Review: ‘VEEP’ Transcends To POTUS In Season 4
‘VEEP’ delivers yet another outstanding season of oval office antics with Julia Louis-Dreyfus for the highly presidential fourth season of this Emmy award winning HBO comedy series.
‘VEEP,’ the four-time Outstanding Comedy Series Emmy nominee, swears in it’s fourth Season with all the same antics audiences have loved since its inception. This season however, Selina Meyer played by the wonderfully charismatic Julia Louis-Dreyfus snagged the statuette for Outstanding Lead Actress. In this colorful fourth season we see Dreyfus’ Meyer transition from VEEP to POTUS, as She opens the season with her first big speech before Congress since becoming president.
Still, even the most powerful person in America, and debatably the planet, doesn’t mean she or her supporting staff are more able now than before the Meyer administration claimed top office. ‘VEEP’ season four finds the same supporting players in Amy (Anna Chlumsky), Ben (Kevin Dunn), Gary (Tony Hale), Dan (Reid Scott), Mike (Matt Walsh), Sue (Sufe Bradshaw) and Kent (Gary Cole) as they do try not to dismantle Selina Meyer’s Oval office aspirations.
Cinematics (Cinematography, Acting, Etc.) – 4
‘VEEP’ season four really gives audiences a colorfully vivid cross-section of the political circus with the Meyer administration immediately having to field everything from freeing an American reporter jailed in Iran, dealing with campaign chaos, hunting for a patsy for a major data leak scandal, and of course there’s the small yet ever persistent matter of having to win an election. This season gets rounded out with a slew of comedians and quirky characters as the cast is joined by Hugh Laurie (my personal favorite) Timothy C. Simons, Sam Richardson, Patton Oswalt, Sarah Sutherland and Diedrich Bader.
While shows like ‘The West Wing’ and, more recently, ‘Scandal’ often peer beneath the dark and seedy underbelly of the ravenous beast that is American politics, ‘VEEP’ provides audiences a more whimsical perspective on the sullen subject matter. At the same time, I feel that ‘VEEP,’ through the use of situational comedy, is able to really get at the core issues and highlight ironies much more effectively than its more serious similarly-themed competition.
After three solid and successful EMMY worthy seasons, it’s refreshing to see a non-network series stay so relevant and acutely comedic. On the other hand, given the current state of American politics as it reaches the fever pitch we call the presidential elections, I think the system will churn out plenty of fodder from capitol hill to sustain this series, and genre for that matter, for many more seasons to come.
Entertainment Value – 3.5
In the past years, HBO’s ‘VEEP’ has undoubtedly become a flagship series for the premium channel giving them both quality programming and attracting a slew of big name actors. With that said, HBO has allowed ‘VEEP’ the room to blossom into a unique and often comedically enthralling political juggernaut that shows little signs of wear. Watching the series, many episodes play out like a realized parody befitting ‘The Daily Show’ or HBO’s very own ‘Last Week Tonight’ hosted by witty Brit John Oliver.
“Joint Session” is the ‘VEEP’ season four premiere episode and perhaps one of the most effective episodes of the entire season. I say effective in the sense, that we really see the Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) character have to field her new presidential duties for the first time. Not only does it provide a sense of culmination in the build up from the three previous seasons, but it also tosses our favorite character to the wolves, so to speak, and let’s us see what this new, yet familiar, dynamic with the series moving forward. There is also the added bonus of seeing the more satirized, yet oddly realistic, demeanor of a very green president before a very scrutinizing body of congress.
Some other notable episodes this season that stood out among the pack were episode 4, “Tehran” and the season finale, “Election Night.” “Tehran” was particularly relevant and the added bit surround the world of lobbyists made for an all around relatable and enjoyable episode.
Re-Watchability – 3
Fans of ‘VEEP’ will find all the typical humor expected of Julia Louis-Dreyfus and her motley crew of vexed underlings with an added layer of quirk and cameos unique to this fourth season. While I wouldn’t leave the show on repeat, there is ample political relevance and humor to amply keep one’s attention for well-spaced out repeat viewings. I will however admit that the content, while with some lasting appeal, is much more poignant and pertinent when enjoyed closer to or in concert with the current events from which the show’s story and dialogue have been undoubtedly mined.
Blu-Ray – 3
The ‘VEEP’ Complete Fourth Season Blu-Ray/Digital HD pack is pretty average. While it has the standard thin cardboard slip cover, which matches the actual blu-ray case both front and back, the special features are a bit lacking with only some deleted scenes. While the deleted scenes are well worth watching, something like character bios/featurettes or a faux campaign ad for Selena Meyer would have been fun to see. All in all the season four content itself is excellent, while the special features and packaging is rather basic.
Watch FilmFad’s official unboxing video for ‘VEEP: The Complete Fourth Season’ below:
'VEEP' delivers yet another outstanding season of oval office antics with Julia Louis-Dreyfus for the highly presidential fourth season of this Emmy award winning HBO comedy series. If you are already a fan of the series, then you can expect to find all the usual comedic goodness with a nice whipped topping of hellacious and hilarious cameo guests.