The Office - An American Workplace: Complete Season 2 [DVD]
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American version of the acclaimed BBC sitcom created by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. At the Dunder Mifflin paper company, clueless manager Michael Scott (Steve Carell) considers himself a business genius and an all-round entertainer - unaware that to his workers, he's an insufferable idiot. In this series, Michael has to arrange the annual staff awards when head office decide to pull out, Pam and Jim share their first date, and Michael's attempts at team bonding get bogged down on a boat trip. Episodes comprise: 'The Dundies', 'Sexual Harassment', 'Office Olympics', 'The Fire', 'Halloween', 'The Fight', 'The Client', 'Performance Review', 'E-mail 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' and 'Casino Night'.
Thank goodness for second seasons. While the first season of The Office USA started dubiously with a pilot that was just a poor copy of the original Ricky Gervais version, it did manage to provide enough good material to stay on the air and hint that better was yet to come. And here it is. The second season of The Office USA finds its own footing and manages to do the near-impossible by not only breaking free of the gravity of that excellent BBC version to stand solidly on its own, but establishing it as one of the best comedies on TV. Season 2 starts out strong with "The Dundies," where Regional Manager, Michael Scott (Steve Carell, The 40 Year Old Virgin) hosts the companys annual office-awards event with his signature less-than-perfect grace. Things seem to only get worse for him this season as he bumbles a potential affair with his boss, Jan (Melora Harding), angers his employees by reading their emails ("Email Surveillance"), cooks his foot ("The Injury"), and accidentally destroys the warehouse with a forklift in "Boys and Girls," one of the seasons highlight episodes. Always at his side is the clueless paranoid Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson), the Assistant Regional Manager ("Assistant to the Regional Manager," Michael always reminds him in one of the shows running jokes).
One of the reasons for the shows improvement in the second season is increased focus on Dwights character, whos becoming something of a pop-culture icon right down to having his own bobblehead. He in turn provides so much good material for Pam (Jenna Fischer) and Jim (John Krasinsky) to play off of, to their own amusement. But of course, Pam and Jims simmering relationship is the real meat of the show, as their compatibility becomes more obvious, Jims feelings for her continue to grow, and Pam struggles with the impending marriage to her less-than-caring boyfriend, Roy (David Denman). Things have to come to a head, and they do nicely in the final episode, "Casino Night." As strong as the leading characters are in The Office, its the excellent peripheral characters that really make the show hilarious, especially dimwitted office-slug Kevin (Brian Baumgartner), long-suffering intern Ryan (B.J. Novak), office-ditz Kelly (Mindy Kaling), and ultra-conservative Angela (Angela Kinsey). --Daniel VanciniSee all Product description
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I'm looking forward to the joyous day when finally i have my DVD in my hands and can get down to the serious business of watching this utterly fab series! Til then i just have to wait i guess....
OK, I finally got this yesterday. Naturally i immediately proceeded to watch it. Loads. It's a good boxset with 4 discs and lots of extras, commentaries and deleted scenes of each episode. Glad i didn't cancel my order before, despite the ridiculous delays.
The setting (the office of a small branch of paper-selling company) and the stories (everyday life of the people found working in such a low-prospects jobs) seem mundane at first. And there lies the magic of the creators. For (if the endless strings of CSIs are any indication) it not hard to create good TV with car chases, gadgets and explosions. It is extremely hard to make excellent TV with only the everyday grind to work with. It seems effortless only because they made it look easy.
The brief one-way interviews each character had with the camera functioned as either prefatory summaries of stories about to unfold (building up the anticipation) or as instances of pushing back, yet never breaking, the forth wall, and, thus, making the viewing experience more personal and involving. All without the show ever loosing its step.
Producing, directing and writing will only get you so far without the right cast. And THE OFFICE enjoyed such stellar cast. Steve Carell may have risked getting typecast by creating the unforgettable character of Michael Scott but it was worth it. Jim (John Krasinski) and Pam (Jenna Fischer) served first as the precarious love interest and then as the familiar friends you care about and the rest of the cast was one successful pick after another. From hypochondriac and hypercritical (not to mention hypocritical) Angela Martin (Angela Kinsey) to perky Kelly Erin Hannon (Ellie Kemper), I could not imagine anyone else portraying these memorable characters. However, the show stealer has always been obsessive nerd Dwight Schrute, portrayed to perfection by Rainn Wilson.
Purists and snobs will try to argue that the precursor BBC Series was better. Strangely for someone who usually finds Hollywood remakes watered down and bland, in this case I strongly disagree. The US version was much better. It had the perfect mix of familiar workday desperation and sweet quirkiness to make it a weekly craved addiction. In contrast, I found the BBC version too mean for my taste. Maybe one should have grown up in a cruel class system carved out by accent hues and prep-school rankings to appreciate it; however, during the handful of episodes I managed to watch I found myself laughing at the characters, not with them, and then felt bad about it. Anyway, in all honesty, how could Gareth ever compare to Dwight!
The series is unique in another aspect as well: it respected its viewers. Every producer, director and writer wants to make his or hers memorable splash so we often end up with unnecessary cliffhangers, ambiguous endings or unsatisfying closures. Not so with THE OFFICE. No spoilers but I will just state that the show does not disappoint to the very end.
Now, how many reams of Dunder Mifflin Premium acid-free paper should I you down for?
I only decided to watch it because I was bored, and nothing else was on. I was sat there, ready to spit fire at the TV, get angry at the farce that i was about to witness, I was looking forward really, to disliking this show. Unfortunately I couldn't. It took a little while to get to grips with the fact that only some of the characters where based upon the original, and it took a little longer to realise that, pilot episode aside, it was completely different from our beloved afformentioned original.
I have been completely drawn into the "will they won't they" storyline involving Jim and Pam, and most of all, I am, to my surprise, equally appauled/amused/bemused by the ongoing shinanigans of the branch manager Michael Scott as I was by that of Mr Brent. And that will be the final reference I make to the original "The Office" because I believe that the show in question, is indeed, a show in its own right.
So, if i was to criticise this show (something I would love to do, but am struggling) it would be that maybe, due to the American intolerence to failure as a subject of successful comedy, Michael Scott is not quite the loser you would expect given some of the action that he takes. He still gets the girl, nails the big contract, gets another girl, something that i find hard to believe. But at the same time, you kind of want the guy to get a break every now and then. It is often apparent, as we get to know Michael more and more, that he is the way he is, because of his lifelong inability to fit in, and his lifetime of trying to, and he plays up to the camera as a kind of defence mechanism, a means of starting afresh as the new star of a documentary, and in doing so, convinces himself, that he is the guy he wants us to believe he is.
This show will draw you into its world, because it is, in effect, a world that you live in. You don't need to work in an office to relate to the characters and their hardships, you will find a Michael, a Jim, a Pam, and even a Dwight in most people you meet.
In conclusion, this show is brilliantly cast, superbly written, well acted, and you will not be able to help but admire the genius that is Steve Carell. Truly excellent stuff.
Most recent customer reviews
They are two distinct and separate beasts but really enjoyed Steve Carroll and rest of cast...Read more