Veep appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on these Blu-ray Discs. No issues arose in terms of visuals.
Overall definition was very good. Any softness that occurred appeared to relate to the “on the fly” style of photography; otherwise sharpness seemed positive. At no point did jaggies or shimmering interfere, and I noticed no edge haloes or other distractions. As expected, the image lacked source defects.
With a fairly natural palette, colors seemed pleasing. They didn’t quite leap off the screen but they demonstrated nice clarity and accuracy. Blacks were deep and firm, and low-light shots gave us positive delineation. The shows consistently looked sold.
No one would expect a slambang DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack from a series like Veep, and the material remained restrained. Various exteriors added some pep at times, as street scenes and other public moments offered mildly involving settings. However, this remained a chatty show without much in terms of effects, so those elements lacked a lot to make them memorable.
Audio quality worked well. Little music appeared, but when it did, the score sounded full and robust. As mentioned, effects didn’t have much to do, but they remained accurate. Speech was the most important factor and the lines always came across as natural and without edginess. The sound complemented the material in a satisfying – if unmemorable – manner.
We get four audio commentaries here. Here’s the list:
“Midterms”: creator/executive producer Armando Iannucci, co-executive producer Tony Roche, producer/actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus and actors Kevin Dunn and Tim Simons;
“Hostages”: Iannucci, Roche, Dunn, Louis-Dreyfus, and executive producers Chris Godsick and Frank Rich;
“First Response”: Iannucci, Godsick, Roche, Louis-Dreyfus and actor Matt Walsh;
“DC”: Iannucci, Roche, Louis-Dreyfus, Walsh and actor Gary Cole.
Across the various tracks, we learn about story/character elements, cast and performances, sets and locations, and some different series components.
Back in Season One, we got 12 commentaries for only eight episodes, so the reduction to four tracks for 10 shows disappoints on the surface. However, the quality of the S1 commentaries varied enough that I’d prefer fewer tracks as long as they’re more informative.
Does that occur here? Yeah – sort of. None of the four commentaries scintillates, and at times, they turn into minor love-fests. Still, they usually offer a reasonably good look at the episodes, so we learn a mix of nice details along the way. I wouldn’t call the chats indispensible, but they’re informative enough.
84 Deleted Scenes fill a total of 39 minutes, 48 seconds. Nope, that’s not a misprint – the set really does include more than 80 cut sequences. (Season One followed a similar path, as it gave us 63 deleted scenes across less than 25 minutes.)
With so many sequences and so little time, one would guess most of the clips are short, and one would guess correctly. A few go for a couple of minutes or so; for instance, we get an extended chat between Selina and the Finnish Prime Minister at their photo op, and there’s a longer wrap-up to Catherine’s birthday party.
Nonetheless, many – most? – fill a mere 10 seconds or less, so thank God for the “Play All” function – if I’d had to go back to a menu after each and every one of those 84 snippets, I’d have killed myself.
I’d be hard-pressed to cite any cut sequences that seemed significant, as most offer minor jokes or alternate takes. Still, they’re fun to see, as plenty of extra laughs materialize across them.
I found Season One of Veep to be funny but inconsistent, and I’d make the same claim about Season Two, though I think the series manages the ups and downs better this year. While it retains its joke-oriented, caustic sensibility, the gags feel better integrated and less gratuitous; this results in a more enjoyable package of shows as a whole. The Blu-ray delivers very good picture, satisfying audio and a few useful bonus materials. Veep brings us edgy but amusing comedy and improves in its second year.