TV preview: Veep

By Columbus Alive
From the April 19, 2012 edition

A lot of people are going to like HBO’s new comedy “Veep,” which stars “Seinfeld” alumna Julia Louis-Dreyfus and was created by Armando Iannucci, director of the smart political satire “In the Loop.” I’m not one of them.

In no way is “Veep” a bad show — it has an incredibly talented cast, and Iannucci has a distinct comedic voice — it’s just not my kind of humor.

“Veep” follows the day-to-day experiences of Vice President Selina Meyer (Dreyfus) and her team as they juggle the responsibilities of being second in line as leader of the free world. Gary (Tony Hale) is Meyer’s right-hand man, Amy (Anna Chlumsky — yes, from “My Girl”) is her chief of staff and Mike (Matt Walsh) is her spokesman. See? I told you it had a great cast.

I know many of you will consider this statement blasphemy (especially for a TV critic), but I always found the American version of “The Office” utterly annoying. Yes, even the early years when Steve Carell and Co. were churning out what was widely considered one of the best comedies on television.

I just always thought “The Office” was trying too hard, and its brand of humor only bugged me. That’s pretty much how I feel about “Veep.” In fact, it’s essentially “The Office” set in the West Wing.

I can’t say you should skip “Veep” — not with this cast working with scripts from Iannucci and “In the Loop” co-writer Simon Blackwell. I can say that I will be skipping it, though.