The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: HBO - 2012
MPAA Rating: TV-MA
Feature running time: 221 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, French DTS 5.1, Spanish Stereo
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Latin Spanish, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish
Starring: Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, Anna Chlumsky, Tony Hale, Reid Scott, Timothy Simons, Matt Walsh, Sufe Bradshaw
Created by: Armando Iannucci
Music by: Rupert Gregson-Williams, Christopher Willis
Written by: Armando Iannucci
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: March 26, 2013
Former Senator Selina Meyer was a charismatic leader and rising star in her party with her eye on the White House - then she became Vice President. Veep follows the whirlwind day-to-day existence of Vice President Meyer as she puts out political fires, juggles a busy public schedule and demanding private life, and defends the president's interests, even as she tries to improve her dysfunctional relationship with the chief executive.
I am a Julia Louis-Dreyfuss fan and have been for years. She is the perfect blend of good looks, onscreen charisma and pitch perfect comedic timing. Veep is a spot on vehicle for her and series creator/writer/director Armando Iannucci does a terrific job deriving the most not only from Julia but from the supporting ensemble. While the show’s theme is one of satire it eschews soap box posturing in favor of focusing on the comedy found in political dysfunction and the day to day conflict/maneuvering of Vice President Meyer, her minions and a farcical perspective of the efforts of a position that has zero juice but is one step away from the most powerful political office in the world.
Veep is a hoot. My wife and I enjoyed the funny tickling antics of Selena whose intentions seem to be thwarted at every turn not only by her opposition but by her staff whose hearts are seemingly in the right place but are constantly derailed by the obstacles of the day. That isn’t to suggest that Selena herself isn’t responsible for a good old fashioned crash and burn from time to time. My favorite Season One episode revolves around Selena making inappropriate remarks about Governor Danny Chung which blows up in the media sending her office into a tizzy. The entire season has its share of laugh out loud moments, witty banter and engaging character interaction that makes for an entertaining half an hour of cable TV watching. Season One’s eight episodes are spread evenly over two BD-50 Blu-ray Discs with the bulk of the bonus material found on Disc 2. The set is housed in a cardboard foldout with a spot for each disc and an additional sleeve containing the DVD (flipper type), all of which slides into a matching slipcover. I wouldn’t call it sturdy but it works just fine.
- Frozen yoghurt
- Full disclosure
The show contains mature thematic content and language.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Veep The complete first season comes to Blu-ray from HBO featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 32 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.5 Mbps.
This television series effectively uses visual aesthetics (predominantly lighting) to set the tone based upon the mood of a particular scene. In all respects there is a pleasing blend of primary colors that are capably offset by delineated secondary hues. Fleshtones are on the warm side but are tonally balanced and lifelike in depiction. Resolution is estimable as close ups and midlevel pans have appreciable depth while exhibiting varying levels of refinement. Fine detail isn’t always copiously on display which results in images appearing less delineated at times. On the contrary there are many instances where the video has defining sharpness and lucidity. Contrast is stable and blacks have appreciable dynamic range but are mildly crushed which in some instances makes subtle gradations harder to detect. This isn’t problematic as there are few instances of low level sequences where it is even noticeable. I didn’t see any obvious signs of video related anomalies.
The multi-channel lossless audio won’t test the limits of your surround sound system but it capably delivers the elements present in the show’s soundtrack. Dialogue is tonally rich with excellent room penetration and defining clarity. Dynamic range and bass response is appropriate in support of the track’s recorded elements. The front channels handle the bulk of the audio and presents an open two dimensional soundstage with the surrounds supplying ambient detail. I think the mix mates perfectly with the source material and sounds great.
- 12 Audio commentaries featuring series creator Armando Iannucci, Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, and members of the cast/crew
- (HD) The making of Veep – 13 minute featurette
- (HD) Deleted scenes – 25 minutes
- (HD) Veep “Misspoke” – Governor Chung retraction (featuring Julia Louis-Dreyfuss in character)
- (HD) Governor Chung outtake (featuring Julia Louis-Dreyfuss in character)
- (HD) Anti-Obesity PSA (featuring Julia Louis-Dreyfuss in character)
- (HD) Anti-Obesity PAS outtake (featuring Julia Louis-Dreyfuss in character)
- Bonus DVD
- Digital Copy
Veep is lots of fun thanks to star Julia Louis-Dreyfuss’ spot on performance, a well chosen supporting cast and excellent writing/direction from series creator Armando Iannucci. It comes to Blu-ray Disc from HBO featuring gratifying and faithful high definition audio/video and a decent supplemental package highlighted by enlightening and entertaining commentary tracks and a behind the scenes documentary. I thoroughly enjoyed season one and hope to catch season two when it airs this spring on HBO. If you’re a fan this set it worth picking as I find the series to have excellent replay value. For those not familiar with the show give this a rent or try and catch it on demand. It’s well worth your time.
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Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS55 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6 Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Onkyo PR-SC5508 THX Ultra 2 Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-103 Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package