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The Office - Season Two


TITLE: THE OFFICE - SEASON TWO


Info:

DVD Release Date: September 12, 2006 (Universal Studios)
Color/2005-06
MSRP: $49.98
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 22
Running Time: 477 minutes
Running Time of Special Features: 413 minutes
Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, Spanish
Special Features:
MANY Episode Commentaries
Deleted Scenes
“Faces of Scranton”
NBC.com Webisodes: The Accountants
Blooper Reels
Olympics promos
Fake PSAs
Steve on Steve


Introduction:

It’s time to clock in for Season Two of The Office, the comically honest look at the world of white-collar employment. Steve Carell (The 40-Year-Old Virgin) won a Golden Globe for his role as Michael Scott, the sometimes pathetic but always hilarious regional manager of Dunder-Mifflin Paper Supply Company. Join him and the amazing ensemble cast (Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, B.J. Novak, and more) as Michael, Dwight, Jim, Pam, Ryan, and others navigate the hidden romance and open absurdity of the business world, from the Christmas party to sexual harassment training, to the “Booze Cruise” retreat to the heartbreak of “Casino Night”. Developed by Greg Daniels (King of the Hill, The Simpsons), fully staffed with all 22 outrageous episodes and packed with hours of laugh-out-loud bonus features, The Office: Season Two is the must-own cure for the workday blues.

I liked that description, myself. You know, some of the text on the back of the boxes isn’t always very descriptive of the show, or the season, or other elements of the show, but this one pretty much nails the series on the head. This show has become one of my favorite shows in all of television, and if you’re new to the show, this season should convince you to purchase it--highly Recommended. Oh wait, you mean I’m not supposed to recommend the show until the conclusion? Got a bit ahead of myself, I suppose. But this season really IS that good.


Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

This season --­ this show ­-- is wonderful. It truly is. Let’s start from the top, in the first episode of the season, The Dundies. The Dunder-Mifflin offices own little awards --­ given what we know with the cast, imagine how this is going to go. Citing an example of the popularity --­ and feel free to take it with an amount of salt equal to your dietary demands. ­ On TV.com (I miss TVTome, but anyway…), NO episode of the season is currently rated below a 9.0. And this is even after hundreds of votes per episode.

Anyway, the first episode of the season that *I* personally love is the 2nd episode, Sexual Harassment. Dunder-Mifflin’s corporate headquarters begins a crackdown on sexual harassment in the workplace. Michael reacts…well…as you’d expect Michael to react. In “The Fire”, a fire starts in the kitchen of the office, forcing the staff to wait in the parking lot for the majority of the day. In “The Injury”, Michael injures his foot on a George Foreman grill, and forces the office to work around his “injury”. The staff isn’t happy, so Michael calls a man in a wheelchair to put out a message that disabled people are people too, while Dwight is acting strangely. Finally, the final two episodes of the season, “Conflict Resolution” and “Casino Night” are two of my favorite episodes of the series so far. In “Conflict Resolution”, Michael takes over the duties of the HR department, causing absolute chaos in the office. In “Casino Night”, the staff holds a “casino night” at the office to benefit charity. Michael has to balance two dates, while Jim faces the possibility of a transfer, and how that would affect his relationship with Pam. This is by NO means an exhaustive list, but I just hit a couple of my personal favorites ­ the entire season is wonderful.

List of Guest Stars:
Greg Daniels (show producer, The Office, King of the Hill, etc): Office Olympics
Tim Meadows (“Saturday Night Live): The Client
Conan O’Brien: Valentine’s Day


Packaging:

The packaging is an outer box, with a digipak inside. Digipak can be removed from top or bottom of outer box. The art is Michael looking through window blinds, with Dwight, Jim, and Pam standing behind him. The logo and window blinds are “raised” from the box itself, giving it a nice textured feel. The rear of the outer box is a “bulletin board”, with various notes stuck to the board. In the bottom right a couple of episode stills are pinned to the board. The inner box features the full cast posing, with Michael in bottom center, and the rest filing in behind/beside him. The photo wraps around the side and onto the back. The bonus features are written on the back on a blue legal pad. On the inside, the episode details are on post-it notes on a green desk surface, with miscellaneous items also on the desk ­ a rubber band ball, candy, broken pencils, paper clips, etc. The discs are on two plastic holders, with the discs overlapping. I’ve got a marked disdain for overlapping discs, so this is the SOLE complaint I have about the set. Anyway, it’s based on a crumple paper motif, with the discs and background both being crumpled paper, with a cast member standing on the right of each disc. See the disc breakdown below for more:

Disc Breakdown:
Disc 1: Episodes 1-6. Cast Member on Cover: Michael
Disc 2: Episodes 7-12. Cast Member on Cover: Dwight
Disc 3: Episodes 13-18. Cast Member on Cover: Jim
Disc 4: Episodes 19-22. Cast Member on Cover: Pam.


