Veep, Season 3: TV review

Julia Louis-Dreyfus hits the campaign trail in the HBO comedy's stellar third season

 (Photograph: Paul Schiraldi)
Photograph: Paul SchiraldiJulia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina and Sam Richardson as Richard in Veep
 (Photograph: Paul Schiraldi)
Photograph: Paul SchiraldiReid Scott as Dan in Veep
 (Photograph: Paul Schiraldi)
Photograph: Paul SchiraldiAnna Chlumsky as Amy in Veep
 (Photograph: Paul Schiraldi)
Photograph: Paul SchiraldiMatt Walsh as Mike and Kathy Najimy as Wendy in Veep
 (Photograph: Paul Schiraldi)
Photograph: Paul SchiraldiTony Hale as Gary in Veep
 (Photograph: Lacey Terrell)
Photograph: Lacey TerrellKevin Dunn as Ben in Veep
 (Photograph: Paul Schiraldi)
Photograph: Paul SchiraldiJulia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina in Veep
 (Photograph: Paul Schiraldi)
Photograph: Paul SchiraldiSufe Bradshaw as Sue in Veep
 (Paul Schiraldi)
Paul SchiraldiGary Cole as Kent in Veep
 (Photograph: Paul Schiraldi)
Photograph: Paul SchiraldiSufe Bradshaw as Sue, Tony Hale as Gary, Kathy Najimy as Wendy, Matt Walsh as Mike, Reid Scott as Dan and Anna Chlumsky as Amy in Veep
 (Photograph: Lacey Terrell)
Photograph: Lacey TerrellMatt Walsh as Mike in Veep
 (Photograph: Paul Schiraldi)
Photograph: Paul SchiraldiTimothy Simons as Jonah in Veep
 (Photograph: Paul Schiraldi)
Photograph: Paul SchiraldiJulia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina in Veep

Premieres Sunday, April 6 at 9:30pm on HBO.

Dramas like Scandal and House of Cards go big by painting D.C. as a cesspool of backstabbing murderers who corrupt their morals to get ahead. HBO's Veep may play for laughs instead of horrified gasps, but it is an equally disturbing depiction of an elected official on TV. Its portrait of a shallow politician speaks to our greatest fears regarding our representatives.

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While Veep's first two seasons saw Vice President Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) struggling to make an impression while living in the shadow of the man that bested her the presidential election, this year she finally has a chance to seize the spotlight. With the knowledge that the President will not be seeking re-election, Selina and her team are quietly preparing their campaign for the next term. This new lease on her political future adds a helping of fresh energy to the show.

As she begins to fundraise and plan her election strategy, Selina finds herself in unfamiliar territory. Book tour visits with Iowa caucus voters, meetings with young and eccentric Silicon Valley billionaires—they're all good for laughs. Veep has always avoided defining its heroine's political party, but as she enters the early stages of battle with fellow candidates, Selina is finally pressed to define her views on wedge issues like abortion. It's moments like this, when she flounders due to fear of alienating voters, that Veep becomes funny and insightful.

While Selina Meyer's road to the Oval Office may be treacherous, it's the making of Veep's best season yet.