Veep Season 1 Blu-ray Review
We need more time. If I were an executive working on HBO’s ‘Veep’, that would be my motto whenever I was sitting in a board meeting and talking about the show. As you watch the first season of ‘Veep’, it feels like you’re swimming in this pool of Jello that’s right on the brink of conforming to a mold, but hasn’t quite found its place. The show has a ton of upside and promise, but after only 8 episodes in season one, the show has no idea what it wants to be.
The show revolves around the Vice President of the United States, Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) and her team of publicists and managers that include Amy (Anna Chlumsky), Gary (Tony Hale), Dan (Reid Scott) and Mike (Matt Walsh). At one time, Selina was on pace to actually be President, but a series of missteps harpooned her campaign and she had to settle for Vice President. She’s a smart woman, but she always seems to find herself in awkward situations and her disappointment with being VP usually leads to humorous, if not unnecessary encounters.
Obviously, with a cast led by comedy veterans Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, Tony Hale and Matt Walsh, along with the very talented Anna Chlumsky (who you know as the little girl in MY GIRL), the cards are stacked for this show to be rolling on the floor funny. But the writers don’t seem to know if they want the show to be a slapstick comedy full of physical humor, a quick-witted sitcom where everyone plays off the other or a light drama with moments of comedy. So what we get is a mash-up of all of the above, which leads to some funny moments, but creates a very confusing tone for the audience. There’s a great show somewhere in here, but I’m not sure anyone knows where it is.
One of the big problems is with Selina, who is sometimes written as dumb and oblivious and other times as snotty and elitist. Her character needs consistency and personally, I thought she worked much better when she was playing obnoxious instead of dumb. She’s the Vice President of the United States, so no matter how little you think of politicians, politicians are moderately intelligent and I sometimes had trouble accepting some of Selina’s decisions (the pregnancy storyline was ridiculous, for example). But on the opposite end, her dinner party interactions when she goes to Ohio to endorse a candidate for governor were comedy gold. The show does offer enough of these types of situations that we can forgive it for its lack of focus.
Like I said; ‘Veep’ is a mixed bag that hasn’t quite found its groove yet. ‘Veep’ does have a bit of a ‘Parks and Recreation’ vibe to it, but while that show knows exactly what it is, ‘Veep’ is still figuring things out. Thankfully, the stellar cast and mounds of potential the show has should keep you hooked. But TV is very finicky, especially these days, and shows can’t go on for two or three seasons riding the wave of promise and potential. ‘Veep’ doesn’t have long to figure out what it wants to be, but if it can land on a tone, I think the show could be great.
Video: ‘Veep’ looks amazing on Blu-ray, further cementing HBO’s perfection of the format.
Audio: The audio is equally impressive.
Twelve commentaries on eight episodes: Yep, some episodes get more than one commentary, which is something I don’t think I’ve ever seen before (although I’m sure it has happened). Almost all of the cast members show up for at least one of the commentaries, along with some of the creators and writers. These are okay, but sometimes they turn into what feels like a giant inside joke between the stars.
Deleted Scenes (25:11): Over 60 deleted “scenes” are included. I put scenes in parentheses because a lot of these are just quick alternate takes. Overall, they’re pretty enjoyable and should be enough for anyone looking for more ‘Veep’.
The Making of Veep (12:58): This is like an advertisement for the show, more designed for people that are on the fence about whether or not to sit down with the first season.
Anti-Obesity PSA and Outtakes and Governor Chung Retraction and Outtakes (5:02): Two extended looks at Selina’s biggest goofs during the first season.