Veep appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on these Blu-ray Discs. 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 looked fine. The series went with an amber tone that could make shots look a bit underlit at times, but the hues represented the original material well. 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, and street/crowd scenes provided pretty good involvement.
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. The shows delivered unexceptional but appropriate soundtracks.
We get 12 audio commentaries here. With eight episodes, that means multiple tracks for some shows. Here’s the list:
“Fundraiser”: creator/executive producer Armando Iannucci, executive producers Chris Godsick and Frank Rich, producer/actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus and writer Simon Blackwell;
“Fundraiser”: actors Anna Chlumsky, Tony Hale, Reid Scott, Timothy Simons, Matt Walsh and Sufe Bradshaw;
“Frozen Yoghurt”: Iannucci, Godsick, Rich, Louis-Dreyfus, and Blackwell;
“Frozen Yoghurt”: Chlumsky, Hale, Scott, Simons, Walsh and Bradshaw;
“Catherine”: Iannucci, Godsick, Rich, Louis-Dreyfus, and Blackwell;
“Catherine”: Chlumsky, Hale, Scott, Simons, Walsh and Bradshaw;
“Chung”: Iannucci, Godsick, Rich, Louis-Dreyfus, and Blackwell;
“Chung”: Chlumsky, Hale, Scott, Simons, Walsh and Bradshaw;
“Nicknames”: Iannucci, Louis-Dreyfus, Chlumsky, Simons, Walsh, and Blackwell;
“Baseball”: Iannucci, Louis-Dreyfus, Chlumsky, Simons, Walsh, and Blackwell;
“Full Disclosure”: Iannucci, Louis-Dreyfus, Chlumsky, Simons, Walsh, and Blackwell;
“Tears”: Iannucci, Louis-Dreyfus, Chlumsky, Simons, Walsh, Blackwell and writer Tony Roche;
Across the various tracks, we learn about story/character elements, cast and performances, sets and locations, and some different series components.
While these commentaries tend to be engaging enough, they’re not tremendously informative. They give us some basics but often degenerate into laughing at jokes and telling us what the participants like about the episodes. Though I think they’re pleasant, in terms of content, the commentaries seem average at best.
Most of the remaining extras show up on Disc Two, but we get a few on Disc One. From the third episode, Governor Chung Retraction runs one minute, 17 seconds and shows Selina’s attempt to undo damage. Governor Chung Outtake also lets us see a one-minute, 28-second “behind the scenes” look at the retraction. Both amuse.
With that, we head to Disc Two and The Making of Veep. It lasts 13 minutes, 24 seconds and includes notes from Louis-Dreyfus, Iannnucci, Chlumsky, Hale, Bradshaw, Simons, Scott, Godsick, Walsh, Roche, Rich, Blackwell, producer Stephanie Laing, consulting producer/writer Roger Drew, and costume designer Ernesto Martinez. We get some notes about narrative/characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, costumes, shooting with two cameras, and general thoughts. Though brief, “Making” has some good moments. It tends to be somewhat superficial/promotional but it comes with enough interesting tidbits to merit a viewing.
63 Deleted Scenes fill a total of 24 minutes, 52 seconds. That’s not a misprint: they really do cram 63 cut pieces into less than 25 minutes. Five episodes include seven or fewer scenes, while three go into double digits. “Tears” becomes the one with the most sequences, as it brings us 17, but “Baseball” comes close behind with 15. (“Fundraiser” throws out 10.)
With an average running time of less than 24 seconds, one shouldn’t expect much substance from the scenes. The vast majority come and go quickly and just throw out minor additions to existing sequences. While we get nothing important, we find a lot of amusing material, so the collection of scenes offers fun footage.
Connected to “Baseball” - and also seen at the launch of this disc – an Anti-Obesity PSA 44 seconds. We get a one-minute, 10-second Anti-Obesity PSA outtake as well. As with the Chung components on Disc One, these deliver decent entertainment value.
A separate platter offers a DVD Copy of Veep. Unlike many bonus DVDs, this double-sided disc includes bonus features.
As a series, Veep comes with its ups and downs. While it’s usually funny, it can be a little too joke-oriented for its own good, as it doesn’t draw in the viewer with much other than its barbed one-liners. Still, these often amuse. The Blu-ray provides good picture, audio and supplements. I can’t say I’m wild about Veep, but I think its strengths definitely outweigh its weaknesses.