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The Office: Season Six(TV) (2010)
Based on the popular British series of the same name, this faster-paced American version follows the daily interactions of a group of idiosyncratic office employees at paper company Dunder Mifflin's Scranton branch via a documentary film crew's cameras. Regional manager Michael (Steve Carell) thinks he's the coolest, funniest, best boss ever - which, of course, makes him the uncoolest, most obnoxious and annoying boss as far as his staff are concerned. Salesman Jim Halpert (John Krasinski) has always loved receptionist Pam Beesly (Jenna Fischer) and loves sabotaging his cube-mate, the know-it-all Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson). Ryan Howard (B.J. Novak) started as a young, smart, self-possessed temp, but quickly figured out the real office politics despite Michael's attempts to instill the official point-of-view, and gets himself a job at corporate HQ in New York. The staff is rounded out by quiet Phyllis Lapin Vance (Phyllis Smith), beaten down by the working life Stanley Hudson (Leslie David Baker), office alcoholic Meredith Palmer (Kate Flannery), up-tight Angela Martin (Angela Kinsey), formerly closeted homosexual Oscar Martinez (Oscar Nunez), stocky and uncouth Kevin Malone (Brian Baumgartner), ambivalent kleptomaniac Creed Bratton (Creed Bratton), Sad Sack HR rep Toby Flenderson (Paul Lieberstein), persistently love-struck Kelly Kapoor (Mindy Kaling), icy corporate manager turned Michael's girlfriend Jan Levinson (Melora Hardin), former Stamford branch denizen and Cornell graduate Andy Bernard (Ed Helms), warehouse foreman Darryl Philbin (Craig Robinson), and Pam's ex-fiancé Roy Anderson (David Denman)
For more about The Office: Season Six and the The Office: Season Six Blu-ray release, see the The Office: Season Six Blu-ray Review published by Kenneth Brown on August 24, 2010 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Directors: Randall Einhorn, Victor Nelli Jr., Jeffrey Blitz, Claire Scanlon
Starring: Steve Carell, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, Rainn Wilson, Ed Helms, Leslie David Baker
» See full cast & crew
The Office: Season Six Blu-ray Review
The hit NBC series' shaky sixth season earns a solid Blu-ray release...
Reviewed by Kenneth Brown, August 24, 2010
If this were Russia, yeah sure. Everyone would go to one Santa, and there would be a line around the block. And once you sat on her lap, and she asked you what you wanted, you would probably say "freedom." At which point the KGB would arrest you and send you to Siberia. It's a good thing Russia doesn't exist anymore.
The Office has been, and continues to be, one of the most quotable comedies on television. Not an episode goes by that doesn't at least elicit a few embarrassing outbursts from Dunder Mifflin devotees. Be that as it may, Season Six is a relative disappointment. Laughs abound, hilarious lines are drawn in DMI's ever-shifting sands, and plenty of memorable encounters ensue, sure, but the whole of the sixth season is a crapshoot; an inconsistent, hit-or-miss affair that suggests the once sharply penned show is past its prime. Is it time to finally leave Michael Scott and his world-weary paper salesmen to their own devices? Not yet. Four episodes still rank among the series' best, and at least seven others are on par with the bulk of the third, fourth and fifth seasons. Even the worst Office outings are often more bearable than the Big Three's current crop of television comedies. Just be prepared to deal with the doubt Season Six stirs up deep within your TV soul.
I just fell in love with these kids. And I didn't want to see them fall victim to the system. So I made them a promise. I told them if they graduated from high school, I would pay for their college education. I have made some empty promises in my life but, hands down, that was the most generous.
The Office writers have raised the stakes for Dunder Mifflin's eccentric employees again and again, so much so that the sixth season is forced to concoct even more ludicrous storylines and paw at even more unnecessary heartstrings to sustain the series' momentum. Defining events that should resonate flounder -- Jim and Pam's wedding, the birth of their daughter, the mounting threat of layoffs, Jim and Michael as co-managers, and an all-too-pertinent corporate buyout among them -- while lesser subplots nimbly steal the show. A sign that the series is out of ideas? Or just out of steam? Whatever the case may be, too many episodes fall flat, too many running gags are exhausted, and too many mainstays are overlooked in favor of guest stars and new recurring characters. (How is it that Creed, the series' most wisely deployed supporting character, is bypassed every episode? I get it... he's the creepy, reclusive guy. But six seasons without a single Creed-centric storyline? I cry foul.) Or maybe it has little to do with ideas or steam. Maybe after five and a half years and 126 episodes, NBC's Little Mockumentary That Could is simply growing stale. Parks and Recreation found its footing with fantastic results, Community came out of nowhere and lit the network's comedy block on fire, 30 Rock is sharper than ever... even Steve Carell, set to retire his "World's Best Boss" mug at the end of The Office's seventh season, seems to sense the series is nearing the end of its lifespan.
