Every sitcom starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus turns to gold.
The actress whose first break came as a featured player on “Saturday Night Live” when she was barely out of her teens then gained immortality as Elaine Benes on “Seinfeld.” She followed those with an Emmy-winning turn as one of the two Christines on “The New Adventures of Old Christine.”
But she has somehow managed to ascend even greater comic heights as Vice President – and then President – Selina Meyer on HBO’s “Veep.”
Year it began: 2012
Where it can be seen: Current season on HBO; streaming on HBO GO and HBO NOW
Who’s in it: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Anna Chlumsky, Tony Hale, Reid Scott, Matt Walsh
Typical episode length: 28 minutes
Number of episodes: 45 and counting
Brief plot description: An ambitious, foul-mouthed and cynical politician gets within a heartbeat of the presidency – and then ascends to the Oval Office.
Why it’s worth watching: A show that is packed with anger and vitriol is also arguably the most consistently funny show on television. Louis-Dreyfus has created a character without a single redeeming characteristic and made her almost lovable. But if you come to the show for her, you will stay for the impeccably paced dialogue and a supporting cast, including top-aide Amy (Chlumsky) desperately trying to seem both relevant and anonymous; Scott as the seemingly powerless wannabe power broker; Hale as the overly emotional sycophantic bodyguard; Walsh as the clueless press aide. The acclaimed show, which artfully and equally dabbles in profanity and political humor, holds a fun house mirror up to Washington, D.C. But sometimes, given the current doings in the nation’s capitol, it seems to be more documentary than satire. – Bruce Andriatch