While accepting the Best Actress award at the Emmys last month, Veep star Julia Louis-Dreyfus joked that the HBO show "started out as a political satire, but it now feels more like a sobering documentary." She was only half-way joking, of course, because this circus of an election actually does feel a lot like the political shit-show depicted on Veep, minus the witty humor. A shocking anecdote from the writing room shows just how depressingly large the overlap between the comedy and our reality has become. Basically, the writers had to scrap a joke they wrote because it was treading familiar territory: Donald Trump's vile Access Hollywood tape.
"We had a scene where a minor character gets picked up on a DUI and he's being a little mouthy to a female police officer and we sort of had a run using [the P-word]," show-runner David Mandel told the Los Angeles Times. "It was pretty funny and they basically threw it in the garbage. [Trump] is ruining comedy." First our election, our faith in democracy, our general decorum of not openly bragging about sexually assaulting women — and now our favorite HBO show?
Mandel believes that what we see on the news these days is actually cruder than the material on the show. "Most likely we'd all be fired if we wrote a 10th of what has happened thus far," he told the L.A. Times. Louis-Dreyfus, of course, plays the hilariously narcissistic and incompetent office-holder Selina Meyer. But in Mandel's own words, "none of those things we do [on Veep] seem quite as incompetent as running for president and knowing that you had a video of you harassing women out there." Or as unreal.