Back in my day, the horrors of real-life politics were a little easier to stomach when Veep was around to make fun of them. One of the greatest political shows out there, and, for a while, the best comedy on TV, there's an itch only Armando Iannucci's acerbic, screwball series can scratch, and there are so many jokes and gags only Veep could pull off. But rest assured that it's possible to love again, and we're here to help.
Whether you need a break from reading about how your elected officials are disappointing you this week or you're just looking for a show to make you laugh, here's our list of the best shows Veep fans should watch next.
Before he took on American politics, Veep creator Armando Iannucci was satirizing the inner workings of the British government with The Thick of It. This show is the clearest place to go if you're looking for more of Iannucci's signature brand of quick, biting comedy, or if you'd just like to be assured that other governments are pretty chaotic, too. There's a version of events where Peter Capaldi's antagonistic, profane Malcolm Tucker forms a terrifying power couple with Selina Meyer, and our world would probably crumble due to the force of their combined anger at every minor inconvenience, but it would be funny for a while. Anyway, after you finish all five seasons of The Thick of It, you can check out In the Loop, a great film spin-off of the series that Iannucci directed and stars Capaldi, Tom Hollander, and James Gandolfini, with Veep alums Anna Chlumsky and Zach Woods in supporting roles.
The West Wing is indisputably one of the best political shows ever made. Created by Aaron Sorkin, the drama is about fictional Democratic president Jeb Bartlet (Martin Sheen) and his staff, who struggle to bring policies to fruition while working through scandals, national crises, and elections. It features an excellent ensemble cast (Bradley Whitford! Allison Janney! Dulé Hill!) and will give you a more sober look at the world of American politics than Veep. There are some episodes of this show that will stick with you long after you finish them, and once you start watching, you'll get why people who love this show really love this show.
If your favorite thing about Veep is watching foul-mouthed clowns wield power they don't deserve, it's time to watch Succession. The dramedy centers on the famous, incredibly wealthy Roy family, the members of which begin to vie for control of their aging father's (Brian Cox) billion-dollar media company when it becomes clear he'll need to step down soon. The Roys (and Roy-adjacents) are a dysfunctional, calculating bunch, much like Veep's characters. There's a ton of drama, and the series goes on to explore some really dark concepts, but it's also, often, laugh-out-loud funny. Honestly, sometimes it's just fun to listen to well-dressed people say "f--k."
Best friends Sam (Sam Richardson, who you'll recognize as Veep's resident optimist Richard T. Splett) and Tim (Tim Robinson) are just trying to make their dreams of succeeding in the world of advertising come true, but they just can't seem to make it happen. Every episode finds them getting involved in goofy hijinks as they make real efforts to get taken seriously, spurred ahead by their shared drive and undeterred by their (many) failures. It's a show that will remind Veep fans of the scrappier early days, where Selina was the undervalued, oft-forgotten vice president, and her staff couldn't seem to do anything right. She would probably look at Sam and Tim and say something along the lines of, "The level of incompetence in this Motor City is staggering," but as a show, Detroiters is so weird, so funny, and so easy to love.
Lucky for us, Julia Louis-Dreyfus has been gracing our TV screens for a long time, and while you might've already seen her in that one show about nothing, her CBS sitcom The New Adventures of Old Christine is also worth your time. In it, she plays the titular Old Christine, a divorced mother who maintains a working relationship with her ex-husband (Clark Gregg) until everything is thrown into question when he introduces her to his new girlfriend, also named Christine (Emily Rutherfurd). I personally will never get tired of watching neurotic women navigate their way through life, and this show really delivers on that front. Louis-Dreyfus is just so much fun to watch, and she brings a sincerity to Christine's struggle that really makes you feel for her.
There's a hidden quality to the excellent, short-lived Party Down that has earned it a small but mighty cult following. Centering around a bumbling group of caterers, all of whom yearn to jumpstart their Hollywood careers as they spend their days delivering drinks to rich people, Party Down is an under-appreciated gem. The characters are so mean, and their middling lives totally suck (who among us hasn't been forced to pretend to care about an unfulfilling job?), but so do the lives of the much more successful people they cater to. The comedy makes a serious case that no one is really happy, which might sound kind of nihilistic, but is actually sort of comforting. The cast is brimming with actors you love from a time right before they got really famous — Adam Scott, Jane Lynch, Lizzy Caplan, and more — and was co-created by Paul Rudd. What more could you ask for? A long-awaited third season is in the works at Starz.
Inspired by the real-life friendship between Billy Eichner and Julie Klausner, Difficult People is a show about the simple joy of finding one other person who exists on your exact wavelength. The fictional Billy and Julie (played by Eichner and Klausner) are jaded, self-absorbed, and perpetually dissatisfied by the world around them; they believe they deserve to be famous, but just can't seem to get anyone else to agree. They're constantly failing, ruining whatever chances they are afforded with their own bad behavior, and will do just about anything to avoid taking responsibility for their actions. But at least they have each other. Eichner and Klausner's quick rapport and easy chemistry is what makes this show about two miserable people funny instead of sad. If you dug Veep's brand of witty, spiky comedy, Difficult People will remind you of that, only with more Real Housewives references.
It's easy to write off Silicon Valley, co-created by King of the Hill's Mike Judge, as a show by, for, and about dudes who code. And it very much is that, but it's also a smart dark comedy about what lengths people will go to in order to preserve their own self-interests. Richard Hendricks (Thomas Middleditch) is a meek computer programmer who conceptualizes a revolutionary app and recruits a small team to help him bring it to life. Naturally, it's never that simple, and as the show trucks on, it doesn't shy away from how underhanded Richard and the guys are willing to get in order to see their vision realized. It's all the proof you need to know that the world of tech is about as dark as the world of politics.
Did you know that there were, at one point, a bunch of senators living together in what was essentially a frat house for adult men? Yes, actual Democratic lawmakers like Chuck Schumer and Dick Durbin rented it for years, and though it doesn't exist anymore, it lives on as the inspiration for Alpha House. The satirical series centers on four Republican senators, played by John Goodman, Mark Consuelos, Matt Malloy, and Clark Johnson, who share a house in Washington, D.C., and explores the kind of nonsense they get up to as government officials and roommates. It also features about five million celebrity cameos, including ones from actual politicians. If your favorite thing about Veep was that it helped you gain new understanding for all the weird stuff that happens on Capitol Hill, you should make this your next watch.