The Office: Season Two (2005)

Genre(s): Comedy
Universal || NR - 477 minutes - $49.98 || 2006-09-12
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2006-09-18


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

A U D I O &
.:: V I D E O ::.

Audio and Video

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: NA
Writer(s): Ricky Gervais (created by), Stephen Merchant (created by)
Cast: Steve Carell, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, B.J. Novak, Rainn Wilson


Theatrical Release Date: NA


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Cast and Crew Commentaries
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Faces of Scraton
  • Webisodes from NBC.com
  • Blooper Reel
  • Fake PSAs
  • Olympics Promos
  • Steve on Steve


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

IMAGE

“I swore to myself if I ever got to walk around the room as manager, people would laugh as they saw me coming, and they'd applaud as I walked away.”

My TV viewings have been on the decline, not because there aren’t quality programs out there, but because some networks (*cough* NBC *cough*) mess around with their innovative shows by either moving them around so much, I have no idea when to try to watch (if I want to get started). Alternatively, they have the Olympics on for what seems an entire season; any network with the Olympics will keep me away for quite some time.

So, with season two on DVD, I decided to finally give it a try and all I have to say is, it’s one of the funniest shows out there. On my all-time list I keep in my head, it doesn’t rise to level of other comedy classics like “Seinfeld”, but I think I appreciated this more so as it reminded me a bit of the dearly departed Fox series, “Arrested Development” as well as another popular but lowly rated NBC show, “Scrubs”.

“The Office” succeeds primarily because of Steve Carell, but the rest of this ensemble should not be left by the wayside. My favorite B-storyline is the flirt-romance between John Krasinski’s (Jarhead) Jim Halpert and the adorable Pam Beesly played by Jenna Fischer (Slither). Like “Scrubs” own Ross/Rachel back-and-forth, Krasinski and Fischer make a great couple, even though they’ve never been an actual item. This season finds Pam possibly getting married and Jim might finally have to confront her and tell her how he feels. Colored me surprise that there is a coherent story as I was expecting comedy more along the lines of “Seinfeld”.

After watching all 22 episodes of the second season, there really isn’t one that stands out and there really aren’t any that are truly awful either (even “Seinfeld” had it’s share of duds). But, if forced to choose my favorite and least favorite, they’d have to be “The Carpet” and “Drug Testing” respectively.

If you’re like me and have never seen a single episode of the first season (there were only 8 episodes anyway), you’ll have no trouble getting into this. It’s easily one of the funniest shows on any network and I hope it finds it audience before NBC takes a cue from FOX and decide to axe it.

Episode Listing:
1 - The Dundies
2 - Sexual Harassment
3 - Office Olympics
4 - The Fire
5 - Halloween
6 - The Fight
7 - The Client
8 - Performance Review
9 - Email Surveillance
10 - Christmas Party
11 - Booze Cruise
12 - The Injury
13 - The Secret
14 - The Carpet
15 - Boys and Girls
16 - Valentine’s Day
17 - Dwight’s Speech
18 - Take Your Daughter to Work Day
19 - Michael’s Birthday
20 - Drug Testing
21 - Conflict Resolution
22 - Casino Night



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Major props to Universal who normally don’t take great pride in providing anything useful in the features department; see the paltry season one set for “House”, subsequent season sets of “Las Vegas” or old classics “Magnum, P.I.” and “Miami Vice”.

Cast/Crew Commentaries - We’re given commentaries on 10 episodes (a respectable 45.5% rate) from just about every cast member except Steve Carell who was probably off filming Evan Almighty. But even without Carell, each commentary is funny and informative as one can be for 24-minute episodes. They definitely go over the same material, but still fun listening. For those interested, here are the episodes with commentaries and the participants:

“The Dundies” - John Krasinski (Jim), Jenna Fischer (Pam), B.J. Novak (Ryan/producer), Mindy Kaling (Kelly/writer), Paul Lieberstein (Toby/producer), David Denman (Roy), Dave Rogers (editor), Greg Daniels (exec producer)

