Veep, Season 5, Episode 4: “Mee-Maw”
Written by Alex Gregory & Peter Huyck
Directed by Dale Stern
Airs Sundays at 10:30pm on HBO
For Selina Meyer, winning trumps all other personal concerns, whether those entail being sympathetic to a grieving daughter or honoring her deceased mother. That singular focus is the secret to Selina’s success, but it also makes her a monster. Sometimes that monstrous side peeks out and the public gets an eyeful, usually leading to her failure. Veep is funniest and most successful when Selina is terrible enough that she dances on the line between success and failure. “Mee-Maw” finds her at her worst, which is best for viewers.
While speaking at a windmill farm, where she’s careful to remind the press that she has won the popular vote, Selina learns that her mother has had a stroke and is on life support. Even though she doesn’t care much for her mother, Mike wants her to rush to her bedside, if only to raise her approval numbers. Catherine is already at the hotel and is nearly inconsolable about Mee-Maw’s impending death. Catherine’s inability to control her emotions is funny enough in contrast to her normal dour self, but the portrayal also rings true to life. She evokes young people who haven’t experienced much death and are completely dismayed at the thought of loved ones dying. Selina’s main concern seems to be the quality of Mee-Maw’s nails, which strikes Catherine as cold, but it’s also another smart choice. Selina is the one who actually knew what Mee-Maw was like, and really knows what she would have cared about. Catherine is more concerned with some Tim McGraw song she used to like, which probably wasn’t quite as important to her.
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