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Blu-ray Reviews

Veep: The Complete First Season Blu-ray Review

HBO Blu-ray TV Reviews

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#1 of 7 OFFLINE   Cameron Yee

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Posted March 25 2013 - 07:41 PM

Veep: The Complete First Season Blu-ray Review

Political satire comes to the Office of the Vice-President in HBO’s single-camera style comedy starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus as the hapless second-in-command. The Blu-ray’s high definition showing is commendable, as is usually the case with product from the esteemed cable channel, but the show’s lack of universal appeal makes it one best tried before buying.


Cover Art


Studio: HBO

Distributed By: N/A

Video Resolution and Encode: 1080P/AVC

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Audio: English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD, English 5.1 DTS-HDMA, Other

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French

Rating: TV-MA

Run Time: 3 Hr. 41 Min.

Package Includes: Blu-ray, DVD, Digital Copy, UltraViolet, Other

Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)

Region: A

Release Date: 03/26/2013

MSRP: $49.99




The Production Rating: 4/5

Being the President of the United States commands power, authority and respect, but then Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) wouldn’t know, she’s only his second-in-command. Serving as Vice-President after a failed bid for the top spot, Meyer has no shortage of ambition, but it’s her execution that needs work, whether it’s glad-handing a group of senators or trying to get an environmental bill enacted. Not that her office staff make it any easier – her chief of staff Amy (Anna Chlumsky), personal aide Gary (Tony Hale), and communications director Mike (Matt Walsh) all SEEM capable, but then are just as prone to saying or doing the wrong thing when it matters the most. The only exception could be the new guy Dan (Reid Scott), who knows the game of politics really well, but then finds incompetence to be like an infectious disease. Some day Selina could find herself in a place of real power, but not if she can’t pull herself and the staff together to make the Vice-Presidency actually mean something for a change.

Political satire often makes light of the United States’ second-in-command, but seldom has it turned its full attention on the position and its office. Which is strange considering the amount of comedic material that can be had from a job that seems designed for parody, beyond the easy depictions of the figure as a buffoon or klutz. Whatever the reason it’s taken until now for a show like Veep to get made (thanks to creators Simon Blackwell and Armando Iannucci, who did similar things for British politics with In the Loop), it has the benefit of involving one of the best comedians working to pull off the part. As someone who’s as much a victim of her own ambitions as the political sharks constantly circling her, Louis-Dreyfus is in top form, generating raw sympathy on one hand and then a dose of schadenfreude on the other. It’s quite a balancing act, but not surprisingly the Seinfeld alumna navigates the course without even a stumble. Supported by Chlumsky, Hale and Walsh, highly competent players playing the frequently incompetent, it makes for some truly uncomfortable, if not necessarily inspired, political-situational humor. While of course the material won’t appeal to everyone (especially those who object to the frequent f-bombs and graphic metaphors peppering the script) even the most averse should admit it takes a certain kind of talent and bravery to make this kind of half-hour comedy work as well as it does.

Veep: The Complete First Season includes the eight episodes that originally aired on HBO between April and June 2012.
  • “Fundraiser” (29:17)
  • “Frozen Yoghurt” (27:43)
  • “Catherine” (27:40)
  • “Chung” (28:11)
  • “Nicknames” (26:32)
  • “Baseball” (26:22)
  • “Full Disclosure” (27:34)
  • “Tears” (28:09)
The series’ second season begins on April 14, 2013.



Video Rating: 4.5/5  3D Rating: NA

Framed at 1.78:1, the 1080p, AVC-encoded transfer looks flawless, though ultimately the evenly lit, single-camera style program doesn’t offer much in the way of visual challenges. Blacks are consistently solid, contrast is excellent, and colors go deep without becoming oversaturated. Sharpness is equally impressive, effectively rendering fine textures in skin, hair and fabric.



Audio Rating: 3.5/5

Dialogue in the English language 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is consistently crisp, detailed, and intelligible. There’s not much surround activity or LFE to speak of, but the sound offers good depth and fullness and a decently wide, front-focused soundstage.



Special Features Rating: 4/5

With the set’s whopping 12 audio commentaries, most of the show’s inside scoop will likely be found in them, though anyone looking for something quick should look to the short but effective making of featurette. Deleted scenes, a handful of episode tie-ins, and alternate formats round out an overall solid collection of extras.

