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VEEP: The Complete Seventh Season (Blu-ray Review)

Well, this will be your final Blu-ray review coverage from me here on Why So Blu as the show came to its end in 2019. It took awhile to turn this one around to home video to the point where I had actually forgotten about it or just written it off as HBO not caring. I breathed a sigh of relief once this was actually announced. I breathed another sigh of relief when it was revealed that it would be coming out on Blu-ray. After what HBO did with Silicon Valley last year, I was scared that they would short change us and go DVD-only for VEEP’s swan song season. This one will provide the slim offerings as HBO has been doing the past couple of years with home video, but I’m thankful its even getting that. You’ll be able to pick this up or pre-order it to have when it arrives on January 14th.

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Season

Former vice president and onetime president Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) is back in the campaign trail in the seventh and final season of the acclaimed HBO comedy series. As Selina woos uber-wealthy donors while navigating threats from primary challengers, including aide-turned Congressman Jonah Ryan (Timothy C. Simons), her band of misfits is also back – save for Mike (Matt Walsh), who’s been banished from Selina’s orbit and now covers the Presidential campaign, having been replaced by ongoing nemesis in the press, reporter Leon West (Brian Huskey). Meanwhile, Amy (Anna Chlumsky) is figuring out how she feels about her pregnancy vis-a-vis Dan (Reid Scott), who seems unwillingly to give up his playboy ways for fatherhood. And rounding out the team are ever-faithful bagman Gary (Tony Hale), cantankerous Ben (Kevin Dunn), numbers-obsessed Kent (Gary Cole) and new staffer Richard (Sam Richardson).

All great things come to their end, and it became VEEP’s turn in 2019. After a very successful seven season run, the highly decorated (It won 17 damn Emmys) show saw almost a two-term length run. The show cited that the real world of United States politics/government was making it difficult to be ridiculous and funny as it was doing it all on its own. Fair enough, but seven years is a long time for any show to keep up the quality and steam, especially a comedy. VEEP is a particularly unique entity in which it never had a bad or lesser season, and seemed to almost improve with each year. It recognized its strengths, added strong players to the mix and had some of the best comedic chemistry on the small screen or the big one during its tenure.

The final season not only brought the comedic chops that the show did best, but it also did a season’s worth of some of the other stronger writing aspects the show that typically hold off til a finale. Running on a shorter, 7 episode season, this one had clear start to finish stakes and they hit the ground running with them from episode one. There is both a lot of suspense in the season regarding the upcoming election, but danger as well. Yes, it all plays in terms of dark humor, but its still stakes/suspense nonetheless. Its wildly topical too, as the show has no fear and dives head first into relevancy in both a way to enjoy on a surface level and have an extra giggle “Holy shit” moment if you can piece things together. As always, I’ll say one last time that Jonah is the worst and I need Timothy Simons in something else like this as soon as he’s able or a network/service will give him it.

Episodes

Iowa

Discovery Weekend

Pledge

South Carolina

Super Tuesday

Oslo

Veep

Video

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Layers: BD-50

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.  Some of Selina’s gowns and flashier clothing gives a nice pop to the image. Whites are pretty strong too.

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

Audio

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

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish

Dynamics: With this type of show, while we get a 5.1 track, a 2.0 track is more than enough to effectively translate the show.  Its a program rooting and dependent on conversation. However, the effects are all well handled and the underlooming score sounds very nice. Environments prove accurate for a 360 trip around the room. This gets the task at hand done very well.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension: The subwoofer isn’t called upon constantly, or needed to be boom, but it does have effectiveness when necessary.

Surround Sound Presentation: This is a very front-heavy track, but the rear channels do provide voices and ambiance for good accuracy.  Movements are done with a precise match to screen.

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.

Extras

VEEP: The Complete Seventh Season comes with a digital copy code.

Audio Commentary

  • Episode 1 – With David Mandel (Executive Producer/Director), Lew Morton (Executive Producer/Writer), Tony Hale (Actor), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Executive Producer/Actor)
  • Episode 2 – With David Mandel, Erick Kenward (Consulting Producer/Writer), Timothy Simons (Actor), Julia Louis-Dreyfus
  • Episode 3 – With David Mandel, Rachel Axler (Co-Executive Producer/Writer), Anna Chlumsky (Actor), Julia Louis-Dreyfus
  • Episode 4 – With David Mandel, Peter Huyck (Executive Producer/Writer), Clea DuVall (Actor), Tony Hale, Julia Louis-Dreyfus
  • Episode 5 – With David Mandel, Jennifer Crittenden (Co-Executive Producer/Writer), Gabrielle Allan (Co-Executive Producer/Writer), Andy Daly (Actor), Matt Walsh (Actor), Sam Richardson (Actor), Tony Hale, Julia Louis-Dreyfus
  • Episode 6 – David Mandel, Brad Hall (Director), Ian Maxtone-Graham (Co-Executive Producer/Writer), Dan O’Keefe (Co-Exe utive Producer/Writer), Dan Mintz (Consulting Producer/Writer), Peter MacNicol (Actor), Clea DuVall, Sam Richardson, Tony Hale, Julia Louis-Dreyfus
  • Episode 7 – With David Mandel, Matt Walsh, Tony Hale, Julia Louis-Dreyfus
  • Episode 7 – With David Mandel, David Miller (Director of Photography), Morgan Sackett (Executive Producer)

Character Retrospectives (HD, 7:21) – This “never before seen” feature includes looking back upon Selina Meyer, Gary Walsh, Jonah Ryan Mike McLintock, Amy Brookheimer, Dan Egan and one called What I Won’t Miss. These play like quick HBO promos with the actor talking about their respective character.

Inside The Final Season (HD, 1:35) – A really brief promo that has Julia Louis-Dreyfus talking about where the final season is set up and what she’s going to miss.

Summary

VEEP concludes in high fashion with another fantastic season, making it a perfect 7 for 7. I’ll miss this show dearly, but all good things come to an and I’m excited to see what lies ahead for the cast and crew of this one. HBO once again puts together another skimpy set for one of its best shows. I’m at least grateful they didn’t pull a Silicon Valley with this one and stoop to DVD-only for the final season. Performance-wise its up to par with the other season sets they’ve put out.

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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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