For several years, we’ve been following the journey of Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) from Vice President to President of the United States. After all, the show is called Veep. But after this past Sunday’s Season 5 finale, it’s about to become an entirely different show, as further teased by showrunner David Mandel.
Beware of spoilers, folks, but this Sunday’s installment saw Selina abdicating her presidential throne to Laura Montez after the House vote ended in a tie, forcing a Senate vote that saw Montez defeating Tom James (thanks to a tiebreaker by Selina’s veep — oh the irony!). Now Selina is forced to retire to a normal life, something that seems like a distant nightmare at this point. During an interview with Deadline, Mandel explains this was a purposeful move to set up an entirely new show.
One of the things I am really excited about is, much in the way Veep became the story of the President of the United States when she became president, 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 deserving of her ’round-the-clock Secret Service…These are going to be very hard things for someone like Selina Meyer to hear. [It] is sort of the new world — uncharted territory — going into next season.
In a separate interview with Indiewire, Mandel said that he always knew Selina would end up here, explaining “the real first idea” was that “she was going to lose the presidency.” He said:
Number one, I actually started with the ending. When I was first talking to HBO and then sat down with Julia and got filled in about this tie, I knew right from the get-go she was never going to be president. I really never thought about making her Veep. It just seemed like steps backward. I understand that they’re pleasing, sort of comfortable steps backward, but nevertheless steps backward.
The good thing that with solid ratings and continuous awards buzz, Veep isn’t going anywhere. The question is, can we even still call this show Veep?