The Office - Season 4 DVD


DVD Release Date: 09/02/2008
Creators (U.S. Version): Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant, Greg Daniels
Cast: Steve Carell, Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, B.J. Novak, Craig Robinson, Leslie David Baker

Season 4:


Let’s just make sure everyone knows where I’m coming from. I loved the original BBC version of “The Office” and was skeptical (to say the least) at converting it for American audiences. There’s a dry wit element that humor on this side of the pond doesn’t normally grasp.

The first season was a complete miss for me because it was essentially taking the plotlines of the BBC version and tweaking the dialogue so nobody had to figure out if Bob really was someone’s uncle. As the seasons have progressed, the show has found its own groove and delights millions of people every week.

To be blunt, however, I’m not one of them. I like Steve Carell, Rainn Wilson and John Krasinski but they’ll never be Ricky Gervais, Mackenzie Crook and Martin Freeman. That’s just how I see it. I’ve always found it difficult to see characters played by different actors in remakes and the like (this only works for me in live theater for some reason).

There are plenty of laughs to be had and the chemistry amongst the cast is great. I just have a mental block on being able to cope with this transplanted version and I just wanted my loyal readers to understand why I only gave the season a passing 3 out of 5. It’s just not my cup of tea (or coffee if you’re going to transplant that across the pond as well).

The DVD:



The 4-disc DVD set seems to skimp on special features which is why this element only gets a 2 out of 5 from me. At this point, if you’re going to charge full price, I expect commentary tracks on every episode – not just the 4 they’ve chosen to include. Also, at least one more additional featurette, about a character or a story angle or something, would have be nice.

Audio/Video:

Dolby Digital 5.1 sound. Anamorphic Widescreen 1.78:1.

Subtitles:

English; Spanish.

Languages:

English.

Extra Features:



Commentary with cast and crew members for 4 episodes.

—– My main reason for not thinking this is a very good DVD box set. Basic rule of thumb for TV box sets: commentaries on every episode. Even if you can’t get the A-list cast on them all, drag one of the writers or the director out of their bed and sit them in a sound studio to record a commentary.

Genetics of a Scene

—– Four key scenes are broken down and discussed by executive producers and others.

Deleted Scenes

Gag Reel

Outtakes

—– Why is this even an “extra” extra feature? This should have been lumped in with the Gag Reel but I suppose when you don’t have enough special features, separating this out helps make it look like you’re getting more.

The Office Convention

—– Really the only special feature (since I consider commentary , deleted scenes and gag reels standard for any DVD). Thankfully, there some insight on the show to be had here and it’s a shame it’s the only of its kind to get included.

The Sobering Conclusion:


The season 4 box set of “The Office” is a must have for die-hard fans of the show but for any casual viewers or newcomers, I’d recommend renting this season rather than owning it. While the show can be very entertaining (if you can get past the fact this is a retread of the BBC version which all of you should watch in any case), the lack of special features doesn’t give me any reason to tell people to plunk down $30 or $40 to add this to their DVD shelves.