So, this is the first episode of a new TV series I’m delving into. If you’re not familiar, it’s Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer, the Vice President of the United States. Tony Hale is her assistant, Anna Chlumsky is her chief of staff, Matt Walsh is her press guy, Timothy Simons is the White House liaison & Reid Scott is the up and coming yuppie staffer. Every single one of them is an absolute buffoon and the US government is a massive cluster-****. That’s the series in a nutshell. Anyway, this was a good first episode. It obviously has the typical pilot problems; lots of characters to establish, lots of plot to set up, lots of exposition, etc. But it has a lot of clever moments and everyone in the cast is really good. I mean, Louis-Dreyfus’ comic chops should not be up for debate at this point; she really kills one scene where one of her speeches gets massively redacted at the last minute so she’s forced to stumble through a speech that, essentially, has no actual content. All the others have their nice moments. Anna Chlumsky is a really pleasant surprise; she has a finely tuned sense of timing and an incredibly expressive face and is super-funny. But it’s humor in that typical “cringe comedy” vein, so lots of awkwardness at which everyone excels. It’s a solid first episode; only eight eps in the first season, so I’ll blow through these quickly. Anyway, I hope this is fun. This episode is a good one. I’m going to give it a conditional recommendation. If the show sounds like it would be up your alley, then it will be. We’ll see if any of the later episodes manage to help the show transcend a good rating. Anyway, 3 stars.
tl;dr – Julia Louis-Dreyfus leads an excellent ensemble in this pilot episode of a cringe comedy series about dysfunctional government and buffoonish politicians. 3 stars.