Julia Louis-Dreyfus' 'Veep' Isn't the VP We Want

A second-in-command who is more sidekick than leader isn't even good comedy

One of the things on my bucket list is to live long enough to see a woman elected President of the United States. Geena Davis made a good TV president, but a fictional POTUS just isn't as satisfying as the real thing (Are you listening, Hillary?)

Short of that, a woman vice president would be nice. Joan Allen was an excellent VP candidate on the big screen, as was Glenn Close. But as fictional second-in-command's go, Selina Meyer isn't the woman I've been waiting for. I was looking forward to Julia Louis-Dreyfus' new HBO series VEEP just to get a taste of a post-Sarah Palin world where a woman would be on a presidential ticket again. But VPOTUS Selina isn't the one that I want.

Yes, I know, it's all make believe, but this semi-comedic portrayal of a powerful woman sets us all back. Why? Because we haven't had one in real life yet. Until we do, creating one for entertainment only makes for a "gimmicky premise." The last thing we need if we want more women in positions of power is for the idea of a woman POTUS or VPOTUS to be viewed in any sense as a "gimmick."

And, sadly, that's what it feels like with VPOTUS Selina, especially with the running gag of "Did the president call?" The character continually asks her assistant whether the leader of the free world has phoned, but the answer is always a rueful, "No." And why would the president be calling a VP who can't draw a crowd of supporters or media for her pet project (episode one) or who thinks a trip for frozen yogurt can be a good political opportunity (episode two)?

I know people will tell me to lighten up because VEEP is satire. But I can't find any humor in a satirical woman VP or POTUS until we have something in real life to base that satire on.

You can read more from iVillage iVote Editor and Correspondent Joanne Bamberger at her blog, PunditMom. Joanne is also the author of the Amazon bestseller Mothers of Intention: How Women and Social Media are Revolutionizing Politics in America. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook!

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