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S05.E07: Congressional Ball

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At the White House Christmas party, Selina bargains for votes in hopes of breaking the election tie. Meanwhile, the staff is preoccupied with the annual "50 Hottest D.C. Staffers" list; Mike eyes a job outside politics; and Dan helps Jonah with debate prep in New Hampshire.

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Edited by ElectricBoogaloo

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That was a great episode and I knew they would end up screwing in the oval. Hilarious!

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Agreed that it was a good one. I'm rewatching now, which is a sign of a strong episode for me.

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I'm surprised at how much I'm liking Jonah's plot. I thought it would be more for laughs, and it is, but it's a good campaign plot. I'm surprised Richard screwed up with the camera. That actually sucks for Jonah because that was a good rant about bullying. It didn't even look like he was talking to her since he was pointing right past her, and there were a lot of people there who saw what happened, so it's not like they would have to spin that.

Selina was *vicious*. Whoosh. I like how everyone thought they were strong arming her. 

I like all the call backs. The guy from NV, actualy saying "Nevada." 

I can't imagine if the vote gets thrown into the Senate that Tom wouldn't maneuver to get the presidency for himself. Unless they end the season with the vote going into the senate. 

Please tell me someone else saw the extra scene with Mike and Kent talking about the umbrella. 

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I absolutely love Selina, she put it on "Dick Van Dyke" and shut him down.

He looked completely bewildered and out of it, not sure of his surroundings, when he walked back into that ball room.

She's was vicious, so wonderfully vicious in this episode.  I think I actually saw that congress woman shiver during that confrontation.

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Richard, as Mrs. Sherman: Jonah, watch your language.

Richard is just splendid, Jonah's entire campaign is just splendid.

.

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Selina was vicious but seemed to be the most effectively vicious she has ever been after having sex with Tom.  I wonder if that means anything or if it was just a coincidence.

But the minute these two were dancing, I suspected something was going to happen and when she pulled him to speak to him in private, I knew where that was going.  Gary finding them was hilariously played by Tony Hale. So perfect.

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I can't imagine if the vote gets thrown into the Senate that Tom wouldn't maneuver to get the presidency for himself. Unless they end the season with the vote going into the senate. 

If it gets there, I bet he would too.  But at the moment, he seems sufficiently cowed from actively working to make that happen now.

The one problem I had with the Jonah plot is that I think Richard is too competent to make such a mistake.  I continue to enjoy his uncle. 

And while I loved everything about the "sexiest staffer" list, I found it hard to believe it didn't come with pictures.  What kind of "sexiest list" doesn't include these?  I get it was meant to set up the joke revelation but still...

Edited by Irlandesa
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There is honestly nothing better than an attracted couple, pretending not to be, "hate fuck" situation to watch. This show is fantastic.

Selina's hand gesture's while talking to Yaeger, about getting blowjobs from his Slavic whore/date/"assistant". She had her index finger and thumb in an "O" shape, she was pontificating while gesturing a handy J. Brilliant. JLD has deserved every Emmy she's won. She is so good.

And I love how Jonah's campaign is parroting embarassing gaffs and patterns that have happened in real campaigns. He is pretty much Donald Drumpf when shot talking Selina (Hillary) and he did the Howard Dean "yell" at a stump on tonight's ep. Soooo funny!

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Edited by Decoda · Reason: added content
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Man, when Selina gets ruthless, she's unstoppable. I loved her telling off the congresswoman from Colorado (especially after watching her try to play nice with all the pillows and blankets the congresswoman wanted from Air Force One).

ITA that part of Selina's confidence came from sleeping with Tom because (1) he finally admitted that he wanted to have sex with her all those years ago after constantly denying it (2) she figured out his plan with the vote and got him to admit it (3) she got some. Put all of those things together and she was feeling pretty good about herself and she used it to her advantage to drop the charade with some people and strong arm them into voting for her.

Jonah's campaign continues to delight me. Kane's reaction shots to some of the dumb things Jonah said were great but as usual Jonah being Jonah is really all that's needed to make this storyline hilarious. Loved how Kane was convinced that Richard was awesome until he screwed up the camera.

I thought it was nice of Selina to ask Catherine and Marjorie how they wanted to handle the press asking about their relationship, and then she had to go and use it to her advantage when she wanted to pawn that lady off on someone else.

