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K Street - The Complete Series

3.1 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

K Street (DVD)

K STREET is an experimental fusion of reality and fiction--an entertaining, fly-on-the-wall look at government, filmed in and around the corridors of power in Washington. The series ventures inside the world of powerful political consultants--a world that few people ever experience first-hand. Produced on location in Washington, D.C., the largely improvised ten-episode series combines fictional characters with appearances by real-life political figures, all centered around the biggest political news of the week.



What a weird and wonderful creature is this thing called K Street. Named after Washington, D.C.'s "fourth wing" of political power and coproduced by George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh, this beguiling, problematic HBO series ran for only 10 half-hour episodes, each aired immediately after blistering five-day production schedules during which Soderbergh, as director, editor, and videographer (under his nom de camera, Peter Andrews) combined fact and fiction within Washington's corridors of power, casting savvy actors alongside real-life D.C. power brokers, journalists, lobbyists, and political consultants. The result is one of the most unusual hybrids in television history, in which top-drawer consultants (and bipartisan celebrity couple) James Carville and Mary Matalin work for a fictional firm run by a reclusive billionaire (Elliott Gould), where they must endure FBI scrutiny for doing business with a Saudi organization that might be a front for terrorists. As this crisis approaches meltdown, Soderbergh's fly-on-the-wall approach (first tested in Traffic) grows increasingly fascinating (especially for Beltway insiders, many appearing as themselves) and potentially mystifying for less-informed viewers. There's no hand-holding here, no back-story, no glossary or who's-who, and (most regrettably) no DVD supplements to guide the political layperson. What you get instead is a privileged glimpse of backroom politics in action, quasi-factual, semi-fictional, and never less than riveting. --Jeff Shannon

Special Features

  • All 10 episodes on two discs

Product Details

  • Actors: James Carville, Mary Matalin, Michael K. Deaver, Mary McCormack, John Slattery
  • Writers: Henry Bean
  • Producers: George Clooney, Steven Soderbergh, Mark Sennet, Henry Bean
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: HBO Studios
  • DVD Release Date: July 20, 2004
  • Run Time: 300 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00020HB3W
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,461 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "K Street - The Complete Series" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It's hard to decide which aspect of K Street was the most satisfying...
* The ending was positively brilliant. For all those who would, confidentially, love to stick it to Saudi Arabia, watching the "bad guy" walk away with the loot just pulled my grin from ear to ear.
* The first two episodes verily lifted me out of my chair, mouth agape, asking, "How are they doing this?" Now that time has passed, you'll have to appreciate that these topics were *peaking* as news stories -right as K Street was wrapping production for the week-. For those 'tuned in' to politics and world news, it was a thrill that is indescribable. Carville actually interacting, on camera, live (as in -real life-!) with Howard Dean and Phili mayor Street at the height of their news cycles? You could actually watch C-SPAN (and FOX News! remember the debate?) to see a true-to-life angle of a K Street episode! Beat that!
* There were more cameos than I could enumerate... all A-list Washington insiders. Real senators, real journalists, playing full-blown _parts_ in the week's story. And how brilliant each one was! Never did you feel that they were phoning it in for air time. No, these cameos furthered the pulse of the story.
* There is no way that the season could have been planned as it was... It must have been decided around the 3rd or 4th week that it would be the CIA-informant-leak story that would bring the Carville-Matalin office down. I'm almost certain that the writers could have allowed a much brighter, upbeat story to carry through, but they _abided_ by their dynamic philosophy... as Washington goes, so goes the show. Bravo.
* The cinematography was fantastic. Even when the dialogue faltered, the low off-angle shots kept the tempo steady.
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Format: DVD
Practically everything about HBO's "K Street" and its run was a little odd.

Produced by George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh, it was a television series that debuted in fall 2003 and centered around a political consulting firm in Washington, D.C.

The cast was a mixture of actors and political figures - James Carville and Mary Matalin played fictionalized versions of themselves interacting with real congressmen, senators, lobbyists and journalists. Howard Dean, Tom Daschle, Orrin Hatch, Joe Klein and lots of others had cameos.

Episodes were semi-improvised and shot quickly with a handheld camera, by Soderbergh, just a few days before the shows aired so they could incorporate current events into the plots.

Cool idea. Sounds like one heck of a lot of work. And, overall, the basic idea just didn't play. The main characters often had to jump through hoops to integrate themselves into the topics and most of the politicians on-camera were uneasy and distracting. Rather than seeming "ripped from today's headlines," "K Street" kind of felt Scotch taped to the day-before-yesterday's.

But then the show started getting bizarre, and bizarre in a good way.

Most TV shows have been in the can for weeks or even months by the time their reviews and ratings come out, but Soderbergh was still shooting the show as it was being panned by critics and ignored by viewers. In apparent response, the series abruptly went from being a minimalist, more cynical "West Wing" to behaving like a long lost Alan Pakula thriller from the '70s.

The characters got creepy: Maggie (Mary McCormack) met a suitor (Talia Balsam) who came on strong and then suddenly accused her of stalking; the robotic Francisco (Roger G.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
As a political junkie who's not American-based but takes a keen interest in US politics both personally and professionally I awaited the arrival of my copy of this DVD with a great deal of anticipation.

This style of film-making does require concentration in order to get the best out of it, and that's a good thing. Who wants to sit back and let some inane sitcom wash over you when you can engage your mind with a DVD in the same way that you can with some of the best books? That's a rare feat and Soderbergh should be congratulated.

I knew enough of the key political players to keep up, as I suspect would most Americans who watched this series. But I was a little lost when other real life figures entered the fray. While you're thinking "That's obviously a well-known writer, but who is he?!... or maybe he's just an actor *playing* a well-known writer and I'm not meant to recognise him..." some vital exchange between the characters has slipped by. Fortunately, with a DVD you can curse under your breath and hit "rewind", but that does detract from the enjoyment. Some concession to scene setting along the lines of "Jeff, about your column on..." would have helped cue viewers in to the person's (be they real or an actor) place in the scheme of things.

What matters in the end though is that K Street has left me with a sore back. That's because not once during the marathon beginning-to-end viewing session did I sit back on the couch and let this series wash over me. I was sitting up, leaning forward, engaged the whole time. When was the last time you could say *that* about a TV show?
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