TITLE: THE OFFICE - SEASON SIX (BLU-RAY)
DVD Release Date: September 7, 2010 (Universal Studios Home Entertainment)
MSRP: $59.98 [DVD]; $69.98 [Blu-ray]
Number of Discs: 5 [DVD]; 4 [Blu-ray]
Number of Episodes: 24
Running Time: 10 hours, 4 minutes
Total Runtime of Special Features:
Video resolution: 480i/p [DVD], 1080p [Blu-ray]
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 English [DVD]; DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 English [BD]
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
* Commentary Tracks
* Blooper Reel
* Deleted Scenes
* Welcome to Sabre Company Video
* An original digital short
* Secret Santa: Producer’s Cut
[Blu-ray Only]: Watch season seven episodes on your TV after they air through a BD-live connected device
[Blu-ray Only]: Extra downloadable bonus content through BD-Live internet connectivity
Experience the ultimate way to enjoy TV’s best comedy, The Office¸ with this must-own multi-disc set that includes every sixth season episode, plus an uncensored original digital short, hours of deleted scenes and much more! Follow Michael (Steve Carell), Dwight (Rainn Wilson), Jim (John Krasinski), Pam (Jenna Fischer), Ryan (B.J. Novak) Andy (Ed Helms) and the rest of the Scranton crew as they pursue new heights of inappropriateness while facing everything from new romances, marriage, and parenthood to new ownership, Darryl’s rise to middle management, and a ball-busting new boss! Developed for American television by Primetime Emmy Award-winner Greg Daniels, The Office is one of the funniest shows of the modern era...
...However, all good things must eventually draw to a close, and that’s what this should at least *should* be doing. Two of your most interesting characters, Jim and Pam, prepare for their wedding in the mid-season two-part episode Niagara, easily the best and freshest pair of shows this season, and you get the sense that things SHOULD be ending. Yet, for some reason, it’s not. The remainder of the season, while better than many shows still, feels like old territory. After six years, life in Scranton is getting stale. Dwight’s hijinks no longer carry the same surprise and shock they once did, Jim’s mugging for the camera is getting old, and after six years things seem to be running out of gas. It’s a feeling I empathize with well. Even new authority figures and additional responsibilities thrown in aren’t helping. After six years, is there really anything left to say? And shouldn’t the documentary crew have already gone on-air by now instead of shooting footage for six years?
Guest stars? Christian Slater appears as himself in the episode “Sabre.”
Runtimes (same runtimes for both DVD and Blu-ray versions): (Content is not broken down by disc as the breakdown varies between DVD and Blu-ray)
The Meeting: 22:07
The Promotion: 22:07
The Lover: 22:07
Koi Pond: 22:04
Double Date: 22:09
Shareholder Meeting: 22:06
Scott’s Tots: 22:06
Secret Santa: 22:07
Secret Santa (Producer’s Cut): 29:44
The Banker: 22:09
The Manager and the Salesman: 22:07
The Delivery: 43:07
St. Patrick’s Day: 22:07
New Leads: 22:07
Happy Hour: 22:07
Secretary’s Day: 22:07
Body Language: 22:07
The Cover-Up: 22:03
The Chump: 22:07
If you buy this set, whether it is DVD or Blu-ray, you’re getting a Digipak! In 2010, this is an event to take notice of and celebrate. NBC/Universal is essentially the last holdout with regards to those clear plastic cases I despise so much. They’re even more present in the land of the Blu-ray Disc, where even a show like The Simpsons has gone plastic. Studios all across the board are now (including even Shout! Factory) not only releasing new sets in those packages but they’re rereleasing older sets in them as well. While standardization has its benefits, it would have been nice for them to settle on a more reliable packaging type--Universal, thankfully, remains loyal with the artwork-heavy Digipak. There are slight differences between the DVD and BD versions; the Blu-ray set uses one less disc, and as a result there are two fewer panels used on that version. In addition to a holder for the unneeded 5th disc, the Blu-ray package also drops a page featuring a wrinkled up version of the Sabre corporate newsletter. Otherwise the two sets are indistinguishable.
