Blu-ray Review The Office Season 7 Blu-ray Review

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Kevin EK, Sep 11, 2011.

  1. Kevin EK

    Kevin EK Producer
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    The Office: Season 7 presents the latest season of the NBC comedy on Blu-ray for fans of the show and of Steve Carell. The 4-disc collection presents all 24 episodes in pleasing high definition picture and sound, along with five commentaries, a blooper reel, three webisodes, a host of deleted scenes and the inset movie Threat Level Midnight. I have a feeling that fans have already picked up this season, if for no other reason than that it’s the last one to feature Steve Carell on the show.



    [​IMG]THE OFFICE


    SEASON 7



    Studio: Universal


    Original Airing: 2010-2011


    Length: 24 episodes (9 hours, 46 mins)


    Genre: Comic Mockumentary



    BD Resolution and Codec: 1080p 1.78:1 Widescreen, AVC (@ an average 25 mbps)


    Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (@ an average 4.0 mbps)



    Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish


    Rating: Unrated (TV-safe Innuendos and Language)



    Release Date: September 6, 2011



    Rating: 3 ½



    Starring: Steve Carell, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, B.J. Novak and Rainn Wilson



    Adapted and Executive Produced by: Greg Daniels


    From the British TV Series by: Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant





    The Office: Season 7 is a 4-disc Blu-ray collection of the seventh season of the NBC adaptation of the British comedy series about the goings-on in the Scranton branch office of an insufferable paper company. The series is filmed in the manner of a documentary, complete with inset interviews of the characters, suggesting that the mayhem onscreen might really be happening. The humor of the show is the same sort of viscerally uncomfortable kind that Ricky Gervais has trademarked throughout his career. The series will certainly impress and entertain people that enjoy that brand of humor – and there’s a big audience that will go for this, based on the ratings and the prior sales. This season is memorable for being the final one with Steve Carell in the lead role, and he departs four episodes before the end of the year. Along the way, we finally get to see a cameo from Ricky Gervais (albeit an unmemorable one), and at the end of the year, the show has some fun playing with expectations about who or what will replace Carell in his position next year.



    The Blu-ray set includes all 24 episodes of the 7th season in 1080p HD picture and DTS-HD MA 5.1 sound, along with a decent helping of extras, including commentaries on five episodes, deleted scenes, extended cuts of the episodes “Training Day” and “Search Committee”, the complete Threat Level Midnight movie, a blooper reel, and three webisodes of “The 3rd Floor”. As a special added bonus, the BD-Live functionality on the first disc here includes an ability to watch episodes from the upcoming 8th season online, after they have aired.



    VIDEO QUALITY 3 ½


    The Office: Season 7 is presented in a 1080p transfer that shows off a clear picture and accurate flesh tones. As I discussed in my review of the prior season sets, I don’t know that there’s much to this series that carries the kind of detail that a high definition picture can reveal. It’s nice to see this show on Blu-ray, but if the picture is the primary draw, I can’t say that this is a major attraction with this title. I should note that the show seems to have a paler look this season, but I attribute that to the way the show is being shot and not any transfer issues.




    AUDIO QUALITY 3 ½


    The Office: Season 7 is presented in an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix that focuses on the front channels but does bring the surrounds to good effect in various situations where atmospheric sound can enhance the scene. To be sure, this isn’t that immersive of a mix, and most of the sound comes from the front channels for the dialogue, but it certainly is clear and the dialogue is easy to understand. Things are pretty much the same as in the prior season sets.




    DISC BY DISC:


    As I regularly do with TV series sets, I think it will work better here to describe what can be found on each disc, in order. To save time, I’ll note that the commentaries are all scene-specific group affairs, with a fair amount of laughter and cross-talk going on between the participants. The deleted scenes are all presented in high definition picture (VC-1 encoding) and 2.0 sound.



    The discs also contain the usual My Scenes bookmarking and BD-Live functionality of all Universal Blu-ray releases. The BD-Live functionality includes the ability to watch 8th season episodes online after they air on NBC stations, just as the last season set had that ability for the 7th season episodes.




    DISC ONE:



    Episodes:



    Nepotism, with deleted scenes (6:08) and a group commentary with Paul Lieberstein, B.J. Novak, Creed Bratton, Craig Robinson and Daniel Chun.



    Counseling, with deleted scenes (6:48).



    Andy’s Play, with deleted scenes (6:03).



    Sex Ed, with deleted scenes (6:09).



