Despite its title, HBO's Veep isn't a show about the vice president of the United States—not any more, at least. Julia Louis-Dreyfus' Selina Meyer ascended to the highest office in the land, then plummeted back to earth as a common citizen. And she hates it.
Season six, which debuted in April, catches up with Meyer one year after her career-ending defeat in a stolen presidential election. Predictably, she's unwilling to read the writing on the wall. She has every intention of running for president again, to the chagrin of everyone around her. Her daughter Catherine actually breaks down in tears at the prospect.
What drives Selina Meyer? Is it faith in her unique capability to serve the nation? Not really. Meyer wants to be president again because she's narcissistic. Also, she has nothing else to do.
Unlike Netflix's House of Cards, which portrays D.C. politics as darkly sexy, Veep is true to life: Politicians are just like the rest of us, if the rest of us were atypically self-righteous, petty, and naive.
There's nothing elegant or Shakespearean about a bunch of washed-up politicos scrambling for more power. Selina's quest is sad; pathetic, even. But it entertains, and that's what matters.
This article originally appeared in print under the headline "Veep".