Check out our review of season three of this laugh out loud comedy from HBO that finds Vice President Selina Meyer stumping for an autobiography she didn't write, traveling abroad to strengthen her foreign policy experience, and proving that-without a doubt-she is not anti-gun. All the while, her hapless staff does their best to hold everything together as she makes her bid to take over the Oval Office.

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

Film:
Extras:
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

84
Details:

Studio and Year: HBO - 2014
MPAA Rating: TV-MA
Feature running time: 307 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, Timothy Simons, Matt Walsh, Sufe Bradshaw, Gary Cole, Kevin Dunn
Directed by: Various
Music by: Rupert Gregson-Williams, Christopher Willis
Written by: Armando Iannucci
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: March 31, 2015
"Boldly running for President. Proudly standing for everything"
My Take:

Julia Louis-Dreyfus reprises her 3-time Emmy-winning role as Vice President Selina Meyer in the sharp and satirical third and most-watched season of the comedy series Veep. Hilariously skewering the whirlwind day-to-day existence of the Vice President's office and Washington politics at-large, the series continues to prove that in Washington, even the most banal decisions can have ripple effects, with unexpected and far-reaching consequences.

Season three begins with Selina, eying a promotion, courting Iowa caucus voters at a signing for her new book, “Some New Beginnings”. Soon, Selina and her staff, back in D.C. for Mike’s wedding, learn that Secretary of Defense Maddox is resigning – setting Selina up for a possible run in the presidential primaries against Maddox and her nemesis, war-vet Danny Chung. Some of the events over the season include, Selina and her staff setting up an exploratory campaign office in D.C. traveling to Silicon Valley (to raise money) and London (to meet with heads of state), Jonah’s needling/interference and Amy and Dan vying to be Selina’s campaign manager.

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 man Gary (Tony Hale) and secretary Sue (Sufe Bradshaw) all of whom often do battle with smug interloper 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:

Amy, Dan and the campaign manager position, Selina and Gary in the restroom, Sue and Kent, Jonah’s blog, Quincy Carter’s interview, The squeaky shoes, Being folksy and the crate, The personal trainer, and Jonah’s “eggs”.

The entire season has its share of moments, witty banter and engaging character interaction that makes for laugh out escapism and an entertaining half an hour of cable TV watching. Season three’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
  • DSU Rating * (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 third seasonX comes to Blu-ray Disc from HBO Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 33 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:
  • (HD) Deleted scenes
  • (HD)Episode previews
  • (HD) Onset visit from the Governor – 3 minutes
  • Audio commentaries with cast/crew
  • Digital HD Copy
Final Thoughts:

Veep: the complete third 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 enjoy this show and hope to catch season four when it airs this year 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.
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 AV7702 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" and In-Ceiling series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SVS PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
SVS PC12-NSD
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package