    The Sting, with deleted scenes (3:23)



    Costume Contest, with deleted scenes (6:02)



    Christening, with deleted scenes (3:37)



    Viewing Party, with deleted scenes (3:40)



    This disc also contains:



    BD-Live Access to 8th Season Episodes – This feature allows the viewer to access episodes from the new season online at the BD-Live screen. Of course, these episodes will not be available until September 22nd, as they begin to air. And each episode will not be available until it airs on an NBC station. Which effectively makes this another form of “On Demand” programming, in the same way this worked for the last season. Although I suppose it does make it more convenient if you’re in the mood for watching new episodes of the show while looking at the last season.





    DISC TWO:



    Episodes:



    WUPHF.com, with deleted scenes (7:02)



    China, with deleted scenes (6:21)



    Classy Christmas, with deleted scenes (2:45)



    Ultimatum, with deleted scenes (4:05).



    The Seminar, with deleted scenes (5:42). This episode is the one that, at long last, features a quick encounter between Steve Carell’s Michael Scott and Ricky Gervais’ David Brent, from the original British series. It’s before the opening credits, and to be honest, it really isn’t that funny. You would think that they’d come up with something more memorable than that after seven years…



    The Search



    PDA, with deleted scenes (5:48) and a group commentary with writer/director Greg Daniels, Ellie Kemper, Angela Kinsey, Brian Baumgartner, Claire Scanlon, Kelly Cantley and Robert Padnick.





    DISC THREE:



    Episodes:



    Threat Level Midnight, with a group commentary with B.J. Novak, Craig Robinson, Creed Bratton, Charlie Grandy and David Rogers



    Todd Packer, with deleted scenes (4:12)



    Garage Sale, with deleted scenes (7:19).



    Training Day, presented in its aired version, and in an extended version that restores several minutes of deleted scenes. This is the first episode to feature Will Ferrell as the manager coming in to replace the outgoing Michael Scott.



    Michael’s Last Dundies, with deleted scenes (5:48)



    This disc also contains:



    Threat Level Midnight: The Movie (A Michael Scott Joint) – (25:59, VC-1 1080p) This is the complete “movie” made by Michael Scott and featuring the Dunder Mifflin staff.





    DISC FOUR:



    Episodes:



    Goodbye Michael, with deleted scenes (7:32), and a group commentary with Greg Daniels, Ellie Kemper, Brian Baumgartner and David Rogers. This episode marks the departure of Steve Carell from the series.



    The Inner Circle, with deleted scenes (7:05). This episode wraps up the contribution of Will Ferrell to the series, as his character heroically manages to alienate just about everybody in the office.



    Dwight K. Schrute, (Acting) Manager, with deleted scenes (8:34) and a group commentary with Mindy Kaling, Ellie Kemper, Angela Kinsey, Steve Hely and Justin Spitzer. This is the inevitable episode where Dwight takes over as manager, and alienates everyone even faster than the last guy…



    Search Committee, presented in its aired version, and in an extended version that restores several minutes of deleted scenes. The season finale finds the office staff interviewing candidates for the manager position, including James Spader and Ray Romano. There’s a quick cameo by Jim Carrey and even an inset video submission by Ricky Gervais’ David Brent. In a couple of weeks, you’ll see which (if any) of these guys got the job…



    This disc also contains:



    Blooper Reel (15:11, 1080p) – Just over 15 minutes of blown takes and cast breakups are featured here. Most of the time, we’re seeing repeated attempts to get through a line that nobody can say with a straight face. The most memorable bit of this is a few seconds of outtakes from the quick scene with Ricky Gervais, showing that the on-set improvisation was actually causing him to repeatedly burst out laughing.



    Webisodes – The 3rd Floor (1080p, 8:01 Total) – This is a three part webisode series featuring several of the cast from the show. The webisodes, “Moving On”, “Lights, Camera, Action” and “The Final Product”, can be viewed individually or via a “Play All” function.



    Subtitles are available in English and Spanish for the episodes and for the special features. Standard chapter menus are included for quick reference. The usual Blu-ray pop-up menus work fine. The packaging is back to the simple manner of staggered mounting, which works much better for me than the one used for House, M.D. Season Seven.



    IN THE END...



    The Office: Season 7 is but the latest round of episodes from the continuing NBC comedy. If there’s anything memorable this year, it’s just that this is the farewell season for Steve Carell’s Michael Scott, which will either hasten the end of the show or open the door to some new possibilities. Fans of the series will enjoy this set, as they have enjoyed multiple prior collections. More casual viewers will likely be quite confused if they’ve never watched the show before.




