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The Office (S4)
DVD disk
Oct 28, 2008 By: Jillian Coyle
The Office (S4) order
Director:
Various

Actors:
Steve Carell
Jenna Fischer
John Krasinski

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
The continuing adventures of the Dunder-Mifflin Scranton crew. This season begins with Michael running over an employee, Dwight killing Angela’s cat and Jim and Pam’s relationship being discovered.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Although the writer’s strike shortened the season, it will go down as one of the all time best seasons for the show. Pam and Jim’s relationship is finally worked out, allowing fans to give a collective sigh of relief, and the office antics are at their best. While every episode features classic moments, a few are too good to not single out.

The season opener starts with Michael running over an employee. He then gets to awkwardly explain what happened to everyone inside, and the guilt of what he did makes him plan a charity 5k. This episode is especially great because Pam and Jim are trying to hide their relationship while Dwight and Angela’s relationship is tested. Plus, like many of their greatest episodes, this is shot mostly out of the office where characters are able to interact on a more personal (and hilarious) level.

“The Deposition” is a great Steve Carell episode. Jan is suing Dunder-Mifflin for wrongful termination, and Michael has to testify on her behalf. Of course, Jan scripts what he’s allowed to say and when he screws up, comedy ensues. Meanwhile, Pam and Kelly get too competitive over Jim and Darryl playing ping-pong. The script for this one is ridiculously good; Kelly takes smack talk to a whole new level.

By far, the most awkward and hilarious episode is “Dinner Party”. Pam and Jim are coerced into attending a dinner party at Michael and Jan’s place with Andy and Angela. This couples-only party leads Dwight to show up with a ridiculous date. Director, Paul Feig, does an amazing job using reaction shots and candid moments to catch the horribly awkward demise of Michael and Jan’s relationship.

The season finale is especially fantastic for all of its twists and hints of what’s to come in the next season. It’s Michael’s dream come true when Toby decides to leave and pursue his own dreams living in Costa Rica, but his celebratory jabs and spiteful pranks are cut short when he develops a crush on Toby’s replacement. Instead, he plans an elaborate going away party giving one office couple the chance to get engaged.

THE EXTRAS
On all 4 discs:

Deleted Scenes: The extra scenes could form mini episodes of their own. They’re also equally hilarious, definitely worth watching.

Commentary: Commentary is only offered for one or two episodes per disk. The first disk doesn’t have commentary, but the second disk offers commentary on “Money” with Rainn Wilson (Dwight), Jenna Fischer (Pam), Melora Hardin (Jan), Brian Baumgartner (Kevin), Paul Lieberstein (Toby/writer/director), Michael Schur (Mose/writer) and Jennifer Celotta (writer). The second disk also has commentary for “Local Ad” with B.J. Novak (Ryan/writer), Ed Helms (Andy), Leslie David Baker (Stanley), Creed Bratton (Creed), Craig Robinson (Darryl), Jason Reitman (Director) and Anthony Ferrell (writer).

The third disk offers commentary for “The Deposition” with Rainn Wilson (Dwight), Jenna Fischer (Pam), Melora Hardin (Jan), Brian Baumgartner (Kevin), Ed Helms (Andy), Lee Eisenberg (writer), Lester Lewis (writer) and Ryan Koh (writer).

The fourth disk features “Did I Stutter?” episode, but Rainn Wilson (Dwight), Jenna Fischer (Pam), Leslie David Baker (Stanley), Kate Flannery (Meredith), Justin Spitzer (writer), Brent Forrester (writer), Gene Stupnitsky (fan) and Randall Einhorn (director) are all part of it. This feels like you’re hanging out on set with all of them as they recount memories, jokes and their favorite moments while teasing each other. This one makes me super jealous of whoever Gene Stupnitsky is.

Disc 1:

Rabies: The More You Know: This is a ridiculous PSA about the “facts: f rabies featuring Steve Carell. I learned that getting bit by an animal doesn’t give you super powers; it just gives you rabies.

Disc 2:

Michael Scott’s Dunder Mifflin Ad: This is the ad Michael came up with for the episode “Local Ad.” Obviously, it’s ridiculous and awesome.

Disc 4:

Blooper Reel:This is 22 minutes of your basic everyone laughing as they screw up their lines. It’s funny, but not a must-watch.

THE OFFICE Convention: Writer’s Block: This is a lot of funny behind the scenes info wrapped in what the behind the scenes people actually do to put on a show each week. Expect to learn the difference between producers, executive producers and writers while laughing at who makes up all the crazy character names or annoys everyone. The only downside to this extra is that it’s shot home video style. Many moments are unwatchable thanks to beyond shaky filming.

Summer Vacation Promo: This is the summer vacation promo played to hype up this season. Each character is featured for an interview with the camera about what happened while the cameras weren’t rolling. Karen reveals how Jim dumped her, Michael reveals he’s moved in with Jan and Dwight reveals he got a life-threatening infection from his outhouse. How can you miss that?

FINAL DIAGNOSIS
The show is amazing, and this is one of their best seasons. Should you own it? Hell yes.
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