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Veep follows the day-to-day existence of Vice President Selina Meyer. Following the revelation that the President will not seek re-election, the Veep begins eying a promotion. With all of America now watching her and her team, Selina and her staff head off to Detroit and Silicon Valley, go on a drug bust with the Maryland Coast Guard, and fly to London to confer with heads of state. (From the HBO synopsis)

 Veep: The Complete Third Season
Season 3 of Veep might be my favorite yet. The series from Armando Iannucci ( In the Loop, The Thick of It) was always entertaining, but seems to have really perfected what it's going for in this new installment. The writers do an excellent job of walking that line where their humor is mean spirited and harsh, but never quite offensive to the viewer. The focus of this new season is on Selina Meyer's campaign to be president. As always, watching her clumsily navigate her way through the world of politics with the "help" of her incompetent staff members is ripe for entertainment. The bickering between Selina's staff members are where the writing shines most. Mike (Matt Walsh) being mercilessly teased for doing IVF is a stand out, nobody on Selina's team likes her new haircut, and the increasing rivalry between Dan (Reid Scott) and Jonah (Timothy Simons) reaches new heights. Kevin Dunn remains an unsung hero of the show who gets laughs out of me nearly every time he opens his mouth.

Early in the season Jonah loses his job at the White House and resorts to making a political gossip website, complete with over-the-top flash videos and the kind of ridiculousness you've come to expect from the character. Gary (Tony Hale) continues to be like any other Tony Hale character, but he's so good at it that you can hardly fault him. Late in the season he cries so hard he gets a nosebleed, which made me laugh until I cried (but my nose didn't bleed). Some ongoing jokes don't land as well as others. There are some new folks that show up to work with Selina while her staff is all at a wedding, and she doesn't like them. A lot of the jokes around these characters didn't do anything for me. In an episode where Selina's team goes to London I was hoping we would get to see some crossover with The Thick of It, but it doesn't happen. My dreams of seeing Malcolm Tucker on Veep have vanished now that Peter Capaldi is the new doctor and Iannucci has ruled out the possibility, but I'll always have The Thick of It to revisit. Though the show is always more character-driven than plot-driven, some major changes happen in the late stages that should make for an interesting fourth season.

 Veep: The Complete Third Season

Video


There aren't any surprises here. HBO has always delivered quality transfers on the Blu-ray releases of their shows, and this season of Veep is no exception. The show maintains its faux cinéma vérité style that was made popular in the US by shows like The Office and Parks and Recreation. True to that style, the color palette of the show is very natural so nothing about the image especially pops, but it fits the material. It's shot on the Arri Alexa so detail is very strong. Patterns on clothing and suits are easily discernible. The impressive bitrate of Blu-ray even allows me to see some digital noise in the image that I've never noticed when watching a more compressed version of the show on television or HBO Go.

Audio


HBO's audio mix for Veep is perfectly fitting. This is a show about dialogue and whip-smart exchanges, and on that front there is nothing to complain about. Characters are very easy to hear and understand, even when they are saying mean things about the people near them under their breath. The soundtrack remains the same as previous seasons; just a bit of newscast-like music to guide us into each episode and the occasional scene. Nothing in the music department grabs your attention, and it doesn't need to.

 Veep: The Complete Third Season

Extras


The special features section is light. There are Deleted Scenes (HD, 18:17) for each episode except the finale. There is a special feature not listed on the back of the box titled Governor's Visit (HD, 02:56) that has a little bit of behind the scenes footage with Martin O'Malley (actual governor of Maryland while season 3 was filming) talking about the show. He calls it the most realistic show about politics which is a little frightening. Here is a list of the four available Audio Commentaries
  • Episode 7: With executive producer Chris Godsick, producer/actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, director Chris Addison, Anna Chlumsky and Tony Hale
  • Episode 8: With producer/actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Kevin Dunn, Gary Cole and Matt Walsh
  • Episode 9: With executive producer Frank Rich, producer/actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, director Chris Addison, Tony Hale and Matt Walsh
  • Episode 10: With producer/actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Reid Scott, Tim Simons, Sufe Bradshaw and Kevin Dunn


 Veep: The Complete Third Season

Overall


Veep continues to be hilarious and this third season is my favorite so far. If you've watched and liked previous seasons, there's no reason not to continue. I struggle to think of a better ensemble cast in a current comedy show. Thinking on it, every one of Selina's immediate staff members has made me crack up at some point in time. HBO's release is a bit light in the extras department, but the presentation is as good as ever.

 Veep: The Complete Third Season
 Veep: The Complete Third Season
 Veep: The Complete Third Season
 Veep: The Complete Third Season
 Veep: The Complete Third Season
 Veep: The Complete Third Season
 Veep: The Complete Third Season
* Note: The above images are taken from the Blu-ray and resized for the page. Full-resolution captures are available by clicking individual images, but due to .jpg compression they are not necessarily representative of the quality of the transfer.


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