The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Universal - 2011
MPAA Rating: NR
Feature running time: 530 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Steve Carell, Rainn Wilson, Jenna Fischer, John Krasinski, Ed Helms, B.J Novak, Angela Kinsey, Leslie David Baker, Mindy Kaling, Phyllis Smith, Creed Bratton, Craig Robinson, Oscar Nunez, Brian Baumgartner, Kate Flannery, Paul Lieberstein, Ellie Kemper, Zach Woods
Directed by: Various
Music by: Jay Ferguson
Written by: Various
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: September 4, 2012
Big changes are in store for Scranton in the hilarious eighth season of this Primetime Emmy® Award winning series. Andy (Ed Helms, The Hangover) has taken over as manager and he will stop at nothing to win the affection of the Dunder Mifflin staff. Outrageous antics ensue as he works to balance the respect of his employees while going toe-to-toe with Robert California (James Spader, “Boston Legal”), the enigmatic new CEO. Dwight (Rainn Wilson, The Rocker) makes his own grab for power when he leads a team to Florida to work under Nellie Bertram (Catherine Tate, “Dr. Who”), who may be slightly out of her mind. Jim (John Krasinski, Big Miracle) and Pam's (Jenna Fischer, A Little Help) relationship is put to the test when Pam goes on maternity leave and her replacement has eyes for Jim.
A remake of the hit 2001 BBC TV series of the same name, The Office is a mockumentary style sitcom that documents the exploits of the employees at Dunder Mifflin, a paper supply company in Scranton, Pennsylvania. My first experience with the The Office was back in 2005 when NBC ran the first four episodes in a row during prime time. The first episode we saw was “Diversity day”. It literally had us in stitches and we haven’t missed an episode since. Over the years we have reveled in the hysterical absurdity, rooted for blossoming relationships, and bonded with these endearingly quirky characters that we have come to know so well.
Everyone has a turn in the barrel and the results can be uproariously funny and occasionally heartwarming. The genuine chemistry among the cast shines through brilliantly. As is previous seasons before it Season eight has its share of in office inappropriateness, off color humor, orchestrated folly, and infused drama that doesn’t derail the drollery but effectively supports it. Season seven was bitter sweet as it marked Steve Carrel’s final season on the show. Michael Scott’s antics are the reason I began watching The Office and I was concerned how the series would be without him.
Unfortunately it just isn’t the same. I like Ed Helms but Andy doesn’t have the effecting affable charisma and warmhearted oafishness of Michael Scott. James Spader in the role of CEO Robert California adds an enriching element to the cast but Catherine Tate’s Nellie Bertram is nothing but a ridiculously integrated and annoying distraction in my opinion. While there is still plenty of chemistry to be found in the endearing characters, their interpersonal and interoffice relationships season eight just seems to limp along. Throughout the season we found ourselves disappointed in many of the episodic plots and the continuing subplots left us more or less indifferent.
That isn’t to say that there weren’t a few memorable moments from season eight. Here are a few that reminded us of why we like The Office:
- Mrs. Robert California, hire/no hire??
- Andy, the garden party and his insensitive family
- Gabe and Abe
- Jim, Dwight and jury duty
The problem is that the bad outweighs the good and there are too many lukewarm, uninteresting and driftwood installments that add up to a ho-hum season. The announcement that the upcoming season would be the last didn’t come as a surprise. I guess it’s time to move on but I must admit that I surely will miss The Office. Hopefully this final season will be a memorable one.
Season eight’s 24 episodes are spread over five BD-59 Blu-ray flipper discs that contain the Blu-ray version on one side and the DVD version on the other with the bulk of the bonus features contained on disc five. It comes housed in a flimsy fold out cardboard keep case (held shut by an unsubstantial slipcover) where discs 1&2 and 3&4 snap into the plastic hubs in an overlapping configuration that while serviceable makes removal of the bottom discs a bit awkward.
The Office contains mild thematic material and suggestive language.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
The Office Season Eight comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Studios Home Entertainment featuring 1080p VC-1 encoded video that has an average bitrate of 25 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.7 Mbps.
This video presentation is reminiscent of the show’s broadcast high definition quality and looks terrific on Blu-ray. Colors are vivid with rich primary highlights and natural rendering that looks superb. Skin tones are characteristically distinguishable with lifelike complexional structure. Resolution is excellent as images have crisp definition, revealing subtle delineation, and above average dimension. Blacks are strong and depth of field in low level shots is appreciable. Sharpness fluctuates here and there but fidelity is never in question. This is a faithful and pristinely rendered high definition presentation that won’t disappoint
The multi-channel lossless audio won’t test the limits of your surround sound system but it capably delivers the elements present in the show’s soundtrack. Dialogue is tonally rich with excellent room penetration and defining clarity. Dynamics are punchy and bass response is appropriate in support of the track’s recorded elements. The front channels handle the bulk of the audio and presents an open two dimensional soundstage with the surrounds supplying ambient detail. I think the mix mates perfectly with the source material and sounds great.
- (HD) Deleted scenes (for 22 episodes) – 103 minutes
- (HD) Blooper reel – 19 minutes
- Extended episodes of “The fundraiser” and “Angry Andy”
- (HD) Webisodes (totaling 7 minutes) – The story of Subtle sexuality (the band) and “The girl next door” performed by Subtle sexuality
- (HD) The Office Promos: XLVI Football Championship (6 short segments)
- Bigger fan
- My scenes bookmark feature
Since 2005 The Office has consistently been one of the funniest and highly rated sitcoms in prime time which has earned it numerous industry awards and a large fan following. Season Eight was rather disappointing and just lacked the definitely funny situations and memorable moments that made the show so good during the preceding seasons. With the announcement that season nine will be the series last I hope that it goes out on a positive note and returns to the form that made it so good for so long. It comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Studios Home Entertainment in a fan friendly offering that boasts top notch video quality, crystal clear DTS-HD Master Audio sound and a decent assortment of bonus supplements. Unless you’re a diehard fan that must own every season this one is a pass.
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