Mar 29, 2019

"Veep" says goodbye

After a two-year hiatus, HBO's "Veep" is returning on Sunday, March 31, for its seventh and final run that’s said to be more uncomfortable, biting, absurdist and uncanny than ever, Flipboard's Mia Quagliarello writes for Axios.

The scene: Season 7 sees Selina Mayer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) on the campaign trail, running for president again. This time her challengers include her on-and-off-again flame Tom James (Hugh Laurie), staffer Amy Brookheimer (Anna Chlumsky)'s ex-boyfriend Buddy Calhoun (Matt Oberg), and the smarmy Jonah Ryan (Timothy Simons).

  • From there, the satire goes for the jugular—like when Selina tries to capitalize on a mass shooting to advance her campaign, or when Jonah becomes the face of the #NotMe movement, featuring women coming forward to say they didn't sleep with him.

Between the lines: When "Veep" launched in 2012, the political landscape was pretty different from what it is today. Even season 6 was in the can in 2016 before it could be too influenced by the current climate.

  • But the need to pause production so that Louis-Dreyfus could go through cancer treatment let showrunner-director David Mandel re-examine shifting norms and mine real-life situations for the show.
  • "If you look back at the previous six seasons, so much of the show was, ‘Oh my God, this is what a politician is like behind closed doors’ — but those closed doors are gone,” Mandel told Variety.

The bottom line: Louis-Dreyfus and Mandel took their cues from "Seinfeld" (where she played Elaine Benes and he was a writer) and sought to end the series on a creative high. "The storytelling dictated the end of the show," Louis-Dreyfus told Entertainment Weekly. “It felt right.”

The goodbye tour:

Earlier this week, Louis-Dreyfus went on "Jimmy Fallon" to unveil what she said was the first and only "Veep" blooper to become public.

If you're feeling sentimental about this end, watch this video in which the actors say a few final words to their characters.

This new weekly report about a notable pop culture phenomenon is brought to you in collaboration with Flipboard, a content discovery platform where you can also find Axios. You can get more entertainment news in Flipboard's pop culture destination, The Culturist.

Go deeper

Mass shooting in Milwaukee: What we know

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in 2012. Photo: John Gress/Corbis via Getty Images

Six people died in a shooting at the Molson Coors Brewing Company in Milwaukee on Wednesday, including the gunman, Mayor Tom Barrett told reporters at a Wednesday evening press conference with local police.

Details: All of the victims worked at the brewery complex, as did the shooter who died of "an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound," police confirmed in a statement late Wednesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus updates: South Korea case count tops 2,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

33 people in California have tested positive for the coronavirus, and health officials are monitoring 8,400 people who have recently returned from "points of concern," Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,850 people and infected over 83,000 others in some 50 countries and territories. The novel coronavirus is now affecting every continent but Antarctica, and the WHO said Wednesday the number of new cases reported outside China has exceeded those inside the country for the first time.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 8 hours ago - Health

Syria's darkest chapter

Family room without a family, in Idlib. Photo: Muhammed Said/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The worst humanitarian crisis of Syria’s brutal civil war is colliding today with what could be the war’s most dangerous geopolitical showdown, after at least 29 Turkish troops were killed in an airstrike.

The big picture: The fighting is taking place in Idlib in northwest Syria, where a ferocious Syrian and Russian offensive has displaced 1 million civilians and infuriated Turkey, which borders the region.

Go deeperArrow9 hours ago - World