Menu Design and Navigation:

The main menu is a “live-action” shot of an office desk, complete with joke chomping teeth. While generic office sounds play in the background, the teeth wind up, chomp around, slows down, and then repeats. Funny note: there’s a British flag on the desk. Anyway, the episodes are up in the old 4:3 top left (which is a bit top-center-left on 16:9). Episode index is a shot of a desk, with various drawings on the paper on the desk. The episodes are presented as still images, with the episode title scribbled below it. On disc 2, the desk changes to a shot of a desk, with computer to the left, and a Dwight bobblehead in the center. On disc 3, we shift to another desk, and a hot cup of coffee. Finally, disc 4 has the phone as the active object.


Video and Audio Quality:

The video is absolutely, positively, exceptional. I’ve watched this DVD on 13 inch 4:3 TV’s, and I’ve watched this on 52” plasma HDTVs, and I’ve watched this on every conceivable computer display. This video, regardless of the display, is exceptional. This may be the best VQ of any DVD I’ve reviewed. They even added a chapter stop after the credits (thank you!). As for the audio…its 5.1 surround sound ­ how can I complain about THAT? It’s…perfect. Chapter stops are at the end of every scene. Subtitles in English and Spanish are also available.

Breakdown:

Disc 1:
The Dundies: 20:53
Sexual Harassment: 21:34
Office Olympics: 21:30
The Fire: 21:28
Halloween: 21:55
The Fight: 21:55

Disc 2:
The Client: 21:35
Performance Review: 21:34
Email Surveillance: 22:05
Christmas Party: 21:48
Booze Cruise: 21:07
The Injury: 21:10

Disc 3:
The Secret: 21:10
The Carpet: 21:09
Boys and Girls: 21:22
Valentine's Day: 21:11
Dwight's Speech: 21:11
Take Your Daughter to Work Day: 21:01

Disc 4
Michael's Birthday: 21:07
Drug Testing: 21:12
Conflict Resolution: 21:09
Casino Night: 28:21


Special Features:

There are many special features on this set. We have many deleted scenes, many commentaries, music video, webisodes, bloopers fake PSA’s, promos, and more!

Deleted Scenes:
The Dundies: 9:36
Sexual Harassment: 3:58
Office Olympics: 8:06
The Fire: 6:06
Halloween: 8:27
The Fight: 4:48

The Client: 4:59
Performance Review: 11:32
E-Mail Surveillance: 10:47
Christmas Party: 5:44
Booze Cruise: 10:14
The Injury: 04:02

The Secret: 3:53
The Carpet: 6:10
Boys and Girls: 2:23
Valentine's Day: 5:43
Dwight's Speech: 7:52
Take your Daughter to Work Day: 5:04

Michael's Birthday: 3:44
Drug Testing: 9:07
Conflict Resolution: 5:29
Casino Night: 3:50

Total Running Time of Deleted Scenes: 2:21:23

Commentaries:
The Dundies: John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, B.J. Novak, Mindy Kaling, Paul Lieberstein, David Denman, Editor David Rogers, and Executive Producer Greg Daniels. Wow that's a long roster. This episode is 45 seconds short due to the My Name is Earl Premiere that night. Then they talk about promotion budgets. Greg Daniels details the King of the Hill origins of the awards used in the episode. And that was the first minute. 21 minutes of this. 20:53

Sexual Harassment: Brian Baumgartner, Rainn Wilson, B.J. Novak, Oscar Nunez, Paul Lieberstein, Angela Kinset, Melora Hardin, and Larry Wilmore. Don't sing. B.J wrote this one. They make fun of Steve a little - good-naturedly - in the beginning. They joke everyone should shut up so they can hear the episode - making fun of one of my favorite things of commentary. 21:34

The Client: John, Jenna, Melora, Brian, B.J, Paul, writer Mike Schur, and Greg Daniels. Episode implies the office has a "casual Friday" party, even though it never gets mentioned again. The papers in the initial meeting scene are props. 21:35

