‘Veep’ 4.01 Recap: “We Will Be Ready for the Future Whatever”

HBO’s brilliant political satire ‘Veep’ is back for its fourth season. Considering how last year ended, shouldn’t the series consider a title change?

That’s right, the woefully out-of-her-depth Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) is now President of the United States, after the former POTUS resigned. While the show is still called ‘Veep’, the opening titles sequence has been updated with new graphics and media headlines charting her sudden rise in fortune, and of course the inevitable decline that immediately followed. Selina has eight months in office to make her mark and hopefully get re-elected. Her prospects for that seem dim.

In the season premiere, she prepares to address a joint session of Congress with a big speech to announce her Presidency’s signature initiative – to feed poor people or something. The details don’t matter. What’s important is that she plans to fund the program with a $50 billion budget cut to an outdated Navy submarine program that the Joint Chiefs are willing to sacrifice. This seems like a big win, until Selina learns that shuttering the Navy program will anger the Big Money players that are invested in it, which will in turn cause her party to lose critical support on a number of other fronts. If that happens, she’ll be unelectable.

Unfortunately, Selina is informed of this just moments before her speech. As Mike furiously rewrites the text, Selina takes the stage to an empty teleprompter and is forced to awkwardly ad-lib. When the speech finally comes up, Mike mistakenly loads an old draft written for the former POTUS, and Selina inadvertently pledges a $60 billion budget increase to the submarine program she wanted to cut.

In the midst of all this, Selina finds time to screw over the new Veep, as is her privilege as POTUS. Jonah gets sexually harassed by that Veep’s Chief of Staff (Patton Oswalt), Amy struggles to run Selina’s failing election campaign, and Gary (who’s prevented from attended any of her high-level meetings) worries that Selina doesn’t need him anymore.

Four seasons in, the writing on this show is just as whip-smart and hilarious as ever. The jokes come so fast it’s hard to keep up with them all. HBO has already renewed the series for a fifth season, however creator Armando Iannucci has announced that this fourth season will be his last with the show, after which ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ producer David Mandel will take over as show-runner.

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