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HTF BLU-RAY REVIEW: The Office Season 6 - Recommended


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#1 of 17 OFFLINE   Kevin EK

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Posted September 06 2010 - 06:30 PM

http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/

 

THE OFFICE

SEASON 6

 

Studio: Universal

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

Color/B&W: Color

 

Audio:

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…

 

 

DISC ONE:

 

Episodes: 

 

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.

 

 

DISC TWO:

 

Episodes:

 

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.

 

 

 

DISC THREE:

 

Episodes-

 

The Banker, with deleted scenes (2:50)

 

Sabre

 

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.

 

 

 

DISC FOUR:

 

Episodes:

 

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)

 

Whistleblower

 

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…

 

 

Kevin Koster

September 6, 2010



#2 of 17 OFFLINE   Mike Frezon

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Posted September 07 2010 - 05:34 AM

Kevin:

 

Thanks for the detailed review.

 

For those interested, there are two different retailer exclusive bonus discs available with this release today.

 

From information gleaned over at officetally.com, it appears as if Best Buy has a bonus disc with the following features:

 

 

Best Buy disc has two features.

1- Best of Cold Opens (40 min)

2- “That’s What she Said” Fast Reel which is just under 4 1/2 min.

 

And Target has one which actually includes the deleted scenes for the two episodes listed above which don't have deleted scenes on the general release:

 

 

Haven’t had a chance to watch them yet but I figured I’d pass along that the two extended episodes on Target’s edition are “Sabre” and “Whistleblower.”

 

I really don't like it when retailer exclusives get in the way of content which every purchaser of the product should normally be getting.

There's Jessie the yodeling cowgirl. Bullseye, he's Woody's horse. Pete the old prospector. And, Woody, the man himself.Of course, it's time for Woody's RoundUp. He's the very best! He's the rootinest, tootinest cowboy in the wild, wild west!


HTF Rules | HTF Mission Statement | Father of the Bride

Dieting with my Dog & Heart to Heart/Hand in Paw by Peggy Frezon


#3 of 17 OFFLINE   Kevin EK

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Posted September 07 2010 - 08:20 AM

I agree, Mike.

 

It makes it kind of suspicious that there are no deleted scenes or extensions for those episodes.  I was wondering what was up with that.



#4 of 17 OFFLINE   Eric James

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Posted September 07 2010 - 07:53 PM

The halloween cold open from the episode Koi Pond has been removed. /img/vbsmilies/htf/angry.gif


I'll tell you when I've had enough!!!

#5 of 17 OFFLINE   Mike Frezon

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Posted September 08 2010 - 02:13 AM



Originally Posted by Eric James 

The halloween cold open from the episode Koi Pond has been removed. /img/vbsmilies/htf/angry.gif


I've just done some reading on that.  Internet speculation seems to center on the fact that maybe one of the Halloween costumes had a copyright issue....or maybe they decided the scene with Michael "hanging" himself was too much.
 

Apparently, some say, the open was removed when it ran as a repeat.

There's Jessie the yodeling cowgirl. Bullseye, he's Woody's horse. Pete the old prospector. And, Woody, the man himself.Of course, it's time for Woody's RoundUp. He's the very best! He's the rootinest, tootinest cowboy in the wild, wild west!


HTF Rules | HTF Mission Statement | Father of the Bride

Dieting with my Dog & Heart to Heart/Hand in Paw by Peggy Frezon


#6 of 17 OFFLINE   Dustin James

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Posted September 08 2010 - 02:37 PM

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric James ../../..

The halloween cold open from the episode Koi Pond has been removed. ../../../img/vbsmilies/htf/angry.gif


I've just done some reading on that.  Internet speculation seems to center on the fact that maybe one of the Halloween costumes had a copyright issue....or maybe they decided the scene with Michael "hanging" himself was too much.
 

Apparently, some say, the open was removed when it ran as a repeat.

