For the employees of Dunder-Mifflin, this was definitely the year of lost love. Amongst all the hilarity of the usual office shenanigans, the first half of the season features some seriously dark and downbeat storylines (for a comedy) of ill-fated relationships. Michael and Holly. Andy and Angela (and Dwight). Ryan and Kelly. Somewhere, a writer or producer, must have had his heart broken at some point, and it shows. The second half of the season gets even darker (I’m using that term loosely), as Michael abandons ship and turns against our beloved paper company in an attempt to start up a competing company of his own. But like everything else in this series, it’s an absolute pleasure to watch, and the emotional connection we’ve developed with these characters after all this time only makes for a more satisfying ride.
Even after four full seasons, this show remains one of TV’s funniest and freshest, and it does so almost entirely in a single office space setting under soul-sucking florescent lights. And that’s what makes this show so special. The hand-held camera work and mockumentary-style lends to the realism of the series, sure, but it’s the relatability (made up word of the day) of the characters and each and every one of their individual quirks that make the show so memorable, and that keep us coming back for more.
This is the kind of series that’s either up your alley or it isn’t. If you’re a Christopher Guest fan, and like your comedy with a dash of intelligence, you’ve found your Mecca. If you’re more of a "My Name Is Earl" type (ie dumb, easy comedy), this baby might not be what you’re looking for...
…eh who am I kidding? Everybody loves The Office. And if you don’t, that’s fine. But I’m going to send Dwight Schrute to your pad to give you a Powerpoint lesson on exactly what’s wrong with your cerebral cortex.
100 Episodes, 100 Moments (8:46) - A cool, quick series of hilarious 3-5 second clips, one from each of the first 100 episodes, even though there have, up to this point, only been 91 episodes. Wait, something doesn’t add up.
The Academy of TV Arts and Sciences presents: “The Office” (30:03) - A Q and A with much of the cast and show creators, shot either on a cell phone cam or one of those shoulder-mounted 80’s VHS home video cameras your dad used to film your T-ball games with. I gotta say, for a group this hilarious, the session is surprisingly subdued and professional.
Office Promos (4:44) - A few short clips used as promos during the Super Bowl and the Olympics. Whatever they were for, they’re friggin’ hilarious. Watch ‘em.
Webisodes (20:12) - Two different mini-storylines, ten minutes each, titled “Kevin’s Loan” and “The Outburst”. Both are pretty funny (though not nearly as good as the show), but certainly worth a go if you’re a big Office fan.
There’s also a great big helping of Deleted Scenes for pretty much every episode, and a dozen or so commentary tracks featuring actors, writers, directors, producers, you name it.