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S04.E05: Convention

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At the party convention, Selina and her staff scramble against the clock to avert a major internal crisis. Amy grows increasingly infuriated with the president’s new advisor, Karen, who is coaching a nervous Catherine on her First Daughter speech to the convention. Back in D.C., Dan recruits Jonah and Richard to pose as influential Washington insiders.

 

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Edited by ElectricBoogaloo

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Loved Amy putting Selena in her place, though I am hating seeing Amy and Dan on the outside of the WH. I'd prefer to see more of them and less of the guest stars of the week. All I hope for is Amy to land on her feet somewhere impressive so Selena has to beg her to come back. Not a Hugh Laurie fan so I hope he won't be getting a lot of screen time.

Edited to add that the dress Amy is wearing was amazing. Love the wardrobe for her and Selena this season.

Edited by pivot
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If Anna Chlumsky doesn't get an Emmy or an Emmy nomination after this episode's performance, then we're gonna need to come up with a new award that will recognize such a performance.

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Oh my God, Amy. That was heartbreaking. I saw the blowup building in her, but toward Karen. I was stunned when I saw she was looking at Selina instead. That was amazing. I loved how seamlessly Anna Chlumsky went from comedic frustration to heart-wrenching fury. She actually seemed to be shaking.

I can't wait to see where they go with this. I love that Selina could have taken that moment and been defensive, angry, or trying to get her pride back, but decided to finally listen to Amy and do something proactive, instead.

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I loved that Selina realized the truth in what Amy was saying. Not only did she choose a great VP candidate but Karen was offering absolutely no opinions or advice and was therefore useless.

 

I only hope that next week Selina also realizes how much she has lost by not having Amy on her team anymore. As amusing as I find Dan, Amy was much more necessary to Selina.

 

Ha, and I loved seeing Dan forced to resort to pretending Jonah is at all useful and then fetching him coffee. I can't stand Jonah but I love their contentious relationship.

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How does Selina get Dan and Amy back on the team?

Loved that Selina is the skeleton in the New VP's closet!

Edited by Cramps
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Man, Ben is a hell of a conniving bastard, isn't he? He's so quick to come up with these borderline blackmail scenarios. It actually makes sense that he got to where he is, if he can screw people over as quickly as we've seen in the last couple of episodes. Selina's glee at the sexual abuse revelation was a sight to behold. She's a monster, she really is.

 

Karen is absolutely useless, and annoying to boot. They're really very good at making horrible people like Amy and Dan sympathetic by putting them up against people who are that much worse, like Karen and Sidney Purcell. Loved Amy's repeated looks of utter loathing every time Karen said something inane and pointless. And her outburst was five episodes coming. Fantastic.

 

No seriously, that was a great moment for Amy and for Anna Chlumsky. Loved it.

 

And I love how everyone hates Karen, including Kent, who has no emotions. But come on, her suggesting that science being precise is "open to interpretation" was always going to get Kent's back up.

 

The return of Chung. Another asshole who is more assholish than the assholes we watch every week. I'm glad he passed up on the opportunity. But I thought Chung was running against her for the Democratic nomination? Did I miss where that was resolved?

 

I hope Patton Oswalt is gone for good. I don't find that guy funny, and have no idea why people do.

 

Hugh Laurie's appearance? Didn't like it. It felt like I was supposed to just collapse with joy that this new presence had deigned to come in and transform the show. Look, I like Hugh Laurie (liked him more as Prince George than as House), but I want to watch a show about these characters, not him.

 

What I really want to see now is Amy and Dan pairing up and conniving their way to power together. Perhaps with Jonah and Richard as tagalongs.

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Omg Maddox realizing he effed up and walking down the hall needed the sad Charlie Brown music.

Also I can't get enough of the way Anna Clumpsky sucks her cheeks in when she get frustrated! Emmy nominee this year for sure!!!

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In thinking about this episode more, I think they are falling into the Will & Grace problem where they keep adding all these celebs as guest stars. It ends up taking screen time away from the core characters and makes the show less interesting. I ready to spend less time with the Laurie, Oswalt, etc. type celebs any time now.