Both sets feature the show’s central characters on the front cover, standing in front of a white wall, with papers beneath them on a blue floor and the show logo is above them in raised lettering in red. The two/three panels of the inner package feature an episode list in the form of memos on Dunder-Mifflin (A division of Sabre) letterhead, with the fourth panel of the DVD package, again, featuring the Sabre newsletter.
Both discs look remarkably similar (reflective surface, show logo in a blue font), but there are changes. The shade of blue used on the Blu-ray version is lighter, in addition the bottom quarter of the Blu-ray discs features a giant Blu-ray Disc logo. The discs on the DVD version have their usual overlapping hubs, while the Blu-ray versions actually slide atop one another, overlapping, with no hubs involved. Unfortunately, I’ve found this to increase wear-and-tear on the *sides* of the disc.
Menu Design and Navigation:
Menus are the same, yet different, between the versions. Blu-ray Discs use a live, interactive menu system that is available at any time. As a result, selecting your menu button at any point during the episodes will recall the main menu onto the side of the screen, allowing you to quickly shift between languages on-the-fly, add/remove commentary, etc. without even leaving the episode. The result is a semi-generic Universal menu bar on the left side with the various episodic options. The DVD, meanwhile, has more traditional menu stylings. Video clips play, while menu options appear at the bottom.
Video and Audio Quality:
Video looks great. Colors are crisp and clear, there’s absolutely no noise, no grain, no color balance issues. Video looks good. Audio sounds great, and is a Dolby Digital 5.1 track. Chapter stops occur at the end of each act.
If you own a standard-definition TV, or even most lower end and mid-range PCs, the regular DVDs will look just fine. But what happens if you, say, want to watch the show on a 52” HDTV? Suddenly, that same 480-resolution video that looks just fine seems blurry and fuzzy. Why? It has to stretch the video. Enter in 1080p HD video. On a halfway decent HD set, the video from the Blu-ray set looks absolutely breathtaking. Audio is incredible. Chapter stops are in the same place.
Deleted Scenes: Broken down by episode, with play all functionality available by-disc.
1:58:44 in total over the season.
Blooper Reel (23:50)
Original Digital Short (approx. 10 min) - The Podcast: Features several of the secondary and tertiary characters in a little ten minute bonus feature.
Office Promos: Canada Games (2:04)
Bonus Episode of Parks & Recreation “Hunting Trip” (21:35): Guess what? I FINALLY like this show, due solely to this bonus feature. I finally like it. Thanks, Universal, you won over at least one fan, and I’m likely not the only one. This is a great episode.
Niagara: Features two commentary tracks. One features Greg Daniels and Paul Feig, the other features several writers for the episode.
Murder: Commentary by Greg Daniels, Ellie Kemper, and Daniel Chun
Secret Santa: Mindy Kaling, Ellie Kemper, and Claire Scanlon
The Delivery: Greg Daniels, Jenna Fischer, Seth Gordon, Daniel Chun, and Charlie Grandy
It has been six years and the show is starting to show a few signs of burnout, I’ll wholeheartedly admit, but it’s still a great show. AND this set managed to do the impossible and sell me on Parks & Recreation, which was amazing. The Blu-ray version of the set is absolutely breathtaking, and the DVD version is quite good too. As a bonus, as of the time of this review you can get the BD version of the set for roughly the same price on many online retailers, including SitcomsOnline partner Amazon.com.
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 5/5
Audio Quality: 5/5
Special Features: 4/5 [DVD], 4.5/5 [Blu-ray]
Menu Navigation/Design: 4.5/5 [DVD], 4/5 [Blu-ray]
Final Score: 4/5
-- Reviewed by Seth Thrasher on 09/20/10
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