VEEP: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON (HBO, 2012) Creator: Armando Iannucci, w/ Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Anna Chlumsky. Rating: NNNN; Blu-ray package: NNN Rating: NNNN
Sharp scripts, pitch-perfect performances and a hectic pace make Veep's eight half-hours a very funny, hard-edged look at backroom political life.
Newly elected U.S. vice-president Selina Meyer is a veteran politician, polished and personable in public, filled with contempt in private. She's comfortable cutting a deal and making snap decisions. She's also anxiety-ridden, cruel, massively egocentric and, above all, frustrated at being so close to power and having so little of it herself.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus leaps into Selina with incredible drive, mercurial changes and an utterly straight face.
Her inner circle, played by Anna Chlumsky, Matt Walsh, Reid Scott and Tony Hale, are amoral, backstabbing careerists, only semi-competent but with a strong talent for obscene insults.
These zingers pepper complex, multi-episode stories of political infighting, office politics and small mistakes turning into major disasters. The stories are as believable as they are farcical.
In one of the 12 joke-laden cast-and-crew commentaries, creator Armando Iannucci talks about his intent to show the day-to-day realities of backroom political life, pointing out the research and the bits lifted from real life.
EXTRAS Twelve cast-and-crew commentaries, making-of doc, deleted scenes, more. English, French, Spanish audio and subtitles.