Curious, since the opening is still available on NBC's website:

http://www.nbc.com/T...ehouse/1170902/

Of course, that could be easily pulled anytime they wanted.

 

Now I am wondering exactly which cold opens are on the Best Buy exclusive bonus disc that has the 40 minute feature "Best of Cold Opens."



#7 of 17 OFFLINE   Kevin EK

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Posted September 08 2010 - 04:33 PM

This is all news to me.  I have a feeling that the copyright issue would be of more concern than whether the situation was too extreme.  (considering the group sickness fun in the cold open for Niagara...)

 

I'd be curious if anyone hears anything else about it.



#8 of 17 Guest__*

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Posted September 08 2010 - 07:03 PM

Does anyone have any issues playing Disc One on their Blu-ray ROM on your computer?  Mine seems to stall after the trailers and the Universal logo.  It just goes to black.  I read a review that states there's a slight delay on the first disc because of the BD Live, but after about three to four minutes, I had to stop it.  Disc Two boots up quickly.  Is there a fix to this?



#9 of 17 OFFLINE   Kevin EK

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Posted September 09 2010 - 01:17 AM

I'll try it a little later today.  Disc 1 is the one with the BD-Live materials.

What kind of computer are you using?



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Posted September 09 2010 - 06:14 AM

I am using an HP that's less than a week old.  The program is CyberLink 8.  I read there's a slight delay with disc one, but nothing like minutes.



#11 of 17 OFFLINE   Kevin EK

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Posted September 09 2010 - 10:00 AM

I'll try it as soon as I get home, which will be later this evening.  I'm using a new-ish (bought it 5 months ago) Sony F Series notebook with Corel WinDVD BD software.



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Posted September 09 2010 - 11:13 AM

This has the BD software and BD-Live, too.  It plays the trailers and gets to the Universal logo then just stalls at black.  I hope I don't need to take my discs back.  I've even updated the software and it doesn't move forward.  The second disc worked though.



#13 of 17 OFFLINE   Kevin EK

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Posted September 09 2010 - 06:59 PM

I just tried Disc 1 in my computer.  The previews loaded up and played, although there was a little lag time between each preview.  Then the menu loaded up and I was able to watch episodes without a problem.

 

I recall that on my first loading of Disc 1 in my PS3, the disc appeared to freeze right as the menu clips started to run.  I took the disc out and put it in again, and everything worked fine.

 

Not sure what to say about your issue here.



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Posted September 09 2010 - 07:26 PM

Damn, not having any luck here.  I don't know what I can do then.  I'll have to keep trying it.  Thanks for checking though.



#15 of 17 OFFLINE   Mike Frezon

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Posted September 13 2010 - 04:27 PM

This is my first experience in buying The Office on Blu-ray disc.  I decided NOT to buy season 5 in high-def even though it was offered.  And now I'm starting to wonder if purchasing season 6 on Blu-ray was such a good idea.
 

Here are my problems with this set. I am at a bit of a disadvantage because I don't have the SD set with which to compare this set.

 

The first thing I don't like is the use of dialogue snippets underneath the menu system.  While they may also sometime act as spoilers...I just find them annoying and repetitive every time I go to fire up the disc to play an episode.

 

Also, the highlight of any release of The Office (to me, anyway) are the deleted scenes which add more length to any episode.  They are generally high quality material and add quite a bit of comedy as they further the exposition of the episode (even though they are ultimately deleted for time constraints).

 

With this set, you need to (while the menu dialogue snippets are playing--unless muted) navigate to episodes and select the desired one.  Fine.  But then, after the episode airs, you have to navigate OUT of the episodes area (with dialogue snippets having resumed from the beginning of their cycle), click on "bonus features" and then "deleted scenes" and then the deleted scenes of the episode of your choice.  Under the old SD sets, you'd watch the episode and then come out of it to a menu where you were defaulted to the option of watching the deleted scenes for that particular episode.  THAT was very convenient.

