Original Airing: 2009-2010
Length: 24 episodes (10 hours, 4 mins), plus 1 episode of Parks and Recreation
Genre: Comic Mockumentary
BD Resolution: 1080p 1.78:1 Widescreen
BD Video Codec: VC-1 @ over 20 mpbs
English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Rating: Unrated (TV-safe Innuendos and Language)
Release Date: September 7, 2010
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 6 is a 4-disc Blu-ray collection of the sixth season of the hit 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. I found some moments of this to be too toxic to enjoy (particularly a group vomiting scene at the beginning of the episode “Niagra”), but there are plenty of other moments in Season 6 that are a lot more palatable.
The Blu-ray set includes all 24 episodes (2 are double-length affairs) of the 6th 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, an extended cut of the episode “Secret Santa”, a “Welcome to Sabre” company video, a blooper reel, and original digital short, several promos and an episode of Parks & Recreation to boot. As a special added bonus, the BD-Live functionality on the first disc here includes an ability to watch episodes from the upcoming 7th season online, after they have aired.
VIDEO QUALITY 3 ½
The Office: Season 6 is presented in a 1080p transfer that shows off a clear picture and accurate flesh tones. As I discussed in my review of the 5th season set, 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 I am viewing this season set on a 40” Sony XBR2 HDTV. If anyone with a larger HDTV (60” or more) notices a problem with the picture quality, please comment within this thread.
AUDIO QUALITY 3 ½
The Office: Season 6 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 5th season set.
DISC BY DISC:
As I normally 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 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, again, includes the ability to watch 7th season episodes online after they air on NBC stations. (This sounds like a form of BD-Live “On Demand” programming.)
I should note that there are somewhat fewer special features this time around than could be found on the 5th season Blu-ray set. On the other hand, that one was really packed with materials, so I suppose that the amount to be found here could be viewed as something a bit more normal…
Gossip, with deleted scenes (4:00). This episode starts with a pretty funny routine of the guys attempting to do Parkour (free running and jumping).
The Meeting (with deleted scenes (8:32).
The Promotion, with deleted scenes (5:19).
Niagara (includes 2 scene-specific commentaries, one with Greg Daniels and director Paul Feig, and the other with Randy Cordray, Kelly Cantley, Michael Galenberg, Claire Scanlon, Veda Semarne and Mary Wall), with deleted scenes (5:53) This is a longer episode, showcasing the wedding of Jim and Pam in the title location (running 43:25, a full hour with commercials), and it starts with the group vomiting scene I mentioned earlier. I’m sure someone thought this was funny, but it simply grossed me out beyond belief.
Mafia, with deleted scenes (3:03)
The Lover, with deleted scenes (3:32)
Koi Pond, with deleted scenes (4:58)
This disc also contains:
BD-Live Access to 7th 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 24th, 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. 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. The strange thing here is that this function is only available on the 1st disc of this set. This is a bit of a nitpick, but I would think that this function would be better placed on the FINAL disc of the set, so that viewers could finish season 6 and then begin the episodes from season 7.
Double Date, with deleted scenes (5:22)
Murder (with scene-specific commentary with Greg Daniels, Ellie Kemper and writer Daniel Chun), with deleted scenes (5:45)
Shareholder Meeting, with deleted scenes (3:44)
Scott’s Tots, with deleted scenes (4:23).
Secret Santa (includes merry scene-specific commentary with Mindy Kaling, Ellie Kemper and Claire Scanlon), with no deleted scenes due to the additional feature just below these lines…
This disc also contains:
Secret Santa Producer’s Extended Cut – This longer cut of the episode runs 29:44, roughly 7 minutes longer than the usual length.
The Banker, with deleted scenes (2:50)
The Manager and the Salesman, with deleted scenes (9:17).
The Delivery (with scene-specific commentary with Greg Daniels, Jenna Fischer, director Seth Gordon, Daniel Chun and Charlie Grandy), with deleted scenes (10:19). This is another hourlong episode (43:07 without commercials), this time featuring the delivery of Jim and Pam’s baby.
St. Patrick’s Day, with deleted scenes (4:13)
New Leads, with deleted scenes (5:58)
Happy Hour (with scene-specific commentary with B.J. Novak, Angela Kinsey, Oscar Nunez, Brian Baumgartner and director Matt Sohn), with deleted scenes (3:11)
This disc also contains:
“Welcome to Sabre” Company Video – (0:56, 1080p) This is the video seen in the episode “Sabre” to introduce the characters and the audience to the company that takes over the bankrupt Dunder Mifflin midway through the season. It features Christian Slater and Kathy Bates.
Secretary’s Day, with deleted scenes (9:11).
Body Language, with deleted scenes (6:25).
The Cover-Up, with deleted scenes (6:57)
The Chump, with deleted scenes (4:31)
This disc also contains:
Blooper Reel (23:50, 1080p) – Nearly twenty-four minutes of blown takes and cast breakups are featured here.
Original Digital Short – The Podcast (1080p, 9:20) – This is a three part digital short featuring several of the supporting characters on the show.
The Office Promos – Canada Games (1080i, 2:00 total)– Three promos originally seen during the NBC broadcasts of the Winter Olympics in Canada are included here.
Parks and Recreation Season 2 “Hunting Trip” Episode (1080p, 21:35) – An episode of the Amy Poehler series is included here in full 1080p and DTS-HD MA sound.
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. Regarding the packaging, as with the House Season 6 set, I noticed the same awkward disc arrangement. I can’t say I’m a fan of it.
IN THE END...
The Office: Season 6 is another good season for the show, complete with two double-size episodes, and this Blu-ray set includes just enough goodies and extras to make it irresistible to the fans. I’m still not completely sold on the show myself, but I can’t deny that it has some really funny moments between all those awkward ones. And I do wonder what they have in store this coming year. Given that it will be Steve Carell’s last on the show, I can only hope they’ll get Ricky Gervais to finally make an appearance…
September 6, 2010