And I wish Furlong was the VP pick. He is a horrible human being but he has the best lines on the show.

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Add Emmy winner as well for Anna Chlumsky, that was some grade A acting there.  I watched that takedown of Selina scene so many times.  You could tell she was upset that she was actually having to say what everyone, well almost everyone, in the room thinks regarding Selina's political career.  She spoke the truth that Selina has achieved nothing and in this universe will more than likely make it so that no other woman would ever be elected POTUS.  Amy was all ready to walk away at that point, then Selina made her little snide comment that made Amy go for the jugular.  It was a heartbreaking yet very much a hell yeah moment.

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Add Emmy winner as well for Anna Chlumsky, that was some grade A acting there.  I watched that takedown of Selina scene so many times.  You could tell she was upset that she was actually having to say what everyone, well almost everyone, in the room thinks regarding Selina's political career.  She spoke the truth that Selina has achieved nothing and in this universe will more than likely make it so that no other woman would ever be elected POTUS.  Amy was all ready to walk away at that point, then Selina made her little snide comment that made Amy go for the jugular.  It was a heartbreaking yet very much a hell yeah moment.

 

It started off as another of the show's hilarious rants, as Amy laid into Karen, but then it got real, real fast.

 

Amy's exasperation and frustration and anger has been building for a long time, and I'm glad the show followed that to its logical conclusion, with her just finally snapping. Great physical acting by Anna Chlumsky as well, in the lead up to it. She was so tight and tense and increasingly jittery over Selina's stubborn refusal to do the sensible thing, and then it all boils over when Karen starts talking in her inane nothings again.

 

But it was the way Amy's voice broke as she delivered the final lines that really got me. You could see shadow of a person who was probably once so idealistic and hopeful, and wanted the best for the country, and has had all of that beaten out of her by the system, and by working for Selina.

 

I also loved the various reactions of the other staffers. Gary looked horrified and offended (as you'd expect), Mike looked terrified but not particularly like he disagreed, Kent actually looked impressed. Sue was fairly inscrutable, as she always is.

 

And man, if anyone ever looked at me the way JLD was looking at Karen after Amy left? I'd run a mile. It's a really interesting moment for Selina, because you could see that some of that did get through to her, even if she was hiding it. But would she ever be humble enough to openly acknowledge that and ask Amy to come back? I don't know, that would be a massive step for her humanity.

 

And next time someone at work asks me what I think of an idea or individual, I'm going to say, "I think there's a lot to think". It's an amazing piece of nothing.

Edited by Danny Franks
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And man, if anyone ever looked at me the way JLD was looking at Karen after Amy left? I'd run a mile. It's a really interesting moment for Selina, because you could see that some of that did get through to her, even if she was hiding it. But would she ever be humble enough to openly acknowledge that and ask Amy to come back? I don't know, that would be a massive step for her humanity.

 

I'd love for Selina to admit her mistake to Amy, but it'd be really out of character for her to do so. This episode did exactly what any good show should do: make next week's episode a must watch for me. Veep isn't usually the first thing I watch on Sunday evening, but it will be next week. I can't wait to see how this plays out.

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I'd love for Selina to admit her mistake to Amy, but it'd be really out of character for her to do so.

 

It may be out of character but I can totally see Selina inviting Amy into the oval office for a private conversation, asking her all stoic and proud like she is going to rip her a new one for those comments, and then when the door shuts Selina breaks down and begs Amy to come back.  Of course Selina will have to ask Amy to pretend that she begged for her old position back to save face.

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The best part of this episode outside Amy's rant was the reaction shots. Ben's look of disbelief when Karen announced the Danny Chung was on his way. Kent's impressed smirk after Amy's rant and Selina's side-eye to Karen.

And I can't wait to see Dan and Amy scheming together to get back into the WH.

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That was probably the best monologue I've heard all year. The whole physicality of it was stellar. Talk about slow burn. I think Amy felt betrayed by Selina. She was right; if this presidency is marred by blunder and scandal, then it's going to be another century for another woman president.

