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Veep: The Episode’s Best Insults

by Ethan Alter April 22, 2013 6:00 am
<i>Veep</i>: The Episode’s Best Insults

With the midterm cluster[redacted] behind them, "Signals" sends Selina Meyer and her staff on to the next disaster, which in this case awaits them in North Carolina where a pig picnic organized by the state's pork board will serve as the launching pad for POTUS's new "U.S. Hay" campaign aimed at increasing the administration's facetime with rural America. Selina is being dispatched to attend this bit of political theater, but two personal bombshells trip her up from the jump. First, her daughter Catherine pens a controversial review of the pro-Palestinian (and Oscar-nominated) documentary 5 Broken Cameras that threatens to upset ties with Israel. Then, a tabloid report exposes all the secret signals she and her staff use to extricate her from unpleasant situations... like a pig roast. Given all that tsuris, it's no wonder that the tart-tongued insults were flying fast and furious last night. Here were the episode's finest put-downs.

Mike: "Not quite. Like your mother, it's been previously loved and paid for by a couple of guys."
As he demonstrated last week, Mike is particularly good at "Yo Mama" insults, this one directed at Dan, who had the temerity to compliment him on his semi-new set of wheels, which he purchased despite his debt woes. See, Mike's entire philosophy to money has (temporarily) changed now that he's $100,000 in the hole. And when you're in that deep, it makes sense to just smile and embrace it, rather than do something like, you know, dig yourself out of it. Good thing he's not the Secretary of the Treasury.

Selina: "You know, it's just so great talking to you, Kent. I love being close to the inaction."
Having tracked down that "autistic lumberjack son of a bitch" a.k.a. Kent Davison, Selina tries to engage the White House's numbers man in a walk and talk (which he hilariously cuts short by standing still -- why don't any of Aaron Sorkin's characters ever think of that?) about the ongoing hostage situation in Uzbekistan, only to be told that nothing's going to happen as long as the polls reflect the lack of public desire for anything to happen. Even Selina seems caught off guard by the chilly logic of his response, leading to her verbally slapping him in the face with one of the best summations of the bureaucratic logjam that I've heard. Lines like that prove why Veep is the political comedy our country currently deserves.

Selina: "So they want me to go to a pig roast to meet a bunch of men who probably took turns to fuck the pig before they roasted it?"
"I don't want to get stuck talking pigshit with people who use hay as furniture."
An East Coast elitist and proud of it, Selina's horror at having to spend any amount of time -- even a single afternoon -- way down south of the Potomac manifested itself in some hilarious mean digs at the country bumpkins she was going to be glad-handing. (Amy provided an invaluable assist by... um, piggybacking "I wouldn't presume they took turns" on the back of her boss's pig-fucking slam.) And her contempt continued once she was at the picnic, just barely concealed by fake Southern charm and an extraneous cowboy hat. "Look at you, a grown woman with cotton candy," she condescendingly told one attendee or coining her own cornpone term "Oh gosh, that looks like finger-licking fun," thinking that it sounds authentic. She received her just desserts, though, when she did indeed get stuck talking to a group of famers about pigshit, one of whom explained in detail how pigs "defecate with speed and volume," while the veep looked around for a bucket to vomit in.

Gary: "It's just typing into a calendar."
Wanna take your life into your hands? Just imply in Sue's presence that her job isn't that hard. Even though Gary's not specifically trying to insult her, both she and the staff respond to his seemingly innocuous comment about the relative ease of organizing Selina's schedule as if he straight up slapped her across the face. And that's why Sue is the one person in the office that nobody dares piss off.

Roger: "You know, you're about as annoying as a condom filled with fire ants. How's that for a fucking metaphor?"
Now that his gubernatorial aspirations are over and done with, Congressman Roger Furlong is eying a Senate run and wants to work on mending fences with the veep to grease the wheels for that kind of lateral maneuver. But since Selina would rather "set fire to [her] vulva" than sit down with the entirely unpleasant failed would-be governor, he's got to unload his irritation on her staff, as well as his long-suffering chief of staff (Nelson Franklin), who is forever on the receiving end of metaphorical -- but actually just a simile -- insults like the one above. On the other hand, it's always nice to be able to put your grade school English lessons into practice in your day job.

Sue: "Hello, what do you want, you can't have it, goodbye."
That's the line we're going to start using on whatever telemarketer dares to call us during our Game of Thrones/Veep power hour-and-a-half.

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