Poor Gary. First he saw Selina having sex with Tom and then he found out he wasn't supposed to be on the hot 50 list!

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I must admit that I am bored with the increased reliance on vulgarity and nastiness to generate laughs. Yes, I understand that Presidential politics can be a vulgar, nasty business. (Just witness the last six months of real life politics as proof.) However, in previous seasons, the humor may have been mean-spirited but it was also clever and unexpected. I miss the snappy banter. Maybe its because the fictional stakes are so high right now. Or maybe its because of the new show-runner. I appreciate that Selena is being absolutely ruthless in her desire to win the Presidency but, frankly, I am losing interest. (Of course, this is my opinion and others are free to disagree.)

What happens now? Is she able to manipulate the vote to her advantage, win the election and continue to have hate-sex with her Veep for the remainder of her time in office? 

Jonah's misguided candidacy is entertaining because the players continue to be their bumbling, incompetent selves.

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Jonah's candidacy is made out of win.  It also was great that they found the one thing that makes Jonah sympathetic, that asshole sexually harassing him, to use against him.

Jonah actually had a relatively dignified victim confronting harasser moment, but it bit him in the ass.  I hope that girl at the bowling alley goes on interviews and straightens out what actually happened.

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 that congress woman shiver during that confrontation.

When she was leaving the party, was she carrying out Selina's purse?

 

One of my favorite lines.  "If you were 10% less black, I could make you President."

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34 minutes ago, LuciaMia said:

One of my favorite lines.  "If you were 10% less black, I could make you President."

And the wonderful capper to that was Richard's cheerful "Thank you!"

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11 hours ago, Irlandesa said:

Selina was vicious but seemed to be the most effectively vicious she has ever been after having sex with Tom.

What I liked it we saw Selina demonstrate some skills that got her there in the first place. 

 

11 hours ago, Irlandesa said:

If it gets there, I bet he would too.  But at the moment, he seems sufficiently cowed from actively working to make that happen now.

If Selina loses in the House, then Tom loses too. So they could have better odds in the Senate.

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One of my favorite lines.  "If you were 10% less black, I could make you President."

OMG, yes. Because this, like pretty much everything else on this show rang very true to me.

President Obama/Colin Powell, just enough of a percentage but not too much, LOL.

Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Ben Carson, that pizza guy who ran on the Republican side can't remember his name...but all of these candidates had too much of a percentage of blackness, and they all but two IMO were morons, which didn't help either.

This show is on point though, hilarious.

Edited by represent
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12 hours ago, Irlandesa said:

Selina was vicious but seemed to be the most effectively vicious she has ever been after having sex with Tom.  I wonder if that means anything or if it was just a coincidence.

But the minute these two were dancing, I suspected something was going to happen and when she pulled him to speak to him in private, I knew where that was going.  Gary finding them was hilariously played by Tony Hale. So perfect.

If it gets there, I bet he would too.  But at the moment, he seems sufficiently cowed from actively working to make that happen now.

The one problem I had with the Jonah plot is that I think Richard is too competent to make such a mistake.  I continue to enjoy his uncle. 

And while I loved everything about the "sexiest staffer" list, I found it hard to believe it didn't come with pictures.  What kind of "sexiest list" doesn't include these?  I get it was meant to set up the joke revelation but still...

I agree that Richard is much too intelligent to have made that mistake -- especially twice -- trying to record.  

The Patton Oswalt character is so awful, but I liked how unapologetic he was, asking for bowling shoes in a children's size something. 

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Just when I think this show can't get any funnier (or more ruthless), it one-ups itself. Salina's takedown of that Colorado congresswoman near the end had me in absolute stitches, I had to rewind. "....you're gonna look like a hair-sprayed asshole in your 1980s Mother of the Bride dress. And If I do win, I will have my administration come to your shitty little district and shake it to death like a Guatemalan nanny. And then I'm gonna have the IRS crawl so far up your husband's colon, he's gonna wish the only thing they find is more cancer... so can I count on your vote, or do I need to shove a box of White House M&M's up your stretched-out six-baby vag?"

Jonah's story is great, and it was great to se Patton show up again. I also love everything about the Catherine / Marjorie story. 