Plus it's totally infuriating when you're trying to do your job and you just can't.

I think Kent was impressed too.

What capped it really well was that she gave some legit advice and it sunk in.

I liked how Gary stepped in to delay Mike so he could figure out that Kent was the new campaign manager.

Ben carries around those daggers in his back pocket to throw all the time.

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And I wish Furlong was the VP pick. He is a horrible human being but he has the best lines on the show.

 

pivot, you can be my campaign manager.

 

Of course I understand Amy's frustrations, but you could see the secret reason for Selina's resistance to hiring this phantom Tom James coming a mile away.  It was obvious there was something big Selina wasn't saying.  I guess it became a combination of Selina becoming more desperate and also realizing what Amy's value is.

 

In thinking about this episode more, I think they are falling into the Will & Grace problem where they keep adding all these celebs as guest stars.

 

I understand what you're saying, but almost no show can be as bad as W&G in this respect.  At least this show hires capable actors who know how to blend into actual characters, and I think the show does a good job with them.  W&G would have people on like Madonna, Demi Moore, etc. etc. and they would be absolutely atrocious at multi-camera sitcom acting.  Or people like Sandra Bernhard playing themselves.   I'm no fan of Patton Oswalt, but I think somebody like Randall Park fits in beautifully with this cast (maybe Randall can't be considered a "celeb").  And Patton wasn't awful.

 

And man, if anyone ever looked at me the way JLD was looking at Karen after Amy left? I'd run a mile.

 

JLD and the directing were brilliant.  Don't even think I need to mention the writing as I believe it's the strongest I've seen on television in god knows how long.

 

But would she ever be humble enough to openly acknowledge that and ask Amy to come back? I don't know, that would be a massive step for her humanity.

 

Selina doesn't have much shame from what I see.  She might be somewhat of a monster but since when is she afraid to go after exactly what she wants, and even beg for it.

Edited by Ms Blue Jay
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I have never loved Amy more than I did last night when she let Selena and her puppet have it. Selena is a crap person who is bring revealed to be a crap leader. I could take crap one thing in conjunction with something palatable, but all around crap I just can't deal with. The best part was Selana's getting rid of her puppet and picking Amy's VP choice means deep down, Selena knows Amy is right. I am now watching to see how Selena alienates and loses all those who were by her side for the longest.

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But I thought Chung was running against her for the Democratic nomination? Did I miss where that was resolved?

I don't know if it was resolved on the show, but it's fairly unusual for a sitting President running for re-election to be challenged within their own party.  The party usually falls in behind the incumbent because they have a better chance to win.  The last one I recall was Ted Kennedy going after Jimmy Carter in 1980 and of course he was unsuccessful.  Once Selina became Prez, the challengers likely dropped off.

 

This season has been brilliant with the serious undertones matched against the comedy; it's a fascinating balance.  And now Selina's two (arguably) closest aides have basically told her off. 

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Amy struck me as being highly insulted and betrayed by Selina. They've probably been talking about running for president since her Senate days. 

 

I am a little surprised Chung declined. He basically would have a national platform as VP to start campaigning for next time. Unless he thinks Selina is going to lose, in which it wouldn't be good for him to be the losing VP. 

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In thinking about this episode more, I think they are falling into the Will & Grace problem where they keep adding all these celebs as guest stars. It ends up taking screen time away from the core characters and makes the show less interesting. I ready to spend less time with the Laurie, Oswalt, etc. type celebs any time now.

I don't think the situations could be more different between the shows.  Will & Grace brought in guest stars for one-offs where NBC could use the guest turn to promote to hell and goose the ratings.  So often the guest star was the story.

 

That's not what Veep does. In fact, the only reason I knew Hugh would appear in last night's episode was because I had read about his casting a few months ago and I saw a tweet. There wasn't a huge promo push because the point of him isn't Hugh Laurie (other than his comedy background), it's the character he's playing. What Veep has is a fine tuned juggling act where they started with a few balls in the air and then every season they keep adding more and more balls and the juggling gets faster and faster.  Sometimes the character is played by someone well known and sometimes not but I can't think of anyone who was cast just because they were a name.  Most of them have very solid comedic cred.  So far, IMO, I don't think they've dropped a ball yet. 

