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VEEP – The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray Review)

VEEP-Season 4The fourth season of the hit HBO® comedy series Veep was the winner of five 2015 Emmy® awards including Outstanding Comedy series, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy series (Julia Louis-Dreyfus who has won an Emmy for each season of Veep), Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (Tony Hale) and Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series. 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. The 10-episode VEEP: The Complete Fourth Season will be available on Blu-ray with Digital HD and DVD on April 19, 2015 and includes hilarious deleted scenes. The series, created by Oscar® nominee Armando Iannucci, features an ensemble cast including Emmy® nominee Anna Chlumsky, Reid Scott, Matt Walsh, Timothy C. Simons, Sufe Bradshaw, Kevin Dunn, Gary Cole and new series regular Sam Richardson. Recurring guests this season include Hugh Laurie Patton Oswalt and Sarah Sutherland.

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Season Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1

Having become president after her predecessor stepped down, it remains to be seen whether her term will outlast that of America’s shortest-serving president, William Henry Harrison. With the stakes for Selina and her team higher than ever before, she must still run for election, and over the course of the season’s 10 episodes they will grapple with how to make her seem “presidential.”

When we last left Vice President Selina Meyer, she was being sworn in to become President Meyer.  This season also brings her challenge of also having to run for the office she just inherited.  The hijinx include finding a better running mate than her current vice president, a scandal arising in her office and of course trying to win the love of the American people over the hack candidate she’s running against.

Given the setting of the show and the comedy format, it would be understandable if it started getting somewhat monotonous season in and season out.  However, VEEP is far from that.  Every season has brought about interesting angles and topics.  For the fourth season, we get to see an election campaign as well as a shake-up in the office with some members gone and doing different things and other players come into the fold.

The strength of the show comes in the form of its A-game cast.  Their chemistry gels even more with each given season.  Like shows such as Seinfeld and It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, the characters are all a bunch of nasty schmucks whom we love seeing being so despicable and mean to each other.  They also are quite great with their improv humor.  Joining in on a lot of the fun during this season are Patton Oswalt and Hugh Laurie.  Both fit right into the mix and add their own interesting angles.

Once again, VEEP scores big with its fourth season.  It continues to be one of, if not the best comedies on television currently.  Its been noted that the show is the most accurate portrayal of politics and Washington DC than anything else airing.  And from what I hear about House of Cards, it sounds like it just might be.  I cannot wait to see where it goes from the cliffhanger we had this season.  Season 5 starts up at the end of the month.

Episodes

“Joint Session”

“East Wing”

“Data”

“Tehran”

“Convention”

“Storms and Pancakes”

“Mommy Meyer”

“B/ill”

“Testimony”

“Election Night”

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Video Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1Dexter-_5

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Clarity/Detail:  Video is clear and crisp, if not but a little bit soft.  Detail is at a solid level, but for the most part is smooth.  Wood grain on office furniture, carpet texture and surfaces of walls and such is nicely real looking with its detail.

Depth:  The image does a decent job of being 3 dimensional enough to make for a good image.  Smooth movements and a real feeling of space is felt.

Black Levels:  A solid display of rich blacks.  Not a lot of differences in shade, but most of this show takes place in well lit settings, so its not really a big deal.

Color Reproduction:  Colors are bold and bright.  Flashy clothing looks nice, and most of the “professional” attire looks lifelike.

Flesh Tones:  Flesh tones are consistent.  Plenty of detail is noticeable in close ups but is more smooth in appearance from medium and farther away shots.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean

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Audio Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1Dexter-0

Audio Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, French 5.1 DTS Digital Surround, Spanish 2.0 DTS Digital Surround.

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish

Dynamics:  This 5.1 mix is very good, but it would honestly be just as well suited with a 2.0 mix.  This show is all about talking, conversations and such, so you really don’t need a full trip around the room or a boost from the subwoofer.  All in all though, like I said, it sounds great.

Low Frequency Extension:  The subwoofer is limited to engines, doors shutting and such when a scene allows.  The content isn’t a program that calls for the boom.

Surround Sound Presentation:  This is a dialogue driven show, all the action is up front and centered.  There is some solid ambiance and volume shifts accurate to picture.

Dialogue Reproduction: Dialogue is clear and crisp.  At times it can sound very “mic’d up”, but that’s the nature of the show and part of the source.

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Extras Dex-1Dexter-_5Dexter-0Dexter-0Dexter-0

VEEP: The Complete Fourth Season come with an UltraViolet Digital Copy of the season.  Each episode comes with the option to play a preview for it.

Disc 1

Deleted Scenes, Episodes 1-5 (HD, 8:17)

Disc 2

Deleted Scenes, Episodes 6-10 (HD, 7:34)

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Summary Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1Dexter-0

VEEP‘s fourth season continues its roll of being comedic perfection.  An amazing cast that gels the best of any in television history is a complete joy to check in with for 10 episodes every year.  The presentation on the Blu-ray release is business as usual; it looks and sounds terrific.  However, this time around, the extras are severely lacking, with not much at all to offer aside from a deleted scene per episode.  Worth it for fans and collectors, those more causal or not the collecting type have HBO GO, HBO OnDemand and HBO Now to look back at the season (and the previous ones).

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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