Audio Commentaries
  • Episode 1
    • With Creator/Executive Producer Armando Iannucci, Executive Producers Chris Godsick and Frank Rich, Producer/Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Writer Simon Blackwell
    • With Anna Chlumsky, Tony Hale, Reid Scott, Timothy Simons, Matt Walsh, and Sufe Bradshaw
  • Episode 2
    • With Creator/Executive Producer Armando Iannucci, Executive Producers Chris Godsick and Frank Rich, Producer/Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Writer Simon Blackwell
    • With Anna Chlumsky, Tony Hale, Reid Scott, Timothy Simons, Matt Walsh, and Sufe Bradshaw
  • Episode 3
    • With Creator/Executive Producer Armando Iannucci, Executive Producers Chris Godsick and Frank Rich, Producer/Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Writer Simon Blackwell
    • With Anna Chlumsky, Tony Hale, Reid Scott, Timothy Simons, Matt Walsh, and Sufe Bradshaw
  • Episode 4
    • With Executive Producers Chris Godsick and Frank Rich, Producer/Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Writer Simon Blackwell
    • With Anna Chlumsky, Tony Hale, Reid Scott, Timothy Simons, Matt Walsh, and Sufe Bradshaw
  • Episode 5
    • With Creator/Executive Producer Armando Iannucci, Producer/Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Writer Simon Blackwell, Anna Chlumsky, Timothy Simons, and Matt Walsh
  • Episode 6
    • With Creator/Executive Producer Armando Iannucci, Producer/Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Writer Simon Blackwell, Anna Chlumsky, Timothy Simons, and Matt Walsh
  • Episode 7
    • With Creator/Executive Producer Armando Iannucci, Producer/Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Writer Simon Blackwell, Anna Chlumsky, Timothy Simons, and Matt Walsh
  • Episode 8
    • With Creator/Executive Producer Armando Iannucci, Producer/Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Writers Simon Blackwell and Tony Roche, Anna Chlumsky, Timothy Simons, and Matt Walsh
The Making of VEEP (13: 24, HD): Covers the premise, production location, and characters.

Deleted Scenes (24:52, HD): Includes scenes from all eight episodes.

Governor Chung Retraction (1:17, HD): Tie-in video piece for Episode 4: “Chung.”

Governor Chung Outtake (1:28, HD): Tie-in video piece for Episode 4: “Chung.”

Anti-Obesity PSA (:44, HD): Tie-in video piece for Episode 6: “Baseball.”

Anti-Obesity PSA Outtake (1:10, HD): Tie-in video piece for Episode 6: “Baseball.”

DVD Copy: The season’s eight episodes are contained on a single flipper DVD.

Digital Copy: iTunes, Vudu or UltraViolet download options expire April 30, 2015.



Overall Rating: 4/5

HBO Home Entertainment delivers a commanding presentation for its political comedy series starring the more-than-capable Julia Louis-Dreyfus as a sometimes less-than-competent Vice-President of the United States. The bonus material is dominated by a number of audio commentaries, but also includes a few items that should appeal to the more casual fan. Given the somewhat polarizing nature of both the type of comedy and its political setting, it’s probably best to check out a few episodes before committing to a purchase, but those who followed the show during its original run are encouraged to pick up the release.


Reviewed By: Cameron Yee


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#2 of 7 OFFLINE   Richard Gallagher

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Posted March 28 2013 - 07:21 PM

I really like this series and the price has dropped to $19.99 at Amazon so I jumped on it.


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#3 of 7 OFFLINE   Cameron Yee

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Posted March 29 2013 - 08:42 AM

That's a great price!


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#4 of 7 OFFLINE   Neil Middlemiss

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Posted March 29 2013 - 09:01 AM

This is a brilliant show. We recently dropped all the premium channels so I will miss this show dearly, but at $20, who can resist.
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#5 of 7 OFFLINE   Cameron Yee

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Posted March 29 2013 - 09:37 AM

HBO really needs to figure out a way to provide streaming service sans cable subscription.


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#6 of 7 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted March 30 2013 - 02:05 PM

This show killed me, really hilarious.   I'm definitely in at $20!


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#7 of 7 OFFLINE   Brett_M

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Posted April 09 2013 - 09:45 AM

Great show. Always good for a laugh and plays as a nice counterpart to The Newsroom, which is also top-notch.


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