One of the most anticipated panels at SXSW this year was one featuring the cast and showrunner of the acclaimed HBO comedy series Veep, which returns for a ten episode sixth season on April 16th.
The panel, which was the show’s first at SXSW, featured writer/executive producer David Mandel, executive producer/star Julia Louis-Dreyfus and cast members Tony Hale, Anna Chlumsky, Reid Scott, Matt Walsh, Gary Cole, Tim Simons and Sam Richardson.
Here’s 13 things we learned about the seasons past and the episodes yet to come:
(1) Don’t expect Trump references in the new season, “This season was written before the election results. We’re not Saturday Night Live,” said David Mandel, “if we put in references, it wouldn’t make it in until almost a year later and then it’d be too out of date.
(2) In response to the question “Did you want to do Trump stuff?”, Selina Meyers herself quickly replied, “no – we don’t identify party, and we don’t reference anyone beyond Reagan. Everyone is fictional, and everyone thinks we’re making fun of the other party.” “We try to go both sides in our humour,” continued Mandel.
(3) Jonah “isn’t outrageous” when compared to real life congress members according to Chuck Todd. “Everyone in Washington thinks they’re Dans, but really they’re Jonahs. The absolute f***ing worst,” said Tim Simons who plays Jonah.
(4) Sam Richardson’s Richard has never sworn in the show. Anna Chlumsky may have the most swears, though they’re not positive.
(5) The debate about removing Daylight Savings Time is a plotline in the new season, which is an example of something from the headlines that has made its way into the show. Also expect privatisation of prisons in the new season.
(6) As expected, the team are split up in the new season, and Reid Scott said that did make some of the filming difficult, as he wasn’t spending as much time with the cast members he’d built such a report with over the prior five seasons.
(7) “Keep your eyes on Obama as the ex-President… what’s exciting for us is that as you’re seeing him do things like sign his book deals, don’t be surprised if Selina gets one too. Just not for as much money.” Mandel also suggests they have taken a lot of real-life traditions (e.g. philanthropic endeavours, paid speaking tours and indeed book deals) of ex-Presidents and will feature them in the new season:
(8) You’ll get to meet a fake ex-President (Stevenson) in the new series.
(9) Gary (Tony Hale) gets a lot more Selina time to himself, now that’s she’s no longer President. And he’s very excited about it.
(10) The cast agree that this show could never exist on network television. And they promise some beautifully vulgar humour in the next season.
(11) Julia once said to Tony, “You know you’re not watching the show, you’re in the show,” because he breaks (into laughter) so much when filming.
(12) Everybody hates Matt Walsh.
(13) “As long as it’s non-stop, concentrated greatness, we’ll keep making the show,” said Mandel. So don’t expect this season to be the last.
Veep screens in Australia on Foxtel’s Showcase and the new season is expected to screen shortly after HBO’s April 16th US Premiere.