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Anyone who spends forty hours a week in a cubicle at a job they hate is going to love THE OFFICE. I myself really get a big kick out of watching THE OFFICE because Steve Carell, plays the role of a boss, who is a real horseís patoot, to utter perfection. The things that are painfully funny to watch on THE OFFICE are the very same things that office workers experience everyday in their own jobs, although itís always funnier to watch it happening to someone else, than experiencing them firsthand in your own workplace.

Based of the British television of the same name, the basic premise of THE OFFICE follows the misadventures of the employees of a regional office of the Dunder-Mifflin Paper Company, where documentary cameras capture the inner workings (or lack thereof) for posterity. Steve Carell portrays regional manager Michael Scott, who likes all the privileges of being the boss, without any of the responsibilities. Rainn Wilson is Dwight Schrute, the Assistant (to the) Regional Manager, who lets a little bit power (that he doesnít actually have) go to his head. John Krasinski is Sales Rep Jim Halpert, who would seem suited to a better job, but his feelings for engaged co-worker Pam and his continuous pranks on Dwight keep him a Dunder-Mifflin employee. Jenna Fischer is office receptionist Pam Beesly, whose long-term engagement to a Dunder-Mifflin warehouse employee seems to be going nowhere. B.J. Novak is the office temp Ryan Howard, who seems to be in personal servitude Michael. The cast of THE OFFICE also features Leslie David Baker, Angela Kinsey, Brian Baumgartner, Kate Flannery, Phyllis Smith, Oscar Nunez, Mindy Kaling, Paul Lieberstein, Creed Bratton, David Denman, and Melora Hardin.

THE OFFICE: SEASON 2 ($50) comes to DVD in a four-disc set that features all twenty-two episodes that were aired in the series second year. The twenty-two featured episodes are as follows: The Dundies, Sexual Harassment, Office Olympics, The Fire, Halloween, The Fight, The Client, Performance Review, Email Surveillance, Christmas Party, Booze Cruise, The Injury, The Secret, The Carpet, Boys And Girls, Valentine's Day, Dwight's Speech, Take Your Daughter To Work Day, Michael's Birthday, Drug Testing, Conflict Resolution, Casino Night.

Universal Studios Home Entertainment has made all twenty-two episodes that comprise THE OFFICE: SEASON 2 available on DVD in a 1.78:1 wide screen presentation that features the anamorphic enhancement for 16:9 displays. The episodes look great on DVD, especially for a sitcom. The image always appears sharp and rather nicely defined. Colors are realistic, but have nice saturation and appealing flesh tones. Blacks and whites are on the money, plus the contrast is smooth. Additionally, the picture is always clean and free from defects. Digital compression artifacts are a non-issue.

All the episodes that make up THE OFFICE: SEASON 2 come with Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtracks. I am glad that even sitcoms are starting to get the 5.1 channel treatment, as the sound is very smooth and distinct. As expected, the forward soundstage dominates this talky comic series. The outlying channels are utilized for atmospherics, giving the track the quality of a live sonic environment. Dialogue is crisp and always easy to understand. No other language tracks are provided, but English and Spanish subtitles have been included.

The basic interactive menus allow one access to the standard scene/episode selection and set up features, as well as a few nice extra features. There are running audio commentaries with members of the cast and crew provided for the following ten episodes: The Dundies, Sexual Harassment, The Client, Performance Review, Christmas Party, Booze Cruise, The Secret, Valentine's Day, Drug Testing and Casino Night. Next up we have Deleted Scenes, which offers an astounding two plus hours of material. Also featured in the collection is the Faces of Scranton video (from the Valentine's Day episode), Fake Public Service Announcements, Webisodes, a Blooper Reel, an Olympics Promo and a little feature called Steve On Steve.

As I stated above, THE OFFICE is a show that will be greatly appreciated by anyone that spends forty hours a week at a job they hate. Universal offers THE OFFICE: SEASON 2 in solid presentations that do no disappoint. Recommended to working stiffs everywhere.



The Office - Season Two



DVD reviews are Copyright © 2006 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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