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Emmys: 5 Cringeworthy 'Veep' Moments

The awkward, hilarious and cynical scenes from season 3

Veep - H - 2014
HBO
HBO's "Veep"

Things seen in a typical Veep episode: empty grandstanding, Beltway nepotism, elitism, craven politicians, incompetent bureaucrats, petty hacks and, especially, desperate flacks. Pretty much every character in the show is two-faced. 

However, a series filled with unlikable characters has endeared itself to critics and viewers alike. And, once again, the Emmy gods have bestowed a slew of nominations on the HBO show, including for outstanding comedy series, star Julia Louis-Dreyfus, castmembers Tony Hale and Anna Chlumsky and guest Gary Cole

Season three centered on an American ritual: the presidential primary season. Like the real-life version, there was plenty of opportunity for the aspiring POTUS, her team and her rivals to wind up in cringeworthy situations. A few favorites, ahead of awards night Monday:

 A Normal Person Conversation

Nothing scares a campaign aide in Veep-land like talking to a "Normal" — an average voter. "Ma'am, ma'am, it's Amy, she sounds uncomfortable like she's with a member of the public." The vice president will take the call, and turn on the charm, but 30 seconds of chat with a voter is quite enough thanks, here's the phone back. 

 The Silicon Valley Visit 

Meet Craig, the Mark Zuckerberg-ian leader of the Google-like company whose sprawling campus is the latest stop on the vice president's West coast tour. Veep, naturally, gets into an unlikely name pronunciation kerfuffle. How complicated is it to pronounce Craig? Very complicated. 

 Welcome to the Campaign!

Witness the Selena Meyer campaign rev to life: Guys, we're so glad you're here. You're doing something really meaningful with your time. What a cause. Have you learned how to make phone calls yet? Just dial these numbers. Yeah, that works. Stand with Selena! Great experience, we're humbled at all the support for the campaign. 

► The U.K. Visit 

The Veep's trip to Britain in episode 7 ("Special Relationship") finds the candidate in a pub reluctantly downing a pint in front of a tabloid press corps mocking her for not understanding their accent. "Daniwah?" Veep repeats with a hesitant smile as camera flashes go off. Nope, that wasn't what they were saying. "Moron ... Make her stop saying that," Chlumsky's dutiful press aide advises. 

 Debate Prep

If you were to boil down every cynical thing you think that campaign aides do to prep their candidate for a televised debate, you would have this 47-second clip from Veep's episode 8. "Let's see, I don't know anything about NAFTA but I do know about baseball: Baseball, baseball, baseball; look at my muscle-y chest, vote for me."