“Operation Lady POTUS is go” – Sue Wilson, Veep
Selina Meyer, the eponymous vice president, will be running for president in the HBO comedy's third season, which premieres this Sunday. After two seasons of toiling dutifully (though not willingly) under the never-seen and now-lame duck president, Julia Louis-Dreyfus will begin the long, tiresome trudge to the Oval Office. But don't expect the possibility of a promotion to instill any newfound competency in her staff: As we've seen, everyone on her staff (and most everyone in the show's fictional D.C., for that matter) is hilariously incapable of doing their jobs correctly.
So to keep tabs on Veep this season, what better way than a power ranking? Or, rather, the exact opposite.You don't get to the top of this list by being the best (unless you count being the best at fucking up).
We present to you: the Veep Incompetency Index. Each week we’ll rank the Meyer staff and the other dolts involved with her campaign in order of just how utterly useless they are, including Meyer herself.
The trailer for this upcoming season suggests that Meyer needs to shed some dead weight – meaning her incompetent staff – if she wants a promotion. Now, Meyer probably won’t fire everybody, if anybody, during this season’s premiere, but that doesn’t mean her staff isn’t deserving of getting canned. To preview this Sunday's premiere, let's sort out exactly who is the worst at their job, based on how they ended season two during the finale, "D.C."
Note: In this inaugural edition of the Incompetency Index we'll stick to Meyer's core staff (which means no Jonad, sorry to disappoint). Next week, once the third season officially kicks off, we'll expand the field.
1. Dan Egan
Oh boy. Let's review how Dan (of course Dan's name in real life is Reid Scott) spent the season two finale: He managed to plagiarize himself and he irrevocably screwed up his best shot at escaping the circle of hell that is Meyer's veep office. We knew his schmoozing with Gov. Chung would come back to bite him in his conniving ass, but the way all of Dan's career maneuvering turned on him at the very end was truly something to behold. He wrote the same fabricated anecdote into speeches for both Chung and Selina (at least he changed Juanita to Anita, right?) and in the course of rebuffing a job offer from Chung that was never actually there, he insulted a war veteran with a war metaphor. As someone who never seems to be wanting for a job (he promptly accepted four positions during the short panic when Meyer wasn't running for a second term as veep), there was a moment during the finale when Dan was soon-to-be-unemployed. For seeing his whole weasely future flash before his eyes, Dan earns the top spot in our first Incompetency Index.
2. Mike McLintock
Poor Mike (Matt Walsh) still hasn’t sold his boat yet, which means the near-unemployment he faced with Meyer's flip-flopping candidacy nearly meant homelessness. But as rough shape as Mike is in personally, his biggest screw up at the end of season two was professionally: "The Washington Flash," as he likes to call himself, prematurely let it slip to Furlong that the president wasn't running for re-election, putting Meyer's whole plan in jeopardy. The fact that he almost cost himself and his colleagues their jobs is good enough for second place on the Index. Surely the veep's director of communications should know better than to leak crucial details to a political rival. But who are we kidding? Selina put it best: "Mike sees knowledge as the enemy."
3. Gary Walsh
On the whole, Gary (Tony Hale playing Buster Bluth with a job) might be the most competent member of Selina’s staff not named Sue Wilson. But the end of season two was not particularly kind to Gary, who had to balance a tumultuous day at work with a terrifying fiancé. He’s always there to hold Selina’s hand when crisis strikes, and the reliability of his leviathan is going to hurt him in these rankings. He loses points this week for being the one staff member who Selina explicitly identifies as not-fired – “I didn’t mean you, Gary,” she said, after telling her staff to look for jobs elsewhere – but he earns the third spot because of the near-disastrous encounter between fiancé Dana and boss Selina he almost orchestrated. Not to mention, in the season's penultimate episode Gary got his boss high on a mix of St. John's wort and anti-depressants. We think “cheese overseas” would actually be a great industry for Gary to get into, but for now he remains always one-step behind his boss, ready with whatever she might need. Bonus: We learned that Gary can’t talk dirty. (“I’m in you, I’m in you right now.”) We didn’t expect bedroom incompetency to make it in the first Index, but here we are.
4. Amy Brookheimer
Amy (Anna Chlumsky) actually kept a pretty low profile during the season two finale. She had a momentary meltdown, eschewing her usual laser-like career focus for dreams of sleeping in and reading newspapers in bed with boyfriend Ed, but while that might’ve freaked out her beau, it didn’t last long. Before long, Amy was back to her role as straight man for the veep staff (as much as Veep can have one, and not that she isn’t often hilarious), and she generally did her job well, even texting news to an M.I.A. Dan while he was in it with Chung. Amy’s best moments come when she’s keeping Selina in line, like warning against rekindling things with ex-husband Andrew. Which makes Amy’s best line in “D.C.” a simple one: “Andrew, don’t talk to me.”
5. Selina Meyer
Selina (does Julia Louis-Dreyfus really need an introduction?) herself had a really good end of season two: Seriously, she found out she gets to run for president four years earlier than she thought. Of course, she also found out that no, actually she doesn’t get to. But then, in the end, the president informed her that he would not be seeking a second term. So it was an up-and-down finale for the veep, but ultimately a great one, and she managed to keep it together throughout. She reframed from celebrating the highs too publicly (though the president’s Chief of Staff Ben Cafferty saw right through her), and waited for the privacy of a supply closet, and she screamed her rage at the lows into a pillow in her office, which actually showed more tact than usual for Meyer. There were slip-ups –calling Andrew for “money,” for example – but she also coined the show’s new slogan: D.C., “District of Cunts.”
6. Sue Wilson
Ah, Sue (Sufe Bradshaw). Always stoic, was her career really ever in doubt? Dan may have been offered the most positions post-Meyer, but Sue’s job search was by far the most efficient. She quickly locked down a job with Kent’s “dream metrics” team, and didn’t even waste time with a handshake figuring out her next move. Sue keeps the veep’s office more restricted than Area 51, and though there are occasional breaches, it’s usually due to the idiocy of her coworkers than her own slip-ups. We scoff at anyone who would dare call Sue the political equivalent of “Garfunkel’s roadie.” She is the only person on Veep who is unfaltering in their occupational competence.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.