Studio: Universal Studios
Starring: Steve Carell, Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, B.J. Novak, Ed Helms, and Craig Robinson.
Directed By: Various
Running Time: 10 hours & 4 minutes
Ratings: Canada - 14A, USA - TV PG
Enjoy the ultimate way to enjoy "TV's best comedy" (Alex Pappademas, GQ), The Office, with this must-own five-disc set that includes every Season Six 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 everythin from new romances, marriage and parenthood to new ownership, Darryl's (Craig Robinson) rise to middle management and a ball-busting new boss! Developed by Primetime Emmy Award winner Greg Daniels, "The Office is so funny it hurts" (Joanna Weiss, The Boston Globe)!
For five seasons now, Michael Scott has led his team of miscreant paper pushers over the rocky road that is mid-size business sales. The style and content of the show both take aim at making fun of the stupidity of reality TV and the flaws inherent in corporate middle management decision making. And, as a mockumentary, it is quite successful in making its message known... repeatedly.
The group that works at the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company in Scranton Pennsylvania are full of surprises. Their skewed perspectives and often twisted logic result in statements or situations which would leave many in the real world aghast had they experienced it in real life. From practical jokes (of which Jim and Pam's incessant testing of Dwight is always my favourite) to mistaken identities to relationships in the workplace, there are definitely plenty of inappropriate scenarios to help stir up laughter throughout the entire series.
Season Six in particular definitely lands at the bottom of the list for humour. The laughs aren't quite as consistent or as strong as in its predecessors. There are far more giggles than there are belly shakers in this collection of episodes. Perhaps it is because, after so many years, all of the characters have become more relatable. Therefore, the viewer is more sympathetic with each characters particular set of shortcomings. And yet, it is also this quality that makes it the most enjoyable to watch. Being able to take the show a bit more seriously creates a feeling of watching a drama laden with humour instead of the more usual vice versa. Suffice to say, the antics of the crew are still just as wild as always and the show brings a spoonful of sugar along in Season Six to help the medicine go down.
As for myself? It is amidst all of this brilliantly entertaining stupidity that the relationship between Pam and Jim has become my anchor to the development of the series. Their continuing story is what ultimately keeps me coming back for more. And, it will keep me coming back for as long as the show remains on the air.
Notably humourous situations in Season Six include:
- Office gossiping gone severely wrong.
- Wedding pick-up "artists."
- An insurance salesman who is mistaken for an underworld thug.
- An office murder mystery game.
- A promise made to a group of kids 10 years ago.
- A Dunder Mifflin happy hour.
Crave Factor - 9
Deleted Scenes - It's too bad that the episodes weren't able to be longer. The nearly 2 hours of deleted scenes, spread across the five discs, offer plenty of great moments both to laugh and help better understand the characters. These are definitely the best material in the extra contents of this package.
Niagra #1 - Greg Daniels and Paul Feig don't have much to offer in the way of additional context for what is happening on screen. There are a few moments where they discuss alternate ideas that were thrown around for particular scenes and point out guest appearances by friends/family. So, it's better to watch the episode by itself than with this commentary active.
Niagra #2 - Randy Cordray, Kelly Cantley, Michael Gallenberg, Claire Scanlon, Veda Semarne and Mary Wall offer plenty of information about the logistics of shooting the show. It will be interesting for some and worthless to others.
Murder - Greg Daniels, Ellie Kemper and Daniel Chun pass the time talking about their experience with filming the episode. Again, it's plenty of anecdotal material that isn't very interesting as it isn't relative to bettering the experience of watching the episode. The only real point of interest from the commentary comes in the form of someone pointing out one of Steve Carell's adlibs that is easily one of the best moments of self-realization for the character.
Secret Santa - Mindy Kaling, Ellie Kemper and Claire Scanlon partake in a little knitting circle for 22 minutes where they seem to be, up to this point, the most focused group for commentary... which isn't saying much. Again, like the other commentaries up to this point, there is not a lot of interesting material to be heard.
