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Movie Renter's Guide - December, 2009

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"The Office: Season Five" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Tyler Stripko

The Office: Season Five

Synopsis

The office of Dunder Mifflin's Scranton, Pennsylvania branch is anything but ordinary. Under the wacky management of Michael Scott (Steve Carell), the staff struggles in a valiant effort to accomplish any real work. Season five of "The Office" includes 26 episode, including two one-hour specials that follow the continued exploits of the staff, including Dwight (Rainn Wilson), Jim (John Krasinski), and Pam (Jenna Fischer).

Specifications

  • Universal/NBC
  • 2009, Color, Not Rated, 9 hrs 46 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: Not Specified
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring Steve Carell, Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, B.J. Novak
  • Director: Not listed
    Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: None
  • Sex: Some suggestive behavior
  • Language: None

Commentary

At the repeated urging of my friends, I finally started watching "The Office" about a year ago. I'm glad that I did, as this show is absolutely hilarious. It will have even more relevance if you've ever worked in a "corporate" environment. The writers have managed to keep this show fresh and creative, episode after episode. They also have a knack for taking real-life office issues and showing exactly how they should NOT be handled, such as disc one's "Business Ethics" episode where Meredith admits to having sex with a vendor rep in exchange for discounts on product (and some steak house gift certificates). Each actor is a perfect fit for their role and this season devoted a lot of time to character development, which I enjoyed. There are also some significant plot twists that keep things interesting.

Technical

"The Office" looks pretty darn good on Blu-ray. It falls a bit short of that "looking through a window" effect with some occasional soft scenes and scattered color tone issues, but in general the picture is crisp and clear. Motion is very smooth since it was shot for TV and the image shows good depth and contrast. The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack does its job, with clean dialogue and a surprising amount of surround usage. There is not a ton of bass, but there are a few scenes where the LFE channel makes its presence known.

Extras

Extras (most in HD) are scattered over all four discs and include episode commentaries, a one-liner soundboard, a gag reel, webisodes, some "best of" moments from the first 100 episodes, and a tribute from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. There are also about three HOURS worth of deleted scenes, which are well worth the time committment.