HBO's political comedy Veep wrapped up its freshman term last night with what was easily its strongest outing since the pilot. Don't get us wrong -- we've thoroughly enjoyed the show throughout its eight episode run, but this was a case where the whole sometimes felt better than the sum of its parts. Particularly during the middle chunk of the season, the show occasionally suffered from some wonky storytelling (like Selina's pregnancy, although that was resolved in hilariously dark fashion) and scenarios that never fully realized their comic potential (Gary breaking up with Selina's almost baby daddy on her behalf). But even when the material wasn't quite clicking, the cast always made Veep great fun to watch. Led by the fearless Julia Louis-Dreyfus, this ensemble played off each other so seamlessly, observing them work was like attending a master class in sketch comedy every week.
One of the reasons last night's finale worked so well is because it really utilized the entire cast in service of a single storyline, as opposed to splintering them off into separate subplots. Heading to Ohio to endorse a gubernatorial candidate (played by Dan Bakkedahl), Selina gets word that her poll numbers are in the proverbial crapper and she and her staff scramble for ways to stage a comeback. Their solution? Just like the episode's title says: tears. In an obvious nod to Hillary Clinton's famous bit of waterworks during the 2008 campaign, Selina cries on camera and that expression of simple human emotion immediately improves her reputation in the public's eyes. But because victory is always fleeting in the Veep universe -- and in the actual Washington D.C. for that matter -- by the end of the episode Selina is once again a universal object of derision and the office is plunged back into its natural state of chaos and confusion. We're looking forward to seeing how she continues to spiral out of control in Season 2, but in the meantime here are our picks for the one thing each of these perpetual screw-ups showed they are actually good at during the course of the season and their funniest lines from the finale.
One Thing She's Actually Good At: As the finale showed, Selina is an exceptionally good crier... provided she doesn't exceed a two-cry-a-day limit.
Funniest Finale Line: "Well, I'm an political leper and I'm an emotional time bomb so here's an idea -- let's put me on stage."
One Thing He's Actually Good At: The boundlessly ambitious Dan has primarily risen to where he is by being exceptionally good at covering his own ass in a crisis. That's guaranteed to take him far in Washington.
Funniest Finale Line: "First order of business is to issue a press release, which I already have written. Collette, if you would do the honors. In the Me file under Phase One." p>
One Thing She's Actually Good At: She works her Blackberry like nobody's business; the way her fingers tickle those tiny keys, she could probably compose entire novels in her sleep.
Funniest Finale Line: "On the other hand we are currently polling lower than a side of beef with eyes drawn on it so..."
One Thing He's Actually Good At: While his dress sense and aptitude for technology are trapped in 1992, his prodigious ability to stick his foot in his mouth never goes out of style.
Funniest Finale Line: "I'm on Twitter, but it wants me to create a new account. I don't know how to do this!"
One Thing She's Actually Good At: Actually, she's proven that she's pretty good at everything. If it weren't for her superb administrative skills, Selina's office would get even less done than it already does.
Funniest Finale Line: "Don't talk about my mother, Dan."
One Thing He's Actually Good At: Whispering bits of random trivia into Selina's ear about the people she's about to meet so she'll know how to steer the conversation. He's like a GPS for interpersonal communication.
Funniest Finale Line: "I don't know what to say, so I'm just whispering instead."
One Thing He's Actually Good At: Without question, POTUS's White House liaison is a master at getting on everyone's nerves.
Funniest Finale Line: "He said that he was your puppet master. Actually he said he was your Pinocchio, but I think he meant Geppetto who was actually the puppet master."
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