The predictions that many of us, including myself, had for this week’s season finale of Veep, completely went up in flames. Teased in last week’s preview of this week’s episode of the possibility of Selina Meyer joining Tom James’ ticket as his pick for Vice President, many of us assumed that Meyer would become an accidental President yet again after a scandal took down Tom James.
That didn’t happen. In fact, Tom James didn’t even become the President after Meyer’s existing Vice President Doyle got his own revenge on Meyer and orchestrated the Presidency of Senator Laura Montez. The entire episode built toward an Inauguration that many of us at home never thought would happen. There’d surely be a last minute save, right? A loophole in the Constitution? A last-second Deus Ex Machina? Or we’d find out it was all a dream?
Showrunner David Mandel teased a couple of those possibilities, but in the end, we saw a dejected Selina Meyer ejected from office, relegated to the 43rd most effective President of all time (out of 44) and forced, forever, to a Presidency with no legacy.
And yet, Veep has been renewed for next season (though last night’s episode could have worked well as a series finale). How does it move ahead? Will Meyer find her way back to the Presidency? Will she somehow pull a Frank Underwood and manipulate herself back to the position of Commander in Chief?
Nope. Not according to showrunner David Mandel in an interview with Deadline.
You have my word that she’s not president of the United States. She is not vice-president of the United States. Veep will be the continuing adventures of former president of the United States
We are now going to get a chance to sort of check out what it’s like for her to be the former president of the United States - and not perhaps a well regarded former president of the United States.
Selina was a placeholder president who held the job for only a year, and perhaps, in the eyes of many, isn’t perhaps deserving of her round-the-clock Secret Service, of the things that normally go with an ex-president of the United States. These are going to be very hard things for someone like Selina Meyer to hear, and so that’s what gets me very excited, is sort of the new world, the uncharted territory going into next season
That was unexpected, and far from what the audience would have wanted. But again, Mandel says he’s not interested in giving the audience what it wants:
If we wrote the show the audience wanted, then, I don’t know, Dan (Reid Scott) and Amy (Anna Chulmsky) would’ve gotten married in episode 2, and Selina and Tom James would also get married, and they would be co-presidents, or I don’t know what. You know what I mean? I went into it trying to think of what did I think was the perfect way for this show to go, and then I tried to execute it.
Given how amazing this season of Veep was under its new showrunner, I’m inclined to believe that Mandel can pull it off next season outside of the White House. The real trick, I think, will be in how he brings all the cast members back together to serve a former President. Will it be as good with the stakes not as high? And will she mount another attempt at elected office?