Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Veep 6x06 Recap: "Qatar" (Photo Oops) [Contributor: Erin Allen]

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Original Airdate: May 21, 2017

Selina travels all over the Middle East in search of some positive recognition and a decent photo op in this week's Veep. She comes up empty handed on both fronts, and gets wined, dined, and dumped in the process. Not exactly a successful trip for President Meyer, founder of the Meyer Fund for the Advancement of Global Democracy.

With Gary’s help, Selina avoids taking a picture with Colonel al-Saleh, a Sudanese warlord. However, the dude manages to photobomb Selina, setting off a series of really unfortunate events. In an effort to minimize the damage of that photo, the Meyer team looks for the opposite of a warlord — “a peace lady” (preferably not disfigured in any way) — for Selina to have a photo op with.

They settle on Nyaring Ayun, played wonderfully by Nicki Micheaux, who takes their obvious self-serving visit in stride. Deep down — like way, way, way deep down — I think Selina does want to help with human rights issues, but the political game has become too high stakes for her, and all-consuming. When Nyaring actually wants to hear her plan to help women like her, Selina’s got nothing. It was all for the photo and the image.

President Montez once again horns in on her idea. Remember she got the credit for freeing Tibet. Inexplicably, Montez shows up on Nyaring’s doorstep for a much more professional and highly televised visit. Competitive Selina flies back to Sudan in an embarrassing display of trying to out-photo op the President.

Later, at the Arab Conference for Human Rights, Selina is about to do the right thing FOR ONCE, but that pesky photobomber warlord shows up. (“They let a warlord into a human rights conference?” “He’s one of the sponsors.”) If she condemns his treatment of his people, she will lose Tibet again. The fact that she shows any moral struggle over this is progress, but, alas, she chooses her image over humanity. In a cringe-worthy speech, Selina stumbles through, sugarcoating some of Sudan’s violations of human rights: “Women’s rights are human rights and human rights are... a part of a diverse pageant of different priorities.” (Selina’s speech was written before Ivanka Trump’s real life speech praising Saudi Arabia’s progress on women’s rights which goes to show Veep’s predictive quality.)

In the end, Selina gets Tibet taken away from her again, having not been enthusiastic enough in her garbage speech. Through all of this, too, Selina started a relationship with Ambassador Al Jaffar, which he breaks off because she’s white. (“That is racist.” “Is it?”) Usman Ally does a great job as Jaffar. He seems really genuine with Selina, and I think they actually could’ve worked as a couple. But, things don’t work out for Selina, so she won’t be “traveling around the world on [his] yacht, solving international crises” anytime soon. How cute and deluded is this fantasy of hers, though.

Meanwhile, back in D.C., Jonah gets a career advantage and a fiancee with Shawnee on his team, and (mercifully) Dan’s storyline with Jane comes to an end.

Reid Scott has fantastic delivery for Dan’s one liners. They are not wasted on this sub-plot, it’s just I’m not invested in the premise of it. I keep waiting for Dan to come back into the fold, so those sharp insults can be directed at characters I know and love. The resolution of this story shows know indication that a reunion is near, and that is somewhat disappointing.

Jonah and Furlong make great adversaries, so a dinner party with the two of them is super entertaining. Apparently Furlong’s vulgarity is not known to his wife. He keeps up an appearance of being wholesome and virtuous around her which is hilarious. He is one of the most off-color and offensive characters, so to see him put on this act is fun. Dan Bakkedahl’s performance is flawless, having Furlong switch from obscenities to tasteful pleasantries in the same sentence so effortlessly.

Oh yeah, and Marjorie and Catherine are pregnant, but Selina ain’t got time for that.

Stray Observations:
  • Gary whispers “human trafficking” to Selina while she is praising someone for their important work. She changes it to import/export. Oh boy. 
  • “He bombs his own people.” “He’s a bomber and a photobomber!”
  • The way Selina yells “Mike!” about him complaining about his international data plan kills me. So funny. 
  • “I am the white Hamilton of The Jeffersons. Nobody is going to keep us down because we are movin’ on up!”
  • “I call it ‘Yoloha’ which is a combination of yolo and aloha.” “I think it’s rad which is a combination of retarded and sad.” Great example of Reid Scott’s shrewd delivery.
  • The kid in Sudan has a Jonah Ryan for Congress shirt. Brilliant!
  • Mary Holland nails her role as Shawnee Tanz again. She gave Ben and Kent the ‘ship name, Bent. More of her, please.
  • “Do you know the little animal that Nathan Lane plays in The Lion King? Three of those got caught in the engine.” 
  • OMG, Mike is going to die of skin cancer. He will die from his stupidity indirectly, but directly, yeah, it’ll be skin cancer. 
  • “Your hat looks handmade. I have a lesbian daughter that would love it.”


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