 

In fact, even before this week, I've been impressed how big the cast of regular and recurring characters is and how well the show gives them a moment to shine and moves them in and out as needed.

 

So I don't mind the people they've added whether I'm a fan (Hugh Laurie) or not (Patton Oswald) because oddly, the bigger the cast gets, the richer I find the comedy.

 

I am a little surprised Chung declined. He basically would have a national platform as VP to start campaigning for next time. Unless he thinks Selina is going to lose, in which it wouldn't be good for him to be the losing VP. 

There's this sense that there's more to the story as to why he turned down the VP spot.  I expect we'll hear why at some point.

Edited by Irlandesa
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I think Selena is crap in one way, and what Amy said was in many ways the truth, but also competent in other ways. Amy (quite rightly) poured out all her frustrations at once when Selena brought on another person who made decision making impossible, but I don't think the point of the show is simply 'look how crap Selena is' but 'look how crap the system and the power makes her'. She's selfish and manipulating like all the others there but has been shown as able to play the game at several points in time. Amy certainly hasn't shyed away from playing that game herself, and it's a testimony to  the show that as one of many often quite detestable people she and our more long time friends seem sympathetic contrasted with a _really_ annoying and inefficient addition to the team. 

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Amy's blow-up was awesome, but was it accurate? Has Selina's tenure as president really been that bad? It seems like she has accomplished quite a lot in foreign policy. And the scandals that have plagued her administration have mostly been caused by her incompetent staff. Didn't the leak of private information about that girl with AIDS come from the campaign staff, headed by Amy?

Edited by Sesquipedalia
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The return of Chung. Another asshole who is more assholish than the assholes we watch every week. I'm glad he passed up on the opportunity. But I thought Chung was running against her for the Democratic nomination? Did I miss where that was resolved?

 

I hope Patton Oswalt is gone for good. I don't find that guy funny, and have no idea why people do.

 

I must have missed it, too. I kept wondering what happened in the primaries with Chung. I also will not miss Patton Oswalt. Didn't need to see him grabbing Jonah's "parts" in every episode. Wasn't funny.

 

As everyone has noted, Anna was great. Amy's tirade was quite appropriate. And, thank goodness, the Karen experiment is over. I'm interested to see how Amy, Dan and Jonah are integrated back into the main circle.

Edited by Ellaria Sand

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Amy's "failure rant" came after she was walking away and Selina snarked on her, right? I think that came more from hurt feelings than accuracy. With the salient point that if Selina's term really ends up horrible, she's going to set women back in running for the presidency for generations. Amy was appalled that Selina never really grasped this. 

 

I wouldn't call Selina a total failure though. She ran and won a Senate seat, and was good enough to be VP and on the winning ticket. Being VP, there's not much one can do, and being President, she's finding there's still a lot of constraints on her. 

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My prediction for the season ender?  The Selina and "Everybody-Loves-Tom" Jones ticket will end up having to swap roles by election day, with the charismatic candidate taking the presidency and Selina, once again, being Veep. 

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I love how quickly Selena turned on pointless Karen, and how she was frozen out pretty much instantly after Amy`s rant. This was a really interesting episode for Selena. As much as the staff tend to screw up and suck up to any authority figure, I wouldn't really count any of them as Yes Men (hell, even freaking GARY went off on Selena). It took Amy literally screaming in her face and cursing her out, but she actually took her advice. 

 

As intense as all that was, I was horrified at how much I loved Selena and Ben`s joy after discovering the sexual abuse of Jonah. They're sick, but I love it here. Ben is such a diabolic mastermind, even if he usually comes off as a half asleep sad sack. He don't fuck around. 

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Ben is very good at his job and that is why he hates himself.  He know he has to behave despicably in order to protect the president.  It is why he begged Selina to let him quit when the former president resigned.

