can’t believe that.

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