HBO continues with rolling out their new comedies this week (after last week’s Girls) with the politically charged Veep. Created and written by Armando Iannucci (The Thick of It, In The Loop) the show is similar to his previous works in its satirical style and sheer wonderfulness. Veep follows the well meaning yet slightly dysfunctional Selina Meyer, a former senator who is now the vice-president. We watch Meyer and her staff attempt to navigate their way through the job successfully in Washington. Where this show really shines lies within Iannucci’s sharp writing as well as winning performances from it’s cast. Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Seinfeld) is truly fantastic and perfect in her role as vice-president Selina Meyer. Anna Chlumsky of My Girl fame is on her A-game as Meyer’s loyal chief of staff Amy. Other great performances include Tony Hale (Buster Bluth from Arrested Development), comedian Matt Walsh as the Director of Communications and Reid Scott (My Boys) as the Deputy Director of Communications at the White House. Veep is a highly enjoyable 30 minutes, and well worth your time. It airs in the US on Sundays.
The second time is a charm over at NBC this week with their Tina Fey comedy 30 Rock delivering its second live episode. The show experimented with the live format in October 2010, performing live from 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York (30 Rock is actually filmed in Queens, New York). The episode(s)* were entertaining in its change of format as well as to see the actors in an exciting new and challenging environment despite coming off as a big long sketch from the show that inspired it Saturday Night Live. I’m not sure 30 Rock benefit’s from being live, as its whip smart jokes and cutaway flashback driven nature seemed to get lost last time it had a go around (Interestingly, Julia Louis-Dreyfus played cutaway Liz Lemon in the last live broadcast). Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey are seasoned SNL performers and no stranger to that stage so it will be fun to watch again even if the novelty has worn off this time around.
*In the last live broadcast two episodes were produced, one for the US East Coast and one for the West Coast so for each coast it would air live. Both episodes were the same, except for different fake advertisements throughout (featuring Jon Hamm) and a few changed jokes here and there. Two episodes will be produced again so look out for both versions. 30 Rock Live airs this Thursday in the US.
Continuing on their quest to remain relevant is FOX’s Glee with their Whitney Houston tribute episode, which was announced in within what seemed like a week of the pop legend’s death. The episode entitled ‘Dance With Somebody’ will give seven of Whitney’s hit songs the complete Glee treatment, auto tune and all. Give it a watch, if you are into that kinda thing (or in the very least, a Whitney fan). Glee airs on Tuesday in the US.