The Office: Season Two (2005) Review

The Office: Season Two (2005)
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For new potential fans of "The Office," the DVD set of the break-out second season is a must-see. Start recording the third season now (premieres Sept. 21) and save those episodes, but don't watch them until you've watched the complete second season.
For devotees like myself, the DVD set is a just reward for loyal viewing. The show came into its own this year. I had watched fitfully until the stretch of episodes starting with "The Injury," "The Secret," and "The Carpet" hooked me for good. I am now going back to watch the whole season again and the shows hold up very well upon repeated viewing.
Strengths of the season: Steve Carell gets the award for Most Improved Characterization. It took about a dozen episodes (starting with 6 in the first season) for the show to settle on a tone for Carell's incompetent boss. For a while I wasn't sure what to make of him, which kept me from getting attached to the show. But this season he evolved from a mean jerk to a clueless, lonely man who really just wants everybody to be his friend. While the Michael Scott character still has plenty of totally inappropriate behavior and tons of cringe-worthy moments, his core of pathos and vulnerability humanizes him. I am even rooting for him to find love with Carol or Jan. As we saw this season, the fumbling results will surely be funny.
Now that Carell provides a solid anchor for the cast, the rest of the supporting actors can truly come into their own. From Rainn Wilson's complete dedication to the serious idiocy of office suck-up Dwight Schrute, to the smaller roles of wild-card Creed and eternally suffering temp Ryan, the ensemble has truly gelled.
And of course the slow-motion unfolding of Jim & Pam's romance provided the heart of the show throughout the season. Just about anyone over the age of 30 has been either Jim, Pam, or Roy at sometime in their life, and the bittersweet agony of the whole journey provided the summer's biggest cliffhanger. In my online poll to find the "Top Mom Crushes," both John Krasinski and Steve Carell have been nominated.
Finally, the DVD extras are truly great. The deleted scenes for each episode range from about 4 to 11 minutes and they are really funny. The discipline of 22 minutes works in the show's favor keep the stories tight, but the extra scenes are a worthy bonus for true fans.
This is a fantastic show, and a great DVD set. Even if you didn't watch the British version of the show (which I could never quite get into) give the American version of "The Office" a chance. What separates "The Office" from any other current "sitcom" is that much of the humor comes from what is left unsaid, rather than having a barrage of lame one-liners hitting viewers over the head. "The Office" is absurd, laugh-out-loud comedy with a heart--and if you are part of a couple, it's appointment TV that you can both love.

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It's time to clock in for Season Two of The Office, the hilarious and witty TV-mockumentary starring Steve Carell (The 40-Year-Old Virgin) in his Golden Globe Award-winning role. From sexual politics to performance reviews to email espionage, the employees at Dunder-Mifflin are there to get the job done…or not. Join earnest but clueless boss Michael Scott (Carell), Assistant to the Regional Manager Dwight (Rainn Wilson), receptionist Pam (Jenna Fischer), sales rep Jim (John Krasinski), and the office temp, Ryan (B.J. Novak), as they make the daily grind a lot more laughable. Fully staffed with 22 outrageous episodes and hours of side-splitting bonus features, it’s the must-own collection that caused Time magazine to declare "Never has a lousy job been so much fun."

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