The Office: The Complete Second Season

January 28, 2012 6 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

There are a small percentage of the people in this world who won’t be relegated to working in the corporate world. There are athletes, doctors, teachers, etc. and they essentially all have a boss. Well, simply put – we all have to report to someone when it comes to a job, and as a current resident of the “corporate world” I can say that I know full well what it’s like to have an apathetic, clueless superior. This is, of course, the staple of American business and gives countless employees the “right” to make fun of their boss behind his or her back and wonder how that person got into a position of authority. Now granted, not every boss out there is a bad one, I’ve actually had some pretty cool ones that really do inspire you and make you want to go out of your way for them. Unfortunately those are few and far between. So we have “The Office”, based off the UK show of the same name and Michael Scott (Steve Carrell) plays the role of the “boss” to a tee. The show had a limited six episode run in its first season and suffered from low ratings, but NBC wisely kept the show on the air and paired it with “My Name is Earl” and saw both of the shows prosper in their second seasons.

The plot is relatively simple: Michael Scott (Carrell) is the Regional Manager of a paper supply company in Pennsylvania and walks around as if he’s king. He’s smug, arrogant and if you’d ask him, he’d say that he’s the best supervisor out there. Unfortunately, his staff doesn’t always see eye to eye with him and its through their exploits that we really see the other side of the show. We see practical jokes, email warfare and probably the highlight of the second season would be the Booze Cruise and the Christmas party episodes. There’s not much to it, it all takes place inside the confides of the small company and we watch as Scott tries to infuse corporate politics with his rather unique style of leadership. Much like “Office Space”, a few years ago, anyone who’s had a sub par supervisor or realized that whatever job they’re doing isn’t saving the world, will have a very easy time relating to “The Office”. The show hit its stride this season and I’m curious as to how the third season will pan out. “The Office” is a nice touch of class in a television market that’s got its work cut out for it.

Video: How does it look?

“The Office” is shown in a very clean-looking 1.78:1 anamorphic transfer. I managed to catch a few of the episodes when they aired on the local HD channel and I have to say that I was a little more impressed with these DVD’s as opposed to seeing them on air. Colors are very lively and there’s little if no artifacting and, of course, edge enhancement isn’t that much of a problem either. Detail level is very fine and I’m hard-pressed to really find much wrong with the way this appears on DVD.

Audio: How does it sound?

All of the episodes are presented in a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack that sounds fairly good at times. Granted, television comedies aren’t the best out there to test out your surround sound, but a few times I caught a little more action out of the speakers that I would have thought. Dialogue is very clean, just as we’d expect. As with most television on DVD, there’s not a whole lot else to say – it’s all that you’d expect and, occasionally, a bit more.

Supplements: What are the extras?

Universal has wisely given this season of “The Office” some fairly interesting supplements, starting out with some episode commentaries on 10 select episodes. The commentaries are very tongue-in-cheek and even funny at times, but they tend to sit back and watch the action on screen. Die hard fans of the show will want to check these out, but it’s not required listening. There are also some deleted scenes as well as a blooper reel. “Faces of Scranton” is a short featurette which showcases Michael Scott’s movie from the “Valentine’s Day” episode and is not to be missed. There are some fake Public Service Announcements and they poke fun at NBC’s “The More you Know” series of PSA’s. Pretty funny stuff. There are also 10 webisodes from the staff at the company (Dunder-Mifflin) and some promos for the Olympics. Also included is “Steve on Steve”, Steve Carrell’s promo for “The 40 Year-Old Virgin”. Universal has done this set right and it should give fans nothing to complain about when you pick this up.

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