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.
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 (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) 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." The series, created by Oscar nominee Armando Iannucci, features an ensemble cast including Emmy nominee Anna Chlumsky, Emmy winner Tony Hale, 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.
HBO's 'Veep' is one of the most consistently funny shows on television. Ever since its pilot episode in season one, this crazy cast of characters and incredible comedy writing has never slowed down, but instead has gained speed. With the past three seasons, I didn't think the creators and actors could keep up the pace, but Season Four shatters expectations to become the funniest season yet. This is one of those shows that you hope won't ever go away.
It's fast pace and hilarious characters keep me coming back for more. In this particular season, the Vice President Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) is no longer the 'Veep', but the actual President of the United States after the boss stepped down. She is enjoying her time as President, but then things go downhill as she has to run for re-election after only a few short months. Everyone is back, including Amy (Anna Chlumsky), who seems to have bitten off more than she can chew, Dan (Reid Scott), who always seems to land on his feet, Mike (Matt Walsh), who is now the White House spokesman and one of the funniest people on the show, Gary (Tony Hale), who still is being left in the lurch, Kent (Gary Cole) and Chief of Staff Ben (Kevin Dunn) who are funnier than ever, and of course Jonah (Timothy Simmons) who gets himself into even deeper trouble this season.
There are some new faces as well, including Diedrich Bader as Bill, a no-nonsense campaign manager, Patton Oswalt, who plays another chief of staff to the current Vice President, and Hugh Laurie, who plays Vice Presidential nominee Tom James. It seems like a ton of characters, but everyone is fleshed out and independent from one another, so it's easy to distinguish each person. On the road to re-election, Selina must tackle a big weather storm, a court case scandal, the flu, and a data breach that will leave you in stitches. The relationship between Selena and Tom is hilarious to say the least, as they have had a past, and Jonah and Patton Oswalt get a little closer than you might think in more than a few different ways.
There is even a laugh-out-loud funny montage moment where everyone delivers their nicknames for Jonah. The laughs never stop coming in, which proves this well-written and improv'd show is one of the best series on television. It will be hard to top Season Four, but I'm betting that Season Five will outdo our expectations, which is outstanding.
The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats
'Veep: Season 4' comes with 2 50GB Blu-ray Discs that are Region A Locked from HBO. There is also a digital download code insert for iTunes or Ultraviolet. The two discs and insert are housed in an eco-friendly hard blue plastic cast with the inside box art, giving episode information. The case is housed in a cardboard sleeve.
'Veep: Season Four' comes with a great 1080p HD transfer presented in 1.78:1 aspect ratio. This video presentation is the same as the previous three seasons, with excellent colors and great detail. Colors are deep, rich, and bold throughout with a lot of earthy tones of the White House. The brown and beige colors look excellent. When outside, there are more blues and greens that brighten up the image as well.
Each color is well-balanced and never off-point. I wouldn't say it pops right off screen, given the neutral color scheme, but they all look amazing. The detail is vivid and sharp as well in each episode, revealing wrinkles, makeup blemishes, and freckles in closeups nicely. Black levels are deep and inky and the skin tones are natural. There were no issues with banding or aliasing, or any other compression issue, leaving this video presentation with great marks.
This HBO release comes with a great lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix. This isn't an action show by any means, but a dialogue driven comedy show, hence there isn't a ton of surround usage. That being said, there are a lot of moments that use the rear speakers to immerse you in the chaos of the White House. Sound effects of large rooms of people talking, or a fireworks show, and even the effect of speaking into a mic are well-served here, and it puts you in the heat and comedy of the moment.
It sounds realistic and true. Ambient noises are great as well throughout. There is a bit of bass here and there that never goes into rocky territory. The fast-paced dialogue is always crystal clear and easy to follow, and free of any pops, cracks, hiss, or high shrills. This is a great audio mix.
Deleted Scenes (HD, 16 Mins.) - There are a collection of deleted scenes on both discs, all of which provide laughs and are worth watching.
Season Four of 'Veep' on HBO is the funniest and best yet. I just hope they never cancel this show. It's that good. The new characters this season seem to fit right in, and the jokes are non-stop. I love that they took 'Veep' and made her POTUS, which only amps up the comedy and awkward situations. Everybody brings their A-game here again too. The video and audio presentations are both quality, however the extras are a little light, only giving a few funny deleted scenes. Still, it's hard to think of a funnier show on television right now. Highly recommended!
Portions of this review also appear in our coverage of Dunkirk on Blu-ray. This post features unique Vital Disc Stats, Video, and Final Thoughts sections.