DVD Movie Guide @ dvdmg.com
Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main


Cast: Thomas Middleditch, TJ Miller, Martin Starr, Kumail Nanjiani, Josh Brener, Amanda Crew, Christopher Evan Welch, Zach Woods, Matt Ross
Writing Credits:

Diplomacy In Action.

Following the whirlwind day-to-day existence of Vice President Selina Meyer, Veep hilariously skewers everyday office politics, against the backdrop of the second highest office in the land.

Not Rated

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Spanish DTS 2.0
French DTS 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 300 min.
Price: $34.98
Release Date: 4/19/16

• Audio Commentaries for Six Episodes
• Deleted Scenes
• “Reality Bytes: The Art and Science of Silicon Valley” Featurette


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


Silicon Valley: The Complete Second Season [Blu-Ray] (2015)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (April 10, 2016)

With this two-disc package, we get to check out Season Two of HBO’s Silicon Valley. This set includes all 10 episodes from the series’ second season. The plot synopses come straight from the Blu-ray menus.

Sand Hill Shuffle: “Pied Piper becomes the hit of Silicon Valley, leaving Richard (Thomas Middleditch) to make a major decision.” Season One ended on a high note, and S2 picks up essentially where it left off, as it shows the aftermath of Richard’s “TechCrunch” victory. A lot of this acts as exposition, but the show still entertains with its usual low-key humor.

Runaway Devaluation: “Pied Piper faxes financial and legal troubles; Dinesh (Kumail Nanjiani) tries to squash his cousin’s Kickstarter campaign.” No one should expect belly laughs from Valley, but it does subtle comedy well. I like the riff about the “Bro” app, and the show allows Dinesh to play a prominent role for once. Add to that interesting narrative development and “Runaway” works well.

Bad Money: “Richard is courted by a new backer; Gavin (Matt Ross) finds a new strategy in dealing with Pied Piper.” In a series filled with introverts, new addition Russ Hanneman (Chris Diamantopoulos) adds a total extrovert – and a hilariously obnoxious one at that. I like the change, and “Money” works pretty well.

The Lady: “Richard and Erlich (TJ Miller) clash over a prospective hire; a new female employee makes Dinesh and Gilfoyle (Martin Starr) suspicious; Big Head (Josh Brener) gets promoted.” The return of Big Head offers a fun element, and Russ continues to be a hoot. Throw in a couple of new coders and “Lady” becomes another strong show.

Server Space: “An over-stressed Richard struggles to find Pied Piper office space, drawing the ire of a nosy neighbor; Big Head’s management style is questioned.” After a good string of shows, “Space” seems less winning. Some of that comes from too many bodily function gags, and other elements feel uninspired as well. It’s not a bad program, but it’s mediocre.

Homicide: “Pied Piper tries to one-up Hooli by livestreaming a big stunt; Gilfoyle and Dinesh brainstorm; Jared (Zach Woods) pushes Carla (Alice Wetterlund) and Monica (Amanda Crew) together.” After a lackluster show, S2 bounces back in a big way with the excellent “Homicide”. Everything about this one works, from guest actors to plot points to character areas. It might be S2’s best episode so far.

Adult Content: “Richard finds himself with few options and pursues an unconventional client; Gavin looks for success in failure; Dinesh woos a woman online.” “Content” keeps the hits coming via another strong show. It mixes personal and professional areas, with an emphasis on Dinesh’s sad-sack love life. All of this mixes for another fun ride.

White Hat/Black Hat: “Richard grows paranoid when Pied Piper competes for a client; Erlich and Jian Yang (Jimmy O. Yang) work on a pitch.” Most of “Hat” works well enough, but the episode requires a little too much stupidity to succeed. This means we get some laughs but need to suspend disbelief too often.

Binding Arbitration: “Pied Piper and Hooli battle it out in binding arbitration; Jared, Dinesh and Gilfoyle debate philosophy and their livestream.” With the season near its end, matters heat up in terms of Pied Piper’s fate. “Arbitration” mixes the courtroom setting with other elements to create a solid show, and Matt McCoy’s turn as a badly flawed disbarred lawyer adds a fun new character.

