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Veep - Season 2 [Blu-ray]  [Region Free]
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All ten episodes from the second season of the US political comedy spin-off of British show 'The Thick of It', created by Armando Iannucci and starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus. The series follows Vice President Selina Meyer (Louis-Dreyfus), assisted by her personnel, which include Chief of Staff Amy Brookheimer (Anna Chlumsky) and personal assistant Gary Walsh (Tony Hale), as she goes about her daily business in Office. However, things are rarely plain sailing in both Selina's professional and private life. The episodes are: 'Midterms', 'Signals', 'Hostages', 'The Vic Allen Dinner', 'Helsinki', 'Andrew', 'Shutdown', 'First Response', 'Running' and 'D.C.'
Julia Louis-Dreyfus returns for a second season in her Emmy® -winning role as Vice President Selina Meyer in Veep, the hilarious political comedy created by Oscar® nominee Armando Iannucci. As midterm elections loom, Vice President Meyer is scoring higher ratings than the president in several popularity polls, which she hopes will boost her influence and help her curry favor with the chief executive. But despite her best intentions, even the most banal actions can set off unexpected and often disastrous consequences. Her staff, an ensemble cast The Washington Post calls "terrific," including Tony Hale (Arrested Development, Emmy® winner for his role in Veep), Anna Chlumsky (In The Loop, Emmy® nominee for her role in Veep), Matt Walsh (Hung), Reid Scott (My Boys), Timothy Simons (Days Together) and Sufe Bradshaw (Overnight ), is close at hand with a laugh-out-loud combination of personal problems and government-insider antics.
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Thus season has 10 episodes, and each one is hikarious. Her team is a mix if off the street muck ups. Not one of them should be on this team, except for the secretary, maybe. Anyway, the entire season is run on the predicate that Meyers will run as VP again for the President, or will she?
Her personal life is aggressively insane. She runs her personal life as she does her VP life. She is off hither and yon taking on details that are not really fun, but keep her out of the President's way. The government is shutdown for a period of time, staff have to be let go for a bit. She has a rivalry with a Senator Chung, one of those funny men who always carries a knife. Life in DC as they say. And, then a crisis hits the President, and now it seems to be Meyers time or does it?
Recommended. prisrob 04-29-17
The series opens with the mid-terms, where Selina's appearances on the campaign trail comprise a series of `happy Nurembergs.' Although the party's results are poor, Selina's political star is in the ascendency. POTUS has relented to his Veep's wishes to be more involved in White House matters and given her a greater role in foreign policy. I am reminded of the dictum `be careful what you wish for' as issues relating to hostage taking and the Middle East threaten to dent Selina's popularity. The press have no qualms in firing exocets and prior to a visit to Europe label her `the Europhobic Khalesi from DC'. Public image is paramount and the episode where Allison Janney's journalist ambushes Selina in a supposed `puff piece' interview is a highlight of the series.
This series is even better than the first. The writing and plotting seem to have a slicker cadence and the ensemble cast appear completely at ease with their roles. The vitriolic profanities continue to be spat out thick and fast, and whether rapier thrust or sledgehammer smashed effortlessly hit their targets. Although technically on the same side of the political divide, both politicians and their aides continue to behave amorally, being prepared to say or do anything in order to gain an advantage. The reason that this brutal satire succeeds is that we are ready to accept the venal and duplicitous behaviour portrayed as a believable norm. We believe that politicians, and people associated with politics, are capable and willing to do anything in order to climb up the greasy pole. This series does nothing to dispel this belief.
Having said that, it is probably one of the funniest series I have watched in a long time. As well as the seemingly never-ending quick fire gags it has the confidence to descend into pure farce, as when Jonah attempts to hide a spit roast pig from Jewish television viewers.
Like all Vice-Presidents real or imagined, Selina complains that she doesn't have an active enough role. But she quickly learns to be careful what she wishes for when the President gives her some measure of responsibility in Foreign Policy. This grants Iannucci greater scope to put her in awkward situations, such as an embarrassing encounter with the Finnish Prime Minister, deftly played by Sally Phillips ("Europe used to be my favourite continent," says Selina. "Now it's not even in the top five").
There are also events inspired by real-life news stories, like Selina overseeing a military operation & later having to choose an official photograph of the ops room - like the iconic one of Obama & his staff watching the killing of Bin Laden. Except the one which shows her best side also makes POTUS look "jowley"... And there's some fun moments between the characters too, like Selina forgetting on a lifestyle TV show that her daughter is vegetarian & coercing her to eat some chicken to cover up the mistake. Meanwhile Danny & Mike follow Jonah (now AKA 'Jonad') because "it's as pointless as everything else we do".
Like the previous series, the pace is sometimes bewildering & on occasion my lack of familiarity with the USA's political system initially left me confused. Yet as with series one & The Thick Of It before it, I found these elements give the series a high re-watchability factor which led to me enjoying it just as much the second time around. It's also nice to see a few of the American actors from In The Loop turn up in new roles as the ensemble of characters increases. And there's still bucket-loads of swearing & creative insults, which have never bothered me personally but are inevitably not everyones' cup of 'cawfee'.
Series 1 was good - series 2 is great. There's more of what I liked about series 1, coupled with some interesting developments & situations. Highly recommended.
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