Edited by BaseOps
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The one problem I had with the Jonah plot is that I think Richard is too competent to make such a mistake

But see - the thing with Richard is that he is accidentally competent from time to time, but overall he's kind of an idiot savant. He really has no idea what he's doing, it's just that from time to time pearls of wisdom spring from his mouth in between generous helpings of useless and irrelevant information. He doesn't really know when he's come up with something helpful or useful, and doesn't differentiate it from all the useless blather that comes out of him most of the time.

(Take, for example, his total lack of awareness when he helped in the recount - he had no idea he had provided anything useful and instead asked Amy to name her top five Robert Deniro films.)

So, no - he would not be a good political candidate, because he does not have the mental filter to stop himself from saying something extremely damaging or something secret. And the whole thing with the camera emphasizes that he really doesn't know what he's doing most of the time, if ever.

I always love when Stephanie Weir pops up in anything. She's a MadTV alumni and one of the few saving graces of that show when it started to go down the tubes.

The purse Gary kept trying to hand Selena was hysterical and I don't know if everyone caught it, but by the end someone was saying Selena didn't get the vote of the congresswoman who designed it, because Selena never posed for a picture with it. So what Gary was trying to do was actually the right thing, and it was Selena who blew it.

I had forgotten all about Patton Oswald's characters - I remember him grabbing other guys' balls but what was his job - what capacity did he serve in? Anyone remember?

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But see - the thing with Richard is that he is accidentally competent from time to time, but overall he's kind of an idiot savant. He really has no idea what he's doing, it's just that from time to time pearls of wisdom spring from his mouth in between generous helpings of useless and irrelevant information. He doesn't really know when he's come up with something helpful or useful, and doesn't differentiate it from all the useless blather that comes out of him most of the time.

Except he did know that he was being helpful/useful when he  explained to Selena and Co. how the recount process worked in Nevada.  He heard what they were saying and realized that they were uninformed as to how it worked and proceeded to explain it to them. So in this case he was fully aware that he was being helpful. Cut to the meeting in which he gets the guy to unintentionally give up where the missing ballots were, that was a case of him not knowing that he  was being helpful.

But yeah, he's a hit or miss most of the time, which doesn't make for a good candidate and it's also why him not knowing what he was doing with that camera rang true to me. If he ever uses that camera in a helpful way, it won't be that he learned how to use it correctly. The camera will just be on without his knowledge and positioned to record something very valuable at the just the right time.

Edited by represent
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6 hours ago, Ellaria Sand said:

I must admit that I am bored with the increased reliance on vulgarity and nastiness to generate laughs.

This show has been gloriously vulgar and nasty right from day one.

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This show has been gloriously vulgar and nasty right from day one.

The writers seem to have cranked the vulgar and nasty up several notches for this episode. I bet this is the one they'll win an Emmy for this season. The dialogue was unparalleled, especially when Selena read that congressman.

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I know this isn't that show but the introduction of Tom and this episode make me wonder if (/crazy speculation ahead)

Spoiler

Selina will fall for Tom, Tom will win the Presidency, ask her to marry him, she becomes First Lady...and the series concludes with her working on...obesity.

I like poor ol' tragic Mike and the terrifyingly competent or competentish Ben, who can legit sneer at a sad sack drunk that he himself is a highly functional alcoholic. 

Richard is the best thing that has ever happened! 

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But see - the thing with Richard is that he is accidentally competent from time to time, but overall he's kind of an idiot savant. He really has no idea what he's doing, it's just that from time to time pearls of wisdom spring from his mouth in between generous helpings of useless and irrelevant information. He doesn't really know when he's come up with something helpful or useful, and doesn't differentiate it from all the useless blather that comes out of him most of the time.

He's a bit like Chance the Gardener (or Chauncey Gardener) from 'Being There.'

 

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He is pretty much Donald Drumpf when shot talking Selina (Hillary) and he did the Howard Dean "yell" at a stump on tonight's ep.

I loved that Dean yell, esp that no one commented on it.

Loved Richard in the mock debate with Jonah, first being Judy then being Jonah. 

So funny that when Selina was so happy with Jonah's success, Gary was perplexed because Jonah was badmouthing Selina all the time. Oh, and the highlight of the ep for me was Gary walking in on Selina and Tom, and then slinking out and looking like he was going to collapse from shock, horror, dismay, disgust... You name it.

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Another funny not mentioned was when Selina was asking..."the gals" how they wanted to spin their lesbianism/sexuality to the press and one suggestion was "or ambiguous?" and nodded her head towards Gary. Laughed out loud.