 

One last thing.  When you select the deleted scenes for any given episode, the audio for the deleted scenes is encoded at a MUCH LOWER volume than the episode itself.  I'm no expert on these things...but it must NOT be the same DTS-HDMA 5.1 encoding for the deleted scenes as is used on the episodes.  I am using analog connections from my BD player into my receiver.  So.....I have to turn the audio up MUCH HIGHER when I watch the episodes' deleted scenes.  It is quite dramatic a difference.  What happens then?  The deleted scenes end and the menu (with those %#$@& dialogue snippets) starts all over and blows my speakers into the next county.

 

That's why I'm really second-guessing if paying the extra money for the better quality A/V on this set was really such a good idea.  Whoever is designing BD menus really needs to re-think these things.  People don't view TV discs in the same way they view a film on disc.  I'm getting kinda aggravated here.


There's Jessie the yodeling cowgirl. Bullseye, he's Woody's horse. Pete the old prospector. And, Woody, the man himself.Of course, it's time for Woody's RoundUp. He's the very best! He's the rootinest, tootinest cowboy in the wild, wild west!


HTF Rules | HTF Mission Statement | Father of the Bride

Dieting with my Dog & Heart to Heart/Hand in Paw by Peggy Frezon


#16 of 17 OFFLINE   Bryan^H

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Posted September 14 2010 - 04:18 AM



Originally Posted by Mike Frezon 

  One last thing.  When you select the deleted scenes for any given episode, the audio for the deleted scenes is encoded at a MUCH LOWER volume than the episode itself.  I'm no expert on these things...but it must NOT be the same DTS-HDMA 5.1 encoding for the deleted scenes as is used on the episodes.  I am using analog connections from my BD player into my receiver.  So.....I have to turn the audio up MUCH HIGHER when I watch the episodes' deleted scenes.  It is quite dramatic a difference.  What happens then?  The deleted scenes end and the menu (with those %#$@& dialogue snippets) starts all over and blows my speakers into the next county.

 

That's why I'm really second-guessing if paying the extra money for the better quality A/V on this set was really such a good idea.  Whoever is designing BD menus really needs to re-think these things.  People don't view TV discs in the same way they view a film on disc.  I'm getting kinda aggravated here.


I was thinking the same thing.

 

The the random snippets that play in a loop are a dumb idea.  The menu should be set up episode specific(instead of a hub menu for every feature in the main menu).

And the Packaging.......abysmal.

 

I don't know what the packaging, and menu ergonomics are on the s-dvd set.  I'm guessing it may be better, or maybe the same.

 

I'm very pleased with the picture, and audio, but for a show like the Office with a rather large following I think they could have done a better job with this set.

 


housekeeping 2.jpg

"She always does that, she just wanders away"

 

 

 


#17 of 17 OFFLINE   Kevin EK

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Posted September 14 2010 - 07:29 PM

I'm a little perplexed here.
 

I'm used to the deleted scenes for various episodes being placed under the "Special Features" or "Bonus Features" area of the menu.  I believe it was the same way on the Blu-ray of Office Season 5, as well as on other shows I have reviewed, such as the BSG Blu-ray sets.

 

The deleted scenes are not in DTS-HD MA sound.  They are simply presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 sound, which is the same way they were presented on the Season 5 Blu-ray set.  The difference in presentation with The Office Blu-rays is that they are presented in HD picture.  Prior shows, like BSG again, have normally included their deleted material in non-anamorphic standard definition - usually because we're looking at output from the editors rather than a completed product.

 

I agree that the main menu can be a bit annoying, but I'm used to this idea of playing quick dialogue cuts for The Office.  Season 5 had a totally different bunch of quotes, and yes, they repeated every freakin' time you went through the menu.

 

I also agree about the packaging.  I go from being mildly annoyed to genuinely worried that a disc could be broken when trying to extricate it from the holder...




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