Sunday, April 14, 2019

REVIEW: 'Veep' - Selina Speaks Out About Her Contributions to the World and Lack of Gratitude in 'Pledge'

HBO's Veep - Episode 7.03 "Pledge"

In the run-up to the first debate, Selina makes a novel campaign proposal. Comments by Jonah create blowback. Dan and Amy take a road trip.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of HBO's Veep.

"Pledge" was written by Rachel Axler and directed by Morgan Sackett

This season is moving quickly through the presidential campaign. That's not all that surprising considering the show previously did a season set through the same experience. It doesn't want to repeat too much that has already happened. It wants to have a new spin on things with how the political landscape has changed in the years since. Right now, the show loves the appeal of too many candidates vying for the nomination. That is paralleled nicely with reality. But it's also showing just how cynical people have to be in this profession. There is an interesting divide happening amongst the generations as well. Selina and Tom James both grew up in a certain political environment. They are used to things being done a certain way. That's the pathway to success. That's how they plan on securing the nomination. They are on opposing sides once again. They also want the generation coming up to be appreciative of everything they have done. It's the progress that they made that allows newcomers to the political arena to have an easier time climbing to success. Selina doesn't appreciate the numerous times Senator Talbot mentions how she has looked up to her since she was a young girl. Selina doesn't see herself as an old woman who shouldn't still be clinging onto power. She perceives herself as just as powerful and viable as ever before. She held onto this power once before. It was invigorating for her. She lost in an election that grew even more complicated following the initial results. She believes she made some remarkable achievements without the gratitude. She wants the office to prove that she has a legacy that is worth celebrating. She doesn't wish to believe that she is past her prime. However, she doesn't believe in anything she is saying either. She is just making the arguments that she believes can sway the most voters. That's what politics inherently is. That's the show's very cynical approach to things throughout all seven seasons. It's difficult to be genuine in this profession or to get anything done. There is the promise with every election that change is on the horizon. It may not be true though. People are claiming this is a new progressive era in which the winds of change are having a real impact. However, Selina and Jonah just see it as a presentation of what they can't do and how they are completely out-of-touch with every day Americans. Selina doesn't care about them. She only sees people loyal to her as the real citizens of the country. That's so jaded and incredibly toxic. Meanwhile, Jonah believes that he can literally say anything and that will only add to his appeal. That's been the hook he has followed as a congressman to some success. It's why he believes he can run for president. And yet, people are completely dumbfounded by him all the time. There is no reason why he should be taken seriously as a candidate. He sees himself as just as large a presence in this race as Selina and Tom James. He's not though. He is distracted and can't get anything straight. He doesn't know if his new wife is his half-sister or step-sister. That's a significant problem with messaging. However, he now has Amy and Dan on his team. They are willing to take Teddy up on that offer because it gives them more power. Even Richard gets newfound power by being named the new mayor of a town in Iowa. That's what everyone is chasing. It's not going to fix any of the problems in their lives. They just enjoy complaining about their problems and feeling victimized by a world that is too chaotic and abusive. And yet, they still want power as well. Selina keeps going back-and-forth in the polls. But she once again has an eager crowd full of supporters backing her efforts to retake the Oval Office. That's still impressive to a certain extent despite the likelihood that the fraud committed at her charitable foundation will ruin her entire life once the public learns she really doesn't know anything that she has done in her public life.