Department of Communication professor Trevor Parry-Giles on the presidential sitcom "Veep."
But not all American political shows have to be about inspiration. Though the blockbuster movie Independence Day featured a president flying a fighter jet against an alien spaceship, it is possible to explore aspects of US politics other than just wishing leaders were made of more heroic stuff. Veep fills this role. The biting satire offers a behind-the-scenes look at the frustrations and inanities of political life, explaining why little actually ever happens in Washington. While reality will show Democrats or Republicans blaming each other for the latest betrayal and feigning high-minded principles, Veep reveals the conniving, the back-stabbing and the huge egos. Then, at the end, you see vice-president Meyer let loose a string of hilariously inappropriate profanities. "I love it. I sometimes think that show is just an excuse to see how many inventive ways people can swear," said Professor Trevor Parry-Giles of the University of Maryland and author of the book The Prime-Time Presidency.