“Sexual Harassment” - Brian Baumgartner (Kevin), Rainn Wilson (Dwight), B.J. Novak, Oscar Nunez (Oscar), Paul Lieberstein, Angela Kinsey (Angela), Melora Hardin (Jan), Larry Wilmore (writer)

“The Client” - John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, Melora Hardin, Brian Baumgartner, B.J. Novak, Mike Schur (writer), Greg Daniels

“Performance Review” - Rainn Wilson, Oscar Nunez, Paul Lieberstein, Angela Kinsey, Larry Wilmore (writer), Paul Feig (director)

“Christmas Party” - Jenna Fischer, B.J. Novak, Kate Flannery (Meredith), David Denman, Dave Rogers, Mike Schur, Greg Daniels

“Booze Cruise” - Jenna Fischer, Rainn Wilson, B.J. Novak, David Denman, Angela Kinsey, Oscar Nunez, Randall Einhorn (director of photography), Greg Daniels

“The Secret” - John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, Brian Baumgartner, Angela Kinsey, Lee Eisenberg (writer), Gene Stupnitsky (writer)

“Valentine’s Day” - John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, Angela Kinsey, Mindy Kaling, Melora Hardin, Mike Schur, Kent Zbomak (co-exec producer), Greg Daniels

“Drug Testing” - Jenna Fischer, Rainn Wilson, Paul Lieberstein, Oscar Nunez, Brian Baumgartner, B.J. Novak, Randall Einhorn, Jen Celotta (writer), Greg Daniels

“Casino Night” - Jenna Fischer, Rainn Wilson, Melora Hardin, Paul Lieberstein, David Denman, Brian Baumgartner, Randall Einhorn, Greg Daniels

Deleted Scenes (140:50) - Nearly two-and-a-half hours worth of scenes are included, mostly extended and some clearly improvised but still very funny. Due to the time constraints, it’s not surprising that there are several scenes that would’ve worked within the respective episodes. Due to the time constraints, it’s not surprising that there are several scenes that would’ve worked within the respective episodes. If Universal wanted to be innovative, they could add some back in via branching so the original episode is left in tact, but the good jokes could still be seen in context. Note: scenes are presented in non-anamorphic widescreen.

Faces of Scranton (1:56) - This is the full version of Michael’s project he presents to the annual corporate meeting where regional managers were to show sales figures. Cheesy and funny stuff.

“The Office: The Accountants” Web-isodes (~18:00) - 10 mini-episodes of “The Office” aired on the Web with a storyline centered around accountants Angela, Oscar and Kevin as they try to track down $3000 that has gone missing. The trio interrogates various office-mates before finding out what happens. Although it would’ve taken some effort, would’ve been cool to just combine them all and make it into an episode.

Blooper Reel (16:54) - I look forward to any bloopers with Steve Carell and add in the rest of the bunch makes for some fun moments. There’s nothing that really stands out versus other like reels, but still great to have.

Fake PSAs - There are 17 of these PSAs from various cast members as they warn the viewing audience about the dangers of office romances, the chances of being hit by a meteor or how great The Fugitive movie is.

Olympics Promos (1:38) - More promotional material for NBC advertising that “The Office” and other programming will return after the Olympics are complete... in 5 years.

Steve on Steve (3:16) - A sketch that ran during an “Office” marathon than also doubles as a promotion for Steve Carell’s (and Universal’s) release of The 40-Year-Old Virgin.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

IMAGE

Presented in anamorphic widescreen, 1.78 aspect ratio, and everything appears to be crisp and clean.

The only audio option is a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix and sounds fine. Since this is a comedy series, nothing there to really test the sound levels, but I usually like using my TV speakers if the surround sound isn’t really needed.



.::OVERALL::.

“The Office” is for those with a certain sense of humor and those who are fans of “Arrested Development” and haven’t checked this out yet, should try it out (of course, then once it builds on its fan base, NBC will cancel it...). I just hope they allow it to grow just like “Seinfeld” 17 years ago.