"THE OFFICE: SEASON SEVEN"
Blu-ray Review by Kevin Carr
MOVIE: ****1/2 (out of 5 stars)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: **** (out of 5 stars)
“The Office” has seen plenty of ups and downs over the years, and the fans don’t always agree where these points are. However, season seven is a tumultuous year for the folks at Dunder-Mifflin Paper Company. Not only are they dealing with a corporate takeover, but they’re also saying good-bye to Michael Scott as Steve Carell realizes he actually has a blockbuster movie career. But the changes we’ve seen actually work in a twisted way. The new characters of Gabe and Ellie have completely gelled with the group, and the supporting characters are moving a little farther into the spotlight to fill out the stories.
"HOUSE: SEASON SEVEN"
This season of “The Office” serves as a worthy bridge between the show of the past and what is yet to come, whether it survives the absence of Steve Carell or not. The highlight of this season includes the farewell to Carell as well as the fallout of new management and the celebrity-filled episode where the workers try to find a new boss. The other brilliant highlight is the completion of Michael Scott’s independent film “Threat Level Midnight,” a hilarious piece of fake bad movie making.
Like previous releases of “The Office,” the Blu-ray is loaded with some awesome special features, which is extremely impressive for a seventh season of anything. Bonus material includes a blooper reel, extended episodes, commentaries on select episode and webisodes featuring the secondary cast. But the best part of this set is the deleted scenes, which comprise 100 minutes of new material. “The Office” is one of the few programs for which I watch all the deleted material because it’s usually some very funny stuff that just didn’t work in the flow of the episodes.
Oh, and let’s not forget the complete 22-minute version of “Threat Level Midnight,” which is awesome as well.
by Kevin Carr
MOVIE: ***1/2 (out of 5 stars)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5 stars)
Like “The Office” – though in very different ways – “House” has had plenty of ups and downs over the years. The last few seasons, however, have been particularly good because they are dealing with the root issues that make Gregory House both a great character and a terrible person. This season has all the cool medical mysteries to solve in the typical “House” fashion. But what makes season seven stand out is what’s going on behind the differential diagnosis.
House’s relationship with Cuddy is intriguing and caustic yet tender at times. It breathes new life into the show as he learns to deal with another human in a more intimate setting. There’s also the shake-up of the staff while Thirteen (Olivia Wilde) took off to do some movies. This absence was written into the show quite well, offering a new foil for House with Amber Tamblyn as the wide-eyed, idealist. Sure, it’s still a depressing show with characters that are fun to watch but maddening to be around, but it has hit a special stride in seasons six and seven. Let’s see how much longer this will last.
Blu-ray features include a spotlight on Tamblyn’s new character: “Meet Martha Masters.” There’s also an in-depth look at House and Cuddy’s relationship in “Huddy Dissected.” The fun meta episode “Bombshells,” which features cross-genre homages gets looked at with “Anatomy of an Episode,” and Olivia Wilde gets her own spotlight in “Thirteen Returns.” There are also commentaries on select episodes as well as U-Control settings for “A Beginner’s Guide to Diagnostic Medicine” which we’ve seen before, plus access to BD-Live and pocketBLU.
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