This is parkour. Internet sensation of 2004. And it was in one of the Bond films. It's pretty impressive. The goal is to get from point A to point B as creatively as possible. So technically [Michael, Dwight and Andy] are doing parkour... as long as point A is delusion and point B is the hospital.
Thankfully, viral videos of Kevin and Cookie Monster, St. Patrick's Day shenanigans, Secret Santa rivalries, and inner-office murder mystery games take most of the sting out of the series' sudden but slow decline. Yes, each episode sat in my TiVo queue until Sunday afternoon (once upon a time, my wife and I couldn't go to sleep on Thursday nights without watching The Office) but, sure enough, when I would finally press play, I'd find myself grinning within seconds. It was a strange weekly ritual -- laughing like an idiot three times a minute, all the while realizing how much harder and longer I did so in years past -- but one fans of nearly every classic comedy series have experienced at some point or another. (Oh, the heart break caused by the Seinfeld finale. Oh, the scattershot scrambling of Friends' tenth season. Oh, the arrival of Cousin Pam on The Cosby Show.) Over the course of Season Six, Michael begins dating Pam's mother, Andy tries to declare his affection for Erin, Ryan and Dwight join forces, Pam and Jim try to balance their personal lives and professional careers, Daryl nabs a promotion, Jim and Michael clash in the midst of a power struggle, and a company called Sabre, owned and operated by Kathy Bates' no-nonsense Jo Bennett, swoops in and saves Dunder Mifflin from bankruptcy; all rich soil the writers and actors till to great effect. Season-spanning shortcomings are rampant. Individual episode mishaps? Not so much.
I've been studying Michael for years and I've condensed what I've learned into this chart, "How Michael Spends His Time." You can see we have "procrastinating" and "distracting others," and this tiny sliver here is "critical thinking." I made it bigger so you could see it.
Where does The Office go from here? The series has two choices. Swing big and risk further diluting the series waters with overreaching storylines and outlandish situational comedy, or play it close to the chest and focus on the subtleties of office life, the disarming quirkiness of the Dunder Mifflin employees, and the day-to-day grind that made previous seasons absolute joys to watch. Toss event-driven scripts and jettison overextended subplots. Resist the urge to overreach while nurturing the series' roots. Continue to mix up the status quo, but only when it benefits the characters. I know, I know: easier said than done. The future of The Office is fraught with peril, particularly with Carell's looming exit, but if the series' writers, showrunners and actors have proven anything over the course of six seasons, it's that they're able to adapt, evolve and deliver. Hopefully, Season Six is a fluke; a gouge in the road we'll soon forget we hit. If not, my hope is everyone involved with the show takes a cue from Carell and call it quits before things get worse. To be clear, The Office isn't dead. Yet. It still has plenty of heart, soul and spirit pulsing through its veins. With a proper return to form, it can take back the Thursday night throne Parks and Recreation, Community and 30 Rock are fighting to claim.
This is not the first time rumors about me being gay have come up. Twice before actually. Just a weird coincidence... a little too weird. Almost makes you wonder if it's not a coincidence at all! Whoa! Which it is, of course. But it makes you wonder...
The Office: Season Six Blu-ray, Video Quality
Kelly will be even worse than Darryl. If you'd have told me this morning that today I'd be creating a monster capable of my own destruction, I'd have thought you were referring to the bull that Mose and I are trying to reanimate.
Though primarily shot in high definition, The Office isn't meant to be a stunning Blu-ray contender. Its actors are frequently framed by cubicle walls and florescent light, many an off-site excursion is documented with lower-quality cameras, and other subtle visual touches lend credence to the series' mockumentary aesthetic. Even so, Universal's 1080p/VC-1 encoded presentation looks every bit as good -- or mediocre, as is the case at times -- as it should. Fleshtones are occasionally flat, flushed or chalky, but any oddities trace back to the showrunners' intentions. Otherwise, colors are generally lifelike and appealing, contrast is strong and relatively consistent, and black levels, while less than perfect, are deep and satisfying on the whole. Detail wavers a bit as well, but again, rarely without reason. Fine textures are sharp and well-resolved, and object definition is crisp and clean. The technical transfer steals the show though. No matter where Season Six goes or how unsightly the Dunder Mifflin misadventures become, unintended artifacting, banding, smearing and aliasing are nowhere to be found, and ringing and noise are kept to a manageable minimum. All things considered, the series' sixth-season video transfer is comparable to its fifth-season cousin, meaning Scott's Tots will be delighted with the end result.
