The Genius of Julia

Julia Louis-Dreyfus is the funniest woman on TV, and she is pretty funny in her new sitcom: “Veep” (HBO, Sundays, 10 p.m.). As the vapid U.S. vice president (above), she likes to ask guests, “Did you know that I have my own flag?” But the show, peopled with self-serving pols and desperately spinning aides, isn’t fun to watch. Everyone is too uptight!

For your Louis-Dreyfus fix, I recommend “The New Adventures of Old Christine.”

I ignored “Christine” during its 88-episode run on CBS. The premise seemed too contrived: Titular Old Christine (Louis-Dreyfus) divorced her hubbie, who dates a younger blond woman also named Christine.

Then, I stumbled upon reruns. As TV’s most beautiful loser, Louis-Dreyfus wiggles her shoulders to lure a guy and looks like a total goofball. When she lands a hot boyfriend, her low self-esteem makes her say: “I like you so much. Let’s break up.” Superb support comes from tart-tongued Wanda Sykes as the woman Christine calls “my black friend Barb.”

I’ve also discovered there are advantages to being a fan of an old sitcom. I never have to worry about catching the latest episode.

Marc Silver has been watching TV since the days when people wrapped aluminum foil around TV antennae to improve reception.
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Rudi Greenberg · May 2, 2012