Veep‘s seven-season campaign is winding down, which means that it’s time to man up and send off Selina.
The former vice president and short-term POTUS (played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus) has been plotting her return to the White House all season, and Sunday’s series finale of the HBO political comedy will reveal whether this world-class narcissist is able to ascend once again to the loftiest post in the land. Selina’s many obstacles on the road to 1600 Penn include sensible Senator Kemi Talbot (Toks Olagundoye) and anti-vaxxer, anti-common sense Congressman Jonah Ryan (Timothy Simons), plus whatever fresh hell that her staff brings her.
Veep executive producer David Mandel calls the series finale “happy” but also “sad” and “fitting” and even “epic.” And it sounds like closure is on the ticket, too. “There’s an openness to the ending where you can imagine more, but everybody gets an end — and a real end, which is a really cool thing,” he says. “Every character, every plot that we’ve been carrying through these last three years gets a very definitive end to it.”
Here’s another wicked way that he will prepare you for the grand farewell, which is simply titled “Veep”: “It’s going to give people exactly what they want,” he quips, “even if it turns out that they don’t know it’s what they want.”
Mandel, who wrote and directed the series finale, obviously isn’t indicating whether Selina takes back the throne that she rightfully believes is hers. “The insidious thing about Julia is that she makes fans who intellectually know Selina is the worst president in the world want her to be president,” says Mandel. “What they mean is, they want Julia to be president, not Selina. But they think they want Selina.”
Whether or not she assumes her destiny, there’s a question that looms for her — and for many of her underlings: Is there a price to pay for all of their wicked misdeeds? “Does anybody pay for anything in politics anymore?” he asks. “That being said, there is a price to pay for behavior. If not today, then tomorrow.”
Veep is well-positioned to go down as one of TV’s all-time great comedies: the critical darling won the Outstanding Comedy Series Emmy for its last three seasons, and Louis-Dreyfus claimed the Outstanding Lead Actress Emmy in all six seasons of eligibility. So how much of the show’s legacy is riding — or should ride — on this semi-supersized final installment? “There’s probably always a little too much pressure on a finale,” says Mandel, no stranger to that stress, as he served as an executive producer of Seinfeld at the end. “I quite like the Seinfeld finale,” he adds. “I laugh at the fact that some people don’t like it and how much that bothered Larry for a really long time. We did Curb Your Enthusiasms about that very fact. Give me the Newhart finale, the St. Elsewhere finale, I love a good finale. Yeah, there was a lot of pressure [on us].” That said, he seems confident in the finale that emerged: “I wouldn’t have done it any differently. It’s that simple.”
Now comes the hard part for fans: waiting a few more days to see how this critical election turned out. Here to help, Mandel offers you seven hints about the seventh and final episode of the seventh and final season, which airs Sunday at 10:50 p.m.
1. “A brokered convention means a lot of backroom deal-making and Selina may need a new buddy.”
2. “Jonah was right — and the delegates know it.”
3. “Gary [Tony Hale] is saving Selina’s favorite lipstick, Dubonnet, for a very special moment.”
4. “Amy [Anna Chlumsky] gets a huge new job, but Dan [Reid Scott] doesn’t change a bit.”
5. “Selina’s new speechwriter has no idea he’s writing her speech.”
6. “Kent [Gary Cole] reveals his favorite number.”
7. “Not every character gets the ending they want, but at least there’s peace in the Middle East.”
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Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) and staff try to take on the White House in this HBO sitcom.