TV Review: HBO’s Hysterical ‘Veep’ Returns Stronger Than Ever

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CHICAGO – It premiered on Sunday night and so we’re a few days behind but we’re also a few weeks ahead as HBO sent four episodes for review. Better late than never, right? If you saw the season two premiere of “Veep,” you know it was damn smart and incredibly funny. The good news? The cast and writers don’t lose any of that stellar rhythm from the premiere, as this show seems even more confident and accomplished than its award-winning first season (which was recently released on Blu-ray and DVD, details below). Television Rating: 4.5/5.0
Television Rating: 4.5/5.0

It helps that the staff of “Veep” is increased by the additions of Kevin Dunn and Gary Cole, two actors who fit in perfectly in the cynical world of Armando Iannucci. Just as some actors do better with Mamet-speak (William H. Macy, Joe Mantegna, etc.), it appears that some thespians are more inclined to the rhythm of Iannucci’s political satire. And while Cole and Dunn get the pace perfectly from their first appearances, the rest of this top-notch seems to have been practicing in the off-season. As flat-out hysterical as Louis-Dreyfus was in her award-winning first seasons, she’s even better here. Matt Walsh, Anna Chlumsky, Reid Scott, Timothy Simons — like “In the Loop,” there’s not a weak player in the entire ensemble.

Photo credit: HBO

Highlights of the start of season two include the Vice President’s Office’s response to the midterm elections, a controversy involving Oscar nominee “5 Broken Cameras,” the reveal of all of Selina’s visual cues when she’s trying to get out of a situation, and a perfectly dark response to the stroke of Amy’s (Anna Chlumsky) father. A scene in which Selina really doesn’t want Amy to leave but doesn’t want to tell her she can’t go see a dying parent is a work of genius.

Photo credit: HBO

“Veep” is such smart political satire in the way that it never underlines the ridiculuousness of its situations. There’s a great scene in the first quartet involving a camera shot with a roasting pig that’s both ridiculous and completely, 100% believable at the same time. Iannucci understands that a show like “Veep” doesn’t need to go broad. We don’t need pratfalls or exagerrated behavior. The truth of politics is ridiculous enough to be hysterical on its own.

The Blu-ray release for the first season of “Veep” is another HBO beauty, complete with DVD and Ultraviolet versions, perfect transfers, and copious special features. Watch the new season and catch up with the old one as soon as possible. “Veep” is one of the best comedies on TV.

Former Senator Selina Meyer was a charismatic leader and rising star in her party with her eye on the White House - then she became Vice President. Emmy Award winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Seinfeld) stars in Veep, the new HBO comedy series created by Oscar nominee Armando Iannucci (In the Loop). Veep follows the whirlwind day-to-day existence of Vice President Meyer as she puts out political fires, juggles a busy public schedule and demanding private life, and defends the president’s interests, even as she tries to improve her dysfunctional relationship with the chief executive. The ensemble cast also stars Tony Hale (Arrested Development), Anna Chlumsky (In the Loop), Matt Walsh (Hung), Reid Scott (My Boys), Timothy Simons (Days Together) and Sufe Bradshaw (Overnight).

Special Features:
o The Making Of Veep - A Behind The Scenes Look At The Making Of The Series Featuring Interviews With Cast And Crew
o Veep: Misspoke - VP Selina Meyer Clarifies Remarks Regarding Minnesota Governor Danny Chung
o VEEP: Obesity - VP Selina Meyer’s Public Service Announcement About Obesity
o Deleted Scenes And Outtakes
o 12 Audio Commentaries With Cast And Crew
o Digital Copy Included

“Veep” stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Anna Chlumsky, Matt Walsh, and Tony Hale. The second season premiered on HBO on Sunday, April 14, 2013 and the first season was released on Blu-ray and DVD on March 26, 2013. content director Brian Tallerico

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