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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film:


Extras:


Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )
84





Studio and Year: HBO - 2013
MPAA Rating: TV-MA
Feature running time: 278 minutes
Genre: TV/Comedy

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


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, Gary Cole, Kevin Dunn
Created by: Armando Iannucci
Music by: Rupert Gregson-Williams, Christopher Willis
Written by: Armando Iannucci
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: March 25, 2014
"Diplomacy in action"


Film Synopsis:


In Season 2 of the acclaimed HBO® comedy series, which follows the day-to-day life of Vice President Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus, winner of the 2012 and 2013 Emmys® for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for her role in VEEP), Meyer puts out political fires, juggles a busy public schedule and demanding private life, and defends the president's interests.


My Take:



In Season 2 of VEEP, as midterm elections loom, Vice President Selina Meyer is scoring higher ratings than the president in several popularity polls, which she hopes will boost her influence and help her curry favor with the chief executive. But despite her best intentions, even the most banal actions can set off unexpected and often disastrous consequences. Created by Armando Iannucci, the show is scripted but shot in an improvisational style. It’s authentic without being specifically biographical about what it is like to hold the least effectual post in the most powerful office in the world.


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 and character Selena Meyer 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. Meyer's inner circle includes: her chief of staff Amy (Anna Chlumsky), longtime press spokesperson Mike McClintock (Matt Walsh), right hand and body man Gary (Tony Hale) and secretary Sue (Sufe Bradshaw) all of whom often do battle with Dan Egan (Reid Scott) an ambitious interloper and smug White House liaison Jonah (Tim Simons). 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 bone 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. A few of my favorite Season Two moments; Selena’s rendition of “50 ways to….” Which goes viral and nearly sets off several international incidents, her visit to Helsinki, Selena’s ongoing quibbles with POTUS’ new Senior Strategist “Kent” (played perfectly by Gary Cole), Selena and Andrew at dinner, Jonah/Mike/Dan, and “the photo”. The entire season has its share of laugh out loud moments, witty banter and engaging character interaction that makes for laugh out escapism and an entertaining half an hour of cable TV watching. Season Two’s ten episodes are spread evenly over two BD-50 Blu-ray Discs. The set is housed in an amaray keep case with accompanying slipcover.

Parental Guide:


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.**


Audio: 82

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics:

  • Low frequency effects:

  • Surround Sound presentation:

  • Clarity/Detail:

  • Dialogue Reproduction:

  • *Low frequency extension (non-rated element): NA


Video: 86

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity:

  • Black level/Shadow detail:

  • Color reproduction:

  • Fleshtones:

  • Compression:


Veep The complete second 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.

Bonus Features:

  • 4 audio commentaries with cast/crew

  • (HD) Deleted scenes

  • Digital Copy




Final Thoughts:

Veep: the complete second season 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 disappointingly light supplemental package that is highlighted by four entertaining commentary tracks. I thoroughly enjoyed this show and hope to catch season three when it airs this April on HBO. If you’re a fan this set it worth picking up 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. You’ll be glad you did.








Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





Reference Review System:



JVC DLA-RS4910 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector

(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6 Meter from Spectracal )

Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Horizontal Masking System

Marantz AV8801 11.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor

Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier

B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier

Oppo BDP-103D Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (With Darbee video processing)

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
 

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I love this show. Fast, funny dialogue, well-defined and quirky characters.
 
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