Tag: sitcom

HBO Releases VEEP Preview

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The position of Vice President of the United States often seems like an afterthought. Hollywood usually helps perpetuate this idea. Remember Dave? In that movie a man was pulled off the street to impersonate the President rather than risk boring audiences with a plot centered on how a Vice President would assume presidential duties.

In “VEEP,” Executive Producer Armando Iannucci has bucked tradition and created a comedy series titled after and featuring the overlooked leader. The HBO series, which stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus as VP Selina Meyer, was filmed at various Baltimore locations last fall, including The Maryland Institute College of Art and the Mount Washington offices of international law firm DLA Piper.

The series debuts on April 22 at 10pm, but you can get a preview of season one by watching the trailer. The show is filmed as if the actors are improvising their way through the dialogue — much like actual politicians appear to stumble through their decisions, but each episode is scripted. Reviews of the trailer predict the show will be a hit. The sneak preview does highlight some laugh out loud moments depicting politics more honestly than any mainstream TV in recent memory.

And ever wonder what happened to the loveable Anna Chlumsky who played Vada Sultenfuss in My Girl? She plays Amy, the VEEP’s chief of staff. She has few lines in the trailer, but her facial expressions have me anticipating that she will be a comedic asset to the cast.

The Day Davy Jones Did Baltimore

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Twenty-five years ago, smiling profusely, exuding his ineffable English schoolboy cuteness, and sporting an aggressive mullet, Davy Jones parachuted into — of all places — Westview Mall on Route 40 West, not far from Catonsville, to hawk his just-published as-told-to biography, They Made a Monkee Out of Me. (Mind you, he didn’t literally parachute onto the premises — presumably, he was driven there by some factotum.)

A cooing legion of women — mostly middle-aged hausfrau hons with their understandably confused daughters in tow — rapturously greeted Jones, who obligingly charmed them with spirited patter, before settling in to sign copies of his exclamation-point-riddled, vanity-press book, dashed off one year after he reunited for a successful album and tour with former Monkees mates Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork. (Fourth Monkee Mike Nesmith had sniffingly declined to participate.)

Sweet but not saccharine, Jones dealt with each of his votaries graciously, chatting amiably, clasping hands, and even submitting to cheek kisses. More than an hour later, he sat down for a congenial interview in a nearby mall meeting room with, if memory serves, the only reporter who posted for the event — me, on assignment for City Paper, along with a staff photographer, both of us unabashed Monkees fans awkwardly attempting to maintain some semblance of professional cool.

Finally corralled by his handler, Jones bid us a good-natured goodbye, exited Westview amid the echoing sighs of a gaggle of lingering fans, and, quite likely, made his way to a similar scenario in a similar mall in a similar suburb of a similar city. Veni, vidi, vici — all that. Hey, this really happened.

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