The Office: Season Six Blu-ray, Audio Quality
How do you untell something? You can't. You can't put words back in your mouth. What you can do is spread false gossip so people think that everything that's been said is untrue. Including that Stanley is having an affair. It's like the end of 'Spartacus.' I have seen that movie half a dozen times and I still don't know who the real Spartacus is. And that is what makes that movie a classic whodunnit.
Like Season Five's lossless mix, Universal's sixth-season DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track will draw some criticism, most of it unfounded. Once again, The Office sounds exactly as it should. Air hiss, popping, recording mishaps, errant distortion, environmental noise... if nothing else, the series registers as a legitimate Scranton reality show. Its sound design is minimalistic and front-heavy at times, immersive and convincing at others. When Michael, Dwight and Andy sprint into the office, leaping off desks and sending staplers flying, simply close your eyes and listen. Effects scatter across the soundfield, a sense of believable space is established, and prioritization is spot on. At the same time, the chaos isn't overtly polished or refined; it's exactly what you'd expect to hear from a playback of a rowdy office prank. But that doesn't mean Universal sits this one out. LFE output is natural and supportive, dialogue is perfectly intelligible despite whatever madness or secret meetings ensue, pans are nice and smooth, and rear speaker activity, though not as engaging as some might be accustomed, is entirely effective. The Office: Season Six doesn't pack the sonic heat of other television releases on the Blu market, but it doesn't have to. Fans of the show will be quite pleased.
The Office: Season Six Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
We invited everyone in the office to our wedding, even though we knew most people probably couldn't make the drive to Niagara Falls. Which is why we're having it in Niagara Falls.
The 4-disc Blu-ray edition of The Office: Season Six includes a decent supplemental package, albeit one that doesn't offer as much content as the series' fifth season release. Fans will find six audio commentaries, two hours of deleted scenes, twenty-five minutes of outtakes and more than a half-hour of additional goodies. Better still, Universal's BD-Live portal promises to provide access to Season Seven episodes as they air this fall. Not too shabby.
The Office: Season Six Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
I gotta tell you, this baby is amazing. She gets me out of everything! And I... and I love her. I also love her very much.
Ironically, the sixth season of The Office could have used some downsizing. Too many overarching, overreaching storylines, too many Must See TV Events, too many cumbersome episodes. Don't get me wrong, there's still a lot to love about Season Six -- the always-endearing characters, their ongoing development, the wince-inducing trouble they get themselves into, the writers' incredibly memorable dialogue, the actors' improvisational wizardry and more -- but the series' latest outing simply fails to live up to the high standards set by previous seasons. Universal's Blu-ray release is at least more consistent. Its faithful AV presentation makes up for the slight decline in the series' quality, and countless laughs are buried within its five-hour supplemental package. More commentaries, a Picture-in-Picture experience, or really any production featurettes or documentaries would have certainly been appreciated, but that shouldn't give Office regulars any pause when deciding whether or not they should pick up this 4-disc set.
The Office: Other Seasons
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The Office: Season Six Blu-ray, News and Updates
• This Week on Blu-ray - September 7-13 - September 7, 2010
As soon as I received my Blu-ray copy of The Office: Season Six, I popped in disc one so that I could watch "Niagra" (aka "the wedding episode"). Even though I had seen it many times before, the episode is so encompassing of what makes The Office so great, that ...
• The Office Season 6 Blu-ray Gives Access to Season 7 - August 20, 2010
Universal Studios Home Entertainment has added an innovative feature to the Blu-ray release of The Office: Season Six, which, as previously reported, is set to hit store shelves on September 7. Using the BD-Live connection on their Blu-ray players, buyers will ...
• Office Season 6 Blu-ray Dated (Update) - June 2, 2010
Universal Studios Home Entertainment has officially announced The Office: Season Six for release on Blu-ray on September 7. No edition details have been disclosed at the time of writing, other than this box set will include the 26 episodes of the season in four ...
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