Vice Principals appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The episodes offered good though unexceptional visuals.
For the most part, sharpness looked fine, though exceptions occurred. I noticed a bit of softness in some wider shots – nothing extreme, but enough to make the programs appear a little ill-defined at times. I saw no jaggies or shimmering, and neither edge haloes nor source flaws materialized.
Vice Principals went with a chilly, subdued palette that favored a desaturated tan impression. Though these hues didn’t impress, the Blu-ray represented them adequately. Blacks showed positive darkness and depth, while shadows offered fair clarity. In the end, this turned into a more than acceptable presentation.
Given the series’ comedic orientation, I didn’t expect much from its DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, and the results remained fairly subdued. Music became the most dominant element, as the often-percussive score used all five channels in a robust manner.
As for effects, they played a smaller role but they popped to life on occasion. A scene in which a house becomes engulfed in flames used the channels nicely, and other scenes offered pretty good ambience. Not much worked the speakers actively, but the soundscapes contributed a little pep.
Audio quality worked fine. Music was bold and dynamic, so the score became the best part of the mix. Dialogue seemed concise and distinctive, while effects were accurate and tight. Nothing here leapt out of my speakers, but the soundtrack seemed appropriate for the series.
All nine episodes include audio commentaries. Here’s who we find:
“The Principal”: writer/executive producer/actor Danny McBride, writer/executive producer/director Jody Hill, and actors Walton Goggins, Kimberly Hebert Gregory, Georgia King and Busy Philipps.
“A Trusty Steed”: McBride, Goggins, writer/co-executive producer John Carcieri, editor/co-producer Jeff Seibenick and costume designer Sarah Trost.
“The Field Trip”: McBride, Trost, King, music composer Joseph Stephens, and actors Edi Patterson and Mike O’Gorman.
“Run For the Money”: McBride, Hill, Goggins, Gregory, writer/consulting producer Jeff Fradley and actor Ashley Spillers.
“Circles”: McBride, Hill, Carcieri, Trost, Hoggins, Gregory.
“The Foundation of Learning”: McBridge, Hill, Goggins, Gregory, King and O’Gorman.
“The Good Book”: McBride, Hill, Carcieri, Gregory, King and Patterson.
“Gin”: McBride, Hill, Carcieri, Goggins, Gregory and King.
“End of the Line”: McBride, Hill, Carcieri, Goggins, Gregory and King.
Across these tracks, we hear about the project’s roots, story/character areas, cast and performances, sets and locations, music and costumes, and various production tidbits.
Commentaries for TV series tend to consist of laughter and happy talk. Plenty of those elements appear here, but the participants still manage to convey a fair amount of useful information. Though the tracks never excel, they include enough material to sustain the listener.
We also locate Deleted Scenes for all nine episodes. With a total running time of 18 minutes, 27 seconds, we find 18 clips – almost all of which come from Episodes One through Five. Episodes Six through Nine only account for four of the 18 snippets, and they run less than three and a half minutes.
In terms of the content, the scenes tend to flesh out existing concepts, and some do so reasonably well. We get extra character material and a few moderately amusing bits. Nothing great appears, but the deleted scenes add some value.
Finally, a Blooper Reel lasts four minutes, 58 seconds. It mixes the usual goofs/giggles with some alternate lines. The latter make the collection better than average.
Despite a few insightful and entertaining moments, most of Vice Principals falls flat. It mixes drama and broad comedy in an unsatisfying manner to become a lackluster melange. The Blu-rays offer generally good picture and audio along with a decent set of supplements. Given the talent involved, I hope Season Two fares better, but S1 leaves me cold.