Two Days of the Condor: “An unexpected drama draws a spike in traffic to Pied Piper, as Richard scrambles to save the company.” “Condor” finishes the season in strangely exciting fashion, as the arbitration and its fallout cause some tense moments. The show also points us toward Season Three, and does so in a provocative fashion. I look forward to the next collection of programs, as S2 works very well.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B-/ Bonus C+

Silicon Valley appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Across the board, the shows looked attractive.

Sharpness was usually solid. A few wider shots showed a little softness, but those instances remained minor. Instead, the majority of the movie seemed accurate and concise. I saw no signs of jagged edges or shimmering, and edge haloes remained absent. Source flaws were a non-factor, as I witnessed no specks, marks or other debris.

Colors were good. The series opted for a fairly amber palette and the Blu-ray replicated these tones in an appealing manner. Black levels were appropriately deep, and shadows seemed clear and well-rendered. Across the board, the visuals proved to be pleasing.

The DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack suited the shows pretty well but won't win any awards. The soundstage appeared nicely broad at the appropriate times and could be moderately engulfing on occasion. It's a talky little series, so the focus was mainly up front, but the audio expanded when necessary. This occurred mostly via gentle environmental ambience, so the surrounds didn’t have a lot to do. That said, the imaging made sense for the story.

Sound quality seemed fine. Dialogue always appeared crisp and natural, and I had no trouble understanding it. The low-key music that acted as the score was warm and distinctive. Effects also seemed realistic and adequate for the tasks at hand. Valley won't be anyone's demo track, but it worked well for the series.

Six episodes boast audio commentaries. Here’s what we find:

“Sand Hill Shuffle”: creator/exective producer/director Mike Judge and actors Thomas Middleditch, Amanda Crew, Kumail Nanjiani and Martin Starr.

“Runaway Devaluation”: Judge, Nanjiani, Middleditch, and actors Suzanne Cryer and TJ Miller.

“Bad Money”: Middleditch, executive producer/director/writer Alec Berg and actors Chris Diamantopoulos and Zach Woods.

“White Hat/Black Hat”: Middleditch, Woods, Berg, Diamantopoulos, Crew, and actor Jimmy O. Yang.

“Binding Arbitration”: Miller, Judge, and actors Josh Brener and Matt McCoy.

“Two Days of the Condor”: Middleditch, McCoy, Nanjiani, Starr and Berg.

“Optimal Tip-to-Tip”: Middleditch, Woods, Miller, Nanjiani, Starr, Berg and Judge.

During these chats, we learn about story/character areas, sets and locations, cast and performances, tech elements and deleted scenes. None of these topics get discussed in depth, but the commentaries cover them in a decent manner.

Overall, the tracks offer moderately enjoyable chats. We get a little too much fluff and joking, so we don’t learn a ton about the series. Still, they go down easily and seem mostly engaging, so they’re worth a listen.

Deleted Scenes come for six episodes: “Sand Hill Shuffle” (two scenes, 2:58), “Runaway Devaluation” (1, 2:51), “Server Space” (2, 1:57), “Homicide” (1, 0:36), “White Hat/Black Hat” (1, 1:17), and “Binding Arbitration” (1, 1:09). Most of these bring us some minor laughs, but a few semi-substantial moment appear, mainly at Hooli. We also see the fallout of Dinesh’s investment in his cousin’s app. None of the scenes excel, but they tend to be interesting.

Finally, Reality Bytes: The Art and Science of Silicon Valley runs three minutes, eight seconds and features Judge, Starr, Nanjiani, Berg, technical advisor Vinith Misra, and co-producer Jonathan Dotan. The featurette tells us a little about technical elements and attempts at accuracy in the series. Despite its brevity, the piece works reasonably well.

After a good first year, Season Two of Silicon Valley continues to prosper. Actually, S2 probably fares better than its predecessor, as it manages to develop story and characters in a more satisfying manner. The Blu-ray provides positive picture and audio along with some decent supplements. I enjoyed S2 of Silicon Valley and look forward to the next batch of shows.

Viewer Film Ratings: -- Stars Number of Votes: 0
0 3:
View Averages for all rated titles.

Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main