    Kevin Koster


    September 11, 2011



    Equipment now in use in this Home Theater:



    Panasonic 65” VT30 Plasma 3D HDTV – set at “THX” picture mode


    Denon AVR-3311Cl Receiver


    Oppo BDP-93 Blu-ray Player


    PS3 Player (used for calculation of bitrates for picture and sound)


    5 Mirage Speakers (Front Left/Center/Right, Surround Back Left/Right)


    2 Sony Speakers (Surround Left/Right – middle of room)


    Martin Logan Dynamo 700 Subwoofer
     
  2. Adam Gregorich

    Owner

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    Thanks Kevin. We have a copy to give away. To enter just post in this thread. The rules: Winner will be chosen at random, must live in US or Canada, be over 18 and provide an actual (non-POB) address to ship to. Good Luck! Contest ends Saturday at midnight Pacific.
     
  3. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Producer

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    Good review Kevin. I have to agree that the picture(on the last two sets anyway) on BD isn't the best thing in the world. I would have been fine just buying the s-dvd of the last couple seasons, but since I started buying Blus I might as well keep it going.
     
  4. MatS

    MatS Screenwriter

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    thanx for the review and chance to win
     
  5. AnthonyP

    AnthonyP Stunt Coordinator

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    Steve Carell doesn't seem to get as much credit for his acting that I think he deserves. He always seems to bring a genuineness and authenticity to the characters he plays. I will watch just about anything he does just for him (though I also like the films he has been in.. just saw Crazy Stupid Love). I'm trying to think of the line, or show/movie it came from, but it is the difference between playing the scene versus playing a scene for x (laughs, etc.). I've never been impressed with the way NBC shows look in HD (to say the least) so I wonder if their shows look dramatically superior on BD. Thanks for the contest HTF.
     
  6. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I think the best compliment that I can pay the actors on The Offce (especially Carell) is that they constantly seem like they're doing improv rather than scripted material. I'm sure the reality is that nearly all of what they're doing is scripted but they always make it seem real and off the top of their head.
     
  7. Radioman970

    Radioman970 Lead Actor

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    I'd love that. although I'd have to pick up 1 through 6, which I'd gladly do. :)
     
  8. cherisland

    cherisland Stunt Coordinator

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    Great Review! This is one of my all time favorite sitcoms. So sad that Steve Carell will not be in the upcoming new season, but I will still be watching as I love all the characters ! :)
     
  9. Greg Chenoweth

    Greg Chenoweth Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for the review, Kevin. I think that the show will start to decline without Steve Carrell.
     
  10. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    Would love to have A copy of season seven on Blu
     
  11. rayman1701

    rayman1701 Second Unit
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    Sign me up!
     
  12. Richard Gallagher

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    I haven't felt the need to upgrade to Blu on this series. I haven't picked up Season 6 yet, and Amazon now has the DVD set priced at $17.99 vs. $39.99 for the Season 6 BD.
     
  13. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    Posting out of pure greed!
     
  14. mike caronia

    mike caronia Second Unit

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    How is 'Threat Level Midnight'????? I have to see that!!!!
     
  15. Charles Ellis

    Charles Ellis Screenwriter

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    Here's my entry- thanks!
     
  16. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Cinematographer

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    I thought I read S7 was to be the last season. What happened? Corporate greed over a rare successful series?
     
  17. Scamp

    Scamp Stunt Coordinator

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    Can't say as I am particularly a fan of the show altough I have enjoyed watching Carrell in some of his films, but would love to win the blu-ray for my brother.
     
  18. CraigF

    CraigF Cinematographer

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    The last couple seasons are probably the best-looking TV sitcom there is *on DVD*. Far far surpassing most other sitcoms, especially Universal's own others, though ABC is occasionally close. The corresponding Office BDs are only slightly better, though there is obviously more detail...just not a lot of things where you really need to see more detail, or where it truly enhances anything. The DVDs are really that good IMO. Plus that S5&6 DVDs are so much more convenient to access (electronically that is, and sometimes even physically). Did Uni fix that this time for the BDs? But I did like that the BD gives you access to the following season's episodes...so I've seen most of S7 already a couple times.
     
  19. Kevin EK

    Kevin EK Producer
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    I think Season 7 was known to be the last season for Steve Carell, but not necessarily the last one for the series. We'll have to see if they can get more than another year without him. Really depends on the strength of the ensemble, and of the man brought in to fill his part. Sometimes this works out (Kirstie Alley in Cheers), sometimes it doesn't (Coy and Vance Duke)...
     
  20. Ally

    Ally Agent

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    I want tto win
     

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