Performance Review: Rainn, Oscar, Paul, Angela, Melora, writer Larry Wilmore, and director Paul Feig. One of the greatest cold opens ever - their words, not mine. The original gag was supposed to be the balloon gets stabbed, and slowly deflates. In the final version though, well, boom. 21:34

Christmas Party: Jenna, B.J, Kate Flannery, David, Editor Dave Rogers, Mike Schur, and Greg Daniels. Merry Christmas, everybody! 21:48

Booze Cruise: Jenna, Rainn, B.J, David, Angela, Oscar, Director of Photography Randall Einhorn, and Greg Daniels. Another brilliant cold open--everyone's in love with the theme song. 21:07

The Secret: John, Jenna, Brian, Angela, Mindy (uncredited in menu) and writers Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky. Hey look, cold open, wow--funny story as to the origin of the bit. 21:10

Valentine's Day: John, Jenna, Angela, Mindy, Melora, Mike Schur, Co-Exec. Producer Kent Zbornak, and Greg Daniels. I love these commentaries. 21:11

Drug Testing: Rainn, Paul, Jenna, Oscar, Brian, B.J, Angela, Randall Einhorn, writer Jen Celotta, and Greg Daniels. And begin the commentary! Yay!. These comments may seem random, but they begin to make sense when you hear the commentary. And the commentary reveals whose joint that was in the parking lot. They were talking about seeing Dwight in a sheriff type role, etc., which spiraled into this. 21:12

Casino Night: Jenna, Rainn, Melora, Paul, David, Brian, Randall, and Greg. I admit I'm pretty surprised John isn't doing commentary on this. This gets explained early into the commentary - John was off filming something when they were doing commentary. Steve was MIA during ALL the commentaries for a similar reason. 28:21

Faces of Scranton: 2:02. Michael's "Faces of Scranton" video. Kind of obvious what this is.

NBC.com Webisodes: The Accountants:
The Books Don't Balance: 2:08
Phyllis: 1:42
Meredith: 1:33
Stanley: 2:09
Someone in the Warehouse: 1:51
The Memo: 2:20
Things are Getting Tense: 1:49
You're Mean: 2:01
Michael's Office: 1:57
The Best Day of My Life: 2:59

Total: 20:09. Play all would have been nice, but these ARE good.

Blooper Reel: 16:56. Some of this stuff is absolutely hilarious - in relation to the series, even.

Fake PSAs: 17 of these, total at 7:04. Needed a Play All as well
Meteor - 0:24
Smell - 0:26
Invite: 0:26
Cake: 0:21
Foul: 0:22
Jellybeans: 0:23
Fugitive: 0:23
Saltine: 0:23
Thumb: 0:22
Bears: 0:32
Relationship: 0:39
Beer: 0:25
Taping Sex: 0:29
Short: 0:28
Boys: 0:16
Lipstick: 0:25

Olympics Promos: 1:44 Hilarious promos featuring cast members.

Steve on Steve: 3:22. This is from an Office marathon NBC ran awhile back, which aired before the premiere of The 40 Year Old Virgin. Also included is a trailer for the movie.

Total running time for Special Features...drum roll please...413 MINUTES!! (and six seconds). In hours, that’s equal to almost SEVEN hours of special features.


Final Comments:

Wow. This is easily one of the best sets I’ve ever reviewed. Seriously, 413 minutes of special features compared to 477 minutes of episode. And this is one set where commentary definitely counts as its own animal, as you’ll hear when you buy the DVD set, if you haven’t already. I’ve had the pleasure to do this for two years, and this is easily the best set I’ve ever seen Universal do, and this may be one of the best PERIOD. It’s just THAT good from a consumer standpoint. There’s one or two minor things I’d like to see fixed --­ mainly the play all option on the features, and the elimination of overlapping discs, but everything else is sheer perfection. There’s just really no way to improve upon this. All I can say is to buy this set, NOW, if you haven’t already. It’s technically flawless, and one of the funniest ­ and smartest ­ shows on television today. VERY RECOMMENDED.

(And remember, The Office airs on NBC --­ currently at 8:30 PM ET/PT on Thursdays as of the time of this writing. Please watch!)


Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)

Video Quality: 5/5
Audio Quality: 5/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4.5/5
Special Features: 5/5
Final Score: 5/5

Seth Thrasher Seal of Approval

-- Reviewed by Seth Thrasher on 09/29/06

To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000GETTKM/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20

Questions or comments about this set? Post on our message board:

http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=184143


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