 

Can I say how much I love the actor who plays Chung.  He is pitch perfect in every seen.  When he was talking at the convention about Chung mania and then got the "Aw Shucks" glimmer in his eye, I just about died.  It also felt totally like a speech a real politician would give.

 

I am beginning to think being a narcissistic psychopath is part of being a successful politician...but I guess we already knew that.

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Definitely. That's the funny thing because even with Chung, he always talks about being in the military. 

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Can I say how much I love the actor who plays Chung. 

Randall Park is really wonderful. Very skillful and very funny (while at the same time keeping that bit of truth). He's having a breakout year, being the father on Fresh Off the Boat as well as returning for this. He's such a specific and different character as the father on that show, it actually took me a week before I had the "Oh, that's where I know him from!" revelation, and then I felt stupid for not seeing it right away.

 

Also a couple of weeks ago he appeared in a walk-on as himself in a Community episode, which suggests that he's now getting familiar enough to audiences for a gag like that to work.

Edited by Rinaldo

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Oh my God, Amy. That was heartbreaking. I saw the blowup building in her, but toward Karen. I was stunned when I saw she was looking at Selina instead. That was amazing. I loved how seamlessly Anna Chlumsky went from comedic frustration to heart-wrenching fury. She actually seemed to be shaking.

I loved how barely restrained she was, but she was restrained. She didn't rant and rave, she kept it together, but she was furious and eviscerating. I don't love the Amy character, in part because I want to like her so much but she's not that likable. But this scene was brilliant! Great acting choices and execution.

 

Man, Ben is a hell of a conniving bastard, isn't he? He's so quick to come up with these borderline blackmail scenarios. It actually makes sense that he got to where he is, if he can screw people over as quickly as we've seen in the last couple of episodes.

...

And I love how everyone hates Karen, including Kent, who has no emotions. But come on, her suggesting that science being precise is "open to interpretation" was always going to get Kent's back up.

...

What I really want to see now is Amy and Dan pairing up and conniving their way to power together. Perhaps with Jonah and Richard as tagalongs.

I LOVE Ben and his hatchet man ways. His firing of Karen was beautiful, and I think everyone on staff (and those of us in the audience) lived vicariously through it.

 

But it was the way Amy's voice broke as she delivered the final lines that really got me. You could see shadow of a person who was probably once so idealistic and hopeful, and wanted the best for the country, and has had all of that beaten out of her by the system, and by working for Selina.

 

I also loved the various reactions of the other staffers. Gary looked horrified and offended (as you'd expect), Mike looked terrified but not particularly like he disagreed, Kent actually looked impressed.

I LOVED Kent in this episode. Karen's cagey vacuousness somehow turned him into a human being.

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I can't believe I forgot Randall Park played Chung. I've been enjoying him on Fresh Off the Boat. The Chung character is hilarious.

 

And, yes, this is Anna's Emmy submission ep. So so good. 

 

I absolutely LOVED how you see it dawn on Selena's face that Karen is useless. A thing of beauty.

 

I'm a big Hugh Laurie fan, though I've never watched House. His character was not what I was expecting, and that's good. So funny how he had to keep repeating his simple little joke much to his dismay.

 

I can't pick a favorite character, but then, I don't have to.

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This is weird thing, but I loved how Hugh Laurie's character was balding and they didn't do anything to de-emphasize it. If any thing they emphasized it, unlike the way he's normally styled for TV.  It's like, by DC standards he's a rock star, but by star standards he's just a middle aged guy.

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I am a little surprised Chung declined. He basically would have a national platform as VP to start campaigning for next time. Unless he thinks Selina is going to lose, in which it wouldn't be good for him to be the losing VP.

 

My guess is that Chung is either mounting a third-party run, or (utterly implausible; utterly hilarious) going to switch parties in the two weeks between conventions.  That's what may ultimately prompt Selina to switch spots on her own ticket.  

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You can't switch places on the tickets because it's the delegates at the convention that do the nominating. Also, Randall Park is the star of another show that will be filming when VEEP is filming it's next season so he probably wouldn't gather time to do more than he did this season which was one scene.

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