This season of Veep has been outstanding from minute one, but Sunday’s penultimate episode “Kissing Your Sister” rose to the top of an impressive heap. Eagle-eyed fans of the show know that the ninth episode of each season takes an experimental left turn. Last year’s ninth episode “Testimony” marked the left-est turn of them all, with a full episode of the characters’ hearings in front of Congress presented C-SPAN-style.
It’s early, but I’m confident that “Kissing Your Sister” at least matches that all-time outing, and maybe even exceeds it. It had a higher bar to clear, for one — Catherine Meyer’s fly-on-the-wall documentary has been a throwaway gag since the season premiere, and the juicy combination of the Meyer administration’s antics and a video camera appeared too fruitful not to re-emerge at the season’s climax. “Testimony” extended directly from the events of the episode that preceded it, but “Kissing Your Sister” wove a more complex and intricate narrative that extended back into the events of the entire season, occasionally replaying scenes from previous episodes from different angles or with additional context. The clever conceit of “Testimony” relegated most of the fast-paced action to the background or offscreen, but “Kissing Your Sister” gunned the plot engine even as the jokes flew fast and furious.
The fourth season of Veep clattered to a halt Sunday night, ending indecisively as the election contest between sitting president Selina Meyer and challenger Bill O’Brien culminated in a rare electoral college tie. The finale, which I discussed with Devin Mitchell and Kevin Werner on the M&M Report, had much of the outstanding previous episode’s balletic rhythm but fewer punchlines, instead pivoting into rare dramatic territory for this typically farcical series.
This week on the M&M Report, Devin and I welcomed returning guest Kevin Werner to discuss the fourth season of Veep, which ended its ten-episode run on HBO this past Sunday at 10:30.
We talked about the highs (Jonah and Richard, the cult of Tom James, the plight of Catherine Meyer) and the lows (fuzzy electoral math, overly dense finale plots) of this season, and we touched on our expectations for the next one, the first under replacement showrunner David Mandel.
The show’s creator Armando Iannucci is moving on from the show. He explained why in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter. Another piece worth your time: former senior adviser to the president Dan Pfeiffer argues on Grantland that Veep is America’s most realistic show about politics.
Last time Kevin joined us, we talked House of Cards (or rather, Kevin and Devin talked House of Cards while I frowned in the corner).
Devin and I last discussed Veep during its third season in 2014.
Note: Devin and I are testing out a new M&M Report approach: one topic per episode. This week’s entire podcast is about Veep, with spoilers aplenty. Tune in next time for more.