DA VINCI’S DEMONS and VEEP Previews

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As if I didn’t watch too much television to begin with, Starz and HBO are each adding a show into their weekly lineups starting this weekend.

On Friday, April 12 Starz will premiere their new original series, Da Vinci’s Demons, an hour-long drama chronicling the early years of the Renaissance man. The show will star the relatively unknown Tom Riley as Leonardo da Vinci and Laura Haddock as Lucrezia Donati, his love interest from the powerful Medici family.

David S. Goyer, the co-writer of the Dark Knight Trilogy, as well as the short-lived ABC drama, FlashForward, has penned the eight-episode season, so it can be expected to be as dark and cynical as his other works.

Recently, Starz has been getting a lot of attention for its popular show, Spartacus, but its third season, War of the Damned, will conclude directly after Da Vinci’s premiere. Starz is probably hoping that grab that audience to continue its subscriptions to the premium channel.

On the other side of the weekend, meaning Sunday, April 14, HBO will premiere its second season of the deadbeat comedy, Veep. The show received nods at the Emmys and Golden Globes, and its star, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, took home the Emmy for lead actress in a comedy.

The show’s hysterically dysfunctional ensemble, including Anna Chlumsky, Reid Scott, Matt Walsh, and Arrested Development’s Tony Hale, will all return for the second season.

The single-camera comedy stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus as the fictitious Vice President of the United States, Selina Meyer, who is burnt out from the presidential race from the previous year. The show follows her and her staff as they mock the quirky and nonsensical duties of the Veep – such as promoting corn-based utensils and deciding which ice cream flavor she should order at a publicity stunt to boost her approval rating.

The show is very much a political satire of the American government, much like NBC’s Parks and Recreation in that it mocks the excessive waste and political cronyism that goes on behind closed walls. Ironically, the show is not even written by Americans! Armando Iannucci and Simon Blackwell both hail from the United Kingdom and are well known for their work on the highly successful British shows The Thick of It and In The Loop.

Stay tuned for reviews of both of these shows on the flip side of this week.

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