Episode of the Week: ‘Veep’ season 2, episode 8, ‘First Response’

VeepSummer TV is finally starting back up, which means that there are more and more opportunities being formed to catch some great programming. However, for the time being we still consider the strongest things airing to be series that actually first started up back in the spring.

For the first time since we started up the Episode of the Week feature, we are focusing on a comedy rather than a drama. This is not a slam in any way, given that there were some great dramas on this past week (including the “Game of Thrones” finale); it’s more of a testament to what one show in particular did right.

Episode of the Week – “Veep” season 2, episode 8, “First Response” (HBO).

This episode was completely absurd, but brilliantly-conceived from the very start. Every political figure has that embarrassing TV moment, where a reporter deliberately cries to catch them in a bad moment which they can use against them a little later on down the road. Probably the most notable example of this is that infamous interview between Sarah Palin and Katie Couric.

When it comes to “Veep,” Vice-President Selina Meyer’s moment happened courtesy of a hilariously awkward sit-down interview she did at the her quarters, one in which everything horrible imaginable that could happen, did. Can we count the ways? She came across as uninformed, did not know her daughter was a vegetarian, took credit for something she didn’t do, fought with her husband, and also had one of the few big “victories” for her administration revealed by Jonah, in a way that made it look like she had nothing to do with it.

We’ve never cringed so often during a half-hour of any other show, and this was easily the best bottle episode we’ve seen since “Community” season 2. “First Response” was this show’s shining moment, and a tribute to why we love these characters … even if most of them are horrible. They get the job done, and somehow are allowed to start each day with a clean slate.

Runners-up

“Mad Men” season 6, episode 11, “Favors” (AMC) – While the first fifty or so minutes were fairly slow, the panic on Don Draper’s face at the end sealed it when he realized that Sally knew about his affair with Sylvia. Devastating.

“Burn Notice” season 7, episode 2, “Forget Me Not” (USA) – A great 100th episode that traced the origins of Michael and Fiona, and also produced a heartbreaking moment where it seemed the two were not destined to be together.

Do you want to read even more entries in our Episode of the Week series? Our answer for you is to head on over to the link here.

Photo: HBO

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