The new sitcom from Armando Iannucci (In the Loop), Veep, debuted on HBO last night. It's hilarious. Led by Julia Louis-Dreyfus as the decidedly non-Palin-esque Vice President of the United States, Selina Meyer, the cast has a kinetic energy that feels equally reminiscent of Christopher Guest's factory and Broadcast News. (Everyone's great, but Arrested Development's Tony Hale and former child star Anna Chlumsky stand out.) Not unlike the dearly departed Eastbound & Down, the show manages irreverence via characters of varying despicableness – they mocked the death of a pervy senator, and a major plot point came about when Selina made a joke about the guy who ran her Twitter that was a play on the phrase "hoist by one's own petard" (as seen in the clip above). The resulting "Retardgate" was eventually solved by blaming it on the person Selina and her team stole joke from in the first place (a senator Selina had met earlier in the episode). Nice, right?

Veep's cynical tone and unsavory protagonists may prove challenging to the average viewer, but it masterfully hits the specific spot of squirmy without being mortifying. An extremely promising start.