Veep Season 5 Premiere Recap: Does HBO's Political Comedy Still Get Your Vote With a New Showrunner?

Veep Season 5 premiere

Pardon my French, but Veep‘s Season 5 premiere — the first without creator Armando Iannucci at the helm — had me at “founding f–ks.”

Indeed, while there’s always a fear that a change in showrunner – in this case, Curb Your Enthusiasm vet David Mandel is now at the helm of the Julia Louis-Dreyfus led comedy — might alter the DNA of an established series, the good news is Veep remains as unapologetically profane and undeniably hilarious as ever.

Season 5, Episode 1 begins the day after the Season 4 finale — which ended with Selina in an Electoral College for the White House with rival Bill O’Brien. That unprecedented event opened a loophole in which her running mate Tom James could get the POTUS title through a House of Representatives deadlock and a Senate vote for Vice President.

“My bowling coach used to say a tie was like kissing your sister,” offers Gary, to which Selina (who’s just gotten done decrying the
“founding f–ks” for never having heard of an odd number) shoots back, “Well, this feels like my sister took a s–t on my chest.”

That’s not the worst visual of the half-hour laughfest, however. That honor goes to the whopper of a zit — or is it a Skittle under the skin — that’s found its way to Selina’s face at the most inopportune moment. Let’s recap the action:

IT’S HARD OUT HERE WITH A PIMP-LE | Selina jumps back on TV to outmaneuver O’Brien and discuss a potential recount in Nevada — “I don’t have to move!” she squeals, when she learns of this possible means of staying in the White House — but her giant facial blemish causes a market crash dubbed “Black Wednesday” with the Dow “dropping lower than my balls on a hot summer day,” according to Ben.

THAT OTHER VEEP | When Tom gives an interview with “the Bumf–k Plain Dealer” that he wants to make sure military absentee ballots are given scrutiny in the recount, Selina (who knows she’s unpopular with the armed forces) realizes his political game is raging onward. He brusquely turns down her offer to be her new economic czar — but she announces it anyway, knowing it’ll make him an easy scapegoat for the current financial crisis (and keep him off the radar as the Electoral College mess plays out).

VEGAS, BABY! Who knew that bumbling Richard had done his doctoral thesis on recounts? Suddenly, he’s promoted to being Jonah’s boss, rather than his assistant — relegating the tall, hated one to what he deems the role of Harry Potter living under the staircase. Amy turns down Selina’s offer to head up her Nevada team, but POTUS is nothing if not savvy at manipulating folks, and before we know it, the woman who called her the “worst thing to happen to this country since food in buckets — and maybe slavery” is flying West, with Dan (who’s been fired and is now “as toxic as a urinal cake in Chernobyl”) at her side.

RACE TO THE BOTTOM | Selina decides to forge ahead with a symposium on race — hoping it’ll distract from the economy — but the panel is whiter than “an NHL all-star weekend.” Just as Sue arrives to inject some diversity into the mix, though, alarm bells sound — and the trusty executive assistant is holding her hands up at gunpoint in front of the TV cameras. “Does President Meyer care about black people?” is the media’s take-home message — and Selina’s reign of ridiculous blunders continues.

IN OTHER NEWS… | Selina gets a new lead Secret Service agent (“I liked Bob — apart from the discolored tooth,” she says) who’s been deemed her physical match. The woman, played by Clea Duvall, seems to match POTUS’ measurements, but Gary doesn’t approve (“she smells completely different”) and nor does Selina (who wordlessly deems her backside disappointing).

Catherine’s documentary project continues with her mother’s disdain — “I’ll come back later.” “You always do.” — while Mike announces he’s adopting a baby from China, and Bill is enticed into surrendering for his misdeeds (only to learn that Selina and her team have reneged on his deal for a pardon).
bill surrenders — promised a pardon

And meanwhile, Selina declares “a state of go f–k yourself” in Idaho after a mudslide disaster. Hey, that’ll teach the state to vote against her in the future!

Your turn. What did you think of the Veep Season 5 premiere? Grade it in our poll below, then hit the comments with your thoughts!

GET MORE: Polls, Premieres, Recaps