The Delivery - Greg Daniels, Jenna Fischer, Seth Gordon, Daniel Chen and Charlie Grandy provide the first opportunity to hear a decent commentary track with this presentation. They definitely aren't always focused on something important, but they are at least entertaining when not providing any points of actual interest regarding the proceedings on screen.
Happy Hour - B.J. Novak, Angela Kinsey, Oscar Nunez, Brian Baumgartner and Matt Sohn have a lot of laughs in this track. However, they seem to be mostly entertaining each other. Many a comment seems to be humourous based on knowledge that is not available to those who aren't on set for filming on a regular basis. Like most other commentaries up to this point, there is very little information given that enhances the entertainment experience.
Welcome To Sabre (0:59) - Christian Slater's guest cameo as part of an introductory video for the company that purchases Dunder Mifflin.
Blooper Reel (23:51) - Nothing like a good blooper reel to bring the jollies into one's gut. Plenty of opportunity here to laugh at a bunch of people who are having trouble doing their jobs who, subsequently, laugh at themselves. This is one of the better blooper reels I've seen in quite a long time.
Original Digital Short (9:21) - Gabe Lewis tries to put together a podcast for the company website in order to compete with Oscar's blog, which is garnering lots of attention from his co-workers. Although unsuccessful, he is quickly enlightened to the circus nature of the group he now works with. This short isn't really that much of a "laugh out loud" presentation. However, it does incur some minor giggles.
The Office Promos (Canada Games, 2:05 as 'Play All') - Around the time of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, these were the promo spots that NBC put together for advertising the show during the lead up to the Olympic schedule. Of course, Canadians will find these far more entertaining than others will as the subject matter is very region-centric. I laughed out loud at Michael Scott's appreciation of "Curdling" and Dwight's perspective on the half pipe.
Parks & Recreation Episode: Hunting Trip (21:35) - This newer show, also created by Greg Daniels, offers a similar style of humour as The Office and is presented in the same mockumentary style as well. Although I didn't find it quite as funny, I can see where it has potential. Regardless, the inclusion of this episode is unique as you don't often see full episodes of a different show on a DVD release.
Crave Factor - 6
1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Shot entirely on Digital HD Cameras, the video is surprisingly clean and crisp for a TV series whose style is entirely handheld. With plenty of POV camera motion there is no sign of the ghosting usually inherent within that style of presentation. Colours are fruitful and lush throughout the entire spectrum given the supposed illusion that the office itself should be doused in fluorescent lighting. Given the lack of dark scenes, one cannot easily criticize the black levels of the image. With the dark suits of the costuming in the strong office lighting there are definitely no flaws to be seen. Artifacting is also not present throughout the presentation.
Crave Factor - 9
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
This show doesn't require anything more than a stereo track since it is 95% dialogue. The only real activity through the rear channels of this presentation is reserved for music cues. That is when you can tell that the audio definitely does not slouch. The subwoofer really comes to life when they drop a beat on the show. The music sounds great and the dialogue is completely audible at all volumes of delivery.
Crave Factor - 9
All five discs included in this set have the same menu design. The background of the menu is a fullscreen collection of clips taken directly from the season episodes. The audio matches that of the clip playing at the time. Menu options are displayed horizontally along the bottom of the screen. Each subsequent menu has its own page where the image is still and is comprised mostly of office products. The menus are very easily navigated.
Crave Factor - 6
Being a big fan of the show, it is clear that this is definitely something that every Office collector will want to add to their shelves. The good news is that the presentation itself is fantastic. The audio, although not overly active in a surround capacity, is very clean and completely audible at all times. The video presentation more than holds up its end of the bargain with sharp colours and strong blacks without any artifacting. The bad news is that, of the metric ton available, the only extra features worth any time spending on are the deleted scenes, blooper reel, and Parks & Recreation episode. The commentaries are mostly atrocious and offer hardly anything useful to the viewer. But thankfully, they aren't mandatory viewing.
The Office: Season Six DVD release stands on its own merits based solely on the main feature presentation. The show offers plenty of laughs while occasionally tugging at the viewers heartstrings. Based on that alone it is highly recommended as a purchase.