Edited by Decoda
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11 hours ago, Decoda said:

Another funny not mentioned was when Selina was asking..."the gals" how they wanted to spin their lesbianism/sexuality to the press and one suggestion was "or ambiguous?" and nodded her head towards Gary. Laughed out loud.

I missed that! I'll have to rewatch. 

Another line I liked, which was practically a throwaway, was Selina saying, "I suppose putting up a few pictures of Mohammad never hurt anyone."

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Except he did know that he was being helpful/useful when he  explained to Selena and Co. how the recount process worked in Nevada.  He heard what they were saying and realized that they were uninformed as to how it worked and proceeded to explain it to them. So in this case he was fully aware that he was being helpful. Cut to the meeting in which he gets the guy to unintentionally give up where the missing ballots were, that was a case of him not knowing that he  was being helpful.

I think that may be giving him too much credit. I don't think Richard offered up the info about how recounts work because he grasped that nobody else understood it. It was more that he just had something to contribute to the conversation. He never shows any awareness when he's being helpful - it was the same when he said something that caused the Nevada guy to say where the missing ballots were. He wasn't cleverly trying to worm that information out of him - he was just blathering about rules and statistics. It wasn't a calculated move, it was a happy accident. He was thinking about Robert Deniro movies the whole time!

He really is like an idiot savant - his head is filled with all sorts of information and he doesn't seem to distinguish between what is useful and what isn't, or what is important and what isn't. 

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Thank you, BaseOps for transcribing Selina's *blistering* takedown of the Colorado senator. I was both cringing at the thought of anyone ever talking to me like that and laughing my head off.

Jeezy Creezy, that clutch was hideous. It looked like a bedazzled cigar box. (Props to the prop department!) I loved watching it get passed around the periphery of Selina's scenes. And, of course, Six-Baby Vag took it home.

I always watch every episode of Veep twice. This one may get four viewings.

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I think that may be giving him too much credit. I don't think Richard offered up the info about how recounts work because he grasped that nobody else understood it. It was more that he just had something to contribute to the conversation.

Maybe, but I think I remember him interjecting by saying "not exactly" which means he was actually listening to the convo. and took note that they were saying something that was incorrect. I think I've heard him say that twice before putting in his two cents, he'll say "not exactly" which shows an awareness of what is being said to some extent. He did it again when they were in that small meeting with some of the O'Brien people, before the count began and the guy was explaining how it would work and Richard gave that girl his email. He interjected to correct what the guy was saying. But then he went outside in front of the cameras and told the press that there were problems. So, I just think it's hit or miss with him, because like we've said when he got the guy to give up where the missing ballots were, that was not his objective. He wanted a picture for his blog and he was focused on Amy's favorite De Niro movie.

I agree that he comes off as a savant.

Edited by represent

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7 hours ago, AllAboutMBTV said:

And, of course, Six-Baby Vag took it home.

Six-Baby Vag is just the best name for her. I wonder if there were some White House M&Ms in that purse.

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Maybe, but I think I remember him interjecting by saying "not exactly" which means he was actually listening to the convo.

Oh he's definitely listening. But it's the same as everyone correcting the pronunciation of "Nevada" whenever someone says it wrong. He'll correct something that's wrong but it's not always the case that it's even the point of the conversation. 

And it still cracks me up whenever someone corrects the pronunciation of Nevada. I like how they've kept that as a running joke.

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The return of Bill Ericsson has been fantastic. He's not interested in running a good campaign. He just really wants to take it to Team Selina, and is being reckless, but it's a delight to watch. I know it's mostly about bringing back familiar characters but with Bill and Teddy in New Hampshire, it really hits home how incestuous DC can be.

There has to be a montage of Jon.H Ryan calling supporters asking for money, it's going to be tremendous.

I've said it before, but I absolutely love ruthless/competent Selina. She's capable when she focuses, she's just so easily distracted by the littlest things.

That sex scene was actually pretty hot.

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1 hour ago, iMonrey said:

And it still cracks me up whenever someone corrects the pronunciation of Nevada. I like how they've kept that as a running joke.

I know! Plus it makes me wonder how I normally pronounce. Do I say Nuh-VAH-duh or Nuh-VEH-duh? Am I consistent? I dunno.

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