With the current political climate, we as a society look to our television shows and film to reflect what is going on in the world. It may not be a conscious decision, but it’s something that happens and rightfully so. That’s the make of great programming to have a fresh and often times comedic look at what’s happening in real life. In the case of the HBO series Veep, not only does it reflect on our current political process but it sheds light, shockingly on what happens in Washington.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus stars as Selina Meyer, the former vice president who last season got promoted to president for the remainder of the POTUS run after he stepped down. However now she is running for president herself and that comes it’s own set of rules and stumbles along the way.
Veep: The Complete Fourth Season is out on Blu-ray and I’m happy to report that it’s just as biting and fun as the seasons that have come before it. With Selena running for the highest office in the land she has to find a Vice-President and balance the men and women circling around her with even more pressure on her shoulders. The thing that Veep does and it does so well is surround Selina with characters for neurotic and crazy than she is, which tapers her own self-absorption down to manageable levels.
There are so many great moments this season, like Amy (Anna Chlumsky) and her relationship with Bill Ericsson (Diedrich Bader) who plays a political operative so smarmy he practically slinks into every room. Amy has some of the best moments this season and is so wonderful to witness, especially in the season finale. I don’t want to giveaway any spoilers but she really shows that down deep, like really deep all the characters in Veep actually do care about each other, you just wouldn’t know it by simply watching their interaction but they do.
Also given more screen time this season is Selina’s daughter Catherine (Sarah Sutherland) who always added a bit of real world grounding in previous seasons. Here she’s given so much more material to sink her teeth into now that Selina needs her for photos and to present the appearance of a “family.” She has the alterna-teen syndrome down pat and really is fun to watch.
There are other bits this season that echo a lot of what we are seeing with the election, with Q-ratings (a measure of a candidates likability) and even the hilarious Timothy Simons as Jonah Ryan being sexually harassed by Teddy Sykes (Patton Oswalt) the new Veep’s Chief of Staff. It’s so awkward and uncomfortable, you almost feel bad laughing at some of the situations. Which is of course one of Veep’s signature comedy elements.
The whole show of course is anchored by Julia Louis-Dreyfus who is so amazing as Selina you almost forget her signature role on Seinfeld. She nails every little nuance and comedy bit, just watching her facial expressions you can see why she gets the accolades that have been bestowed upon her. There’s not a false note in her performance, and to be honest it’s watching a master craftsman at work.
Veep: The Complete Fourth Season arrives on Blu-ray thanks to the folks at HBO. A series like Veep, which is a thinking man’s comedy series, isn’t always necessary to watch on high definition, but it’s a treat nonetheless. Seeing a series on broadcast as opposed to high definition is a different viewing experience and even here the difference while slight to a casual viewer really does enhance the comedy. Small details are more pronounced, and the little things that especially Julia Louis-Dreyfus does really pop here. The color pops, especially in the briefing room scenes. The series is shot with a “fluorescent lit” tone to emphasize the fact that Veep is really an office comedy set in the nation’s highest office and that doesn’t really help the picture quality, but the high definition pulls other elements like color and fine details out to counter balance this.
Special features on this release are very sparse. I was more than a little disappointed considering that Veep is one of HBO’s signature shows. I was hoping for a featurette or audio commentary track. Sadly the only thing that’s included are about eight minutes of deleted scenes on disc one and seven minutes of deleted scenes on disc two.
Overall, I’ve been a fan of Veep for a long time now and this season continues with the squirm inducing comedy of the past few seasons. The cast is in top form and it’s honestly it’s one of the top series on the air right now. If you like your comedy with smartly written characters, played to perfection, then Veep is the series for you. There’s a reason that Veep has won so many Emmys for the series and the cast. It’s outstanding.
Veep: The Complete Fourth Season is out now on Blu-ray!