How to Spend $20
By Eric Hughes
September 8, 2009
Welcome to How to Spend $20, BOP's look at the latest DVDs to hit stores nationwide. This week: Dunder Mifflin stays afloat (even in this troubled economy), Amy Poehler introduces us to "the mayor" and Requiem for a Dream goes through the Blu-ray treatment.
Pick of the WeekFor people who wonder if we're ever going to get to see Mose again: The Office: Season Five
A few years back, there was serious talk about stretching NBC's hit comedy, The Office, into a one-hour show. In the literal sense, that never happened. However, with the series' fifth season weighing in at a hefty 26 episodes (including two one-hour episodes), enough action transpired in a single season to have you thinking The Office doubled up all along.
It's hard to believe that the most recent season of The Office was the one where the staff participated in a Biggest Loser-like challenge, where Michael mistakenly called Jan's baby Assturd at a baby shower and exposed how little he knows about Bruce Springsteen at an auction, and where Andy tried his best to be Oscar's gay wingman on a business trip to Winnipeg. Hard to believe because it seemingly happened so long ago. (And we're still months away from other memorable developments, like the infamous post-Superbowl episode, the Michael Scott Paper Company and the staffers cuttin' a rug at Michael's impromptu dance party. Not to mention all that happened between Jim and Pam).
At any rate, available today is all that season five goodness. Most of it's great – like the aforementioned "Café Disco". Some of it's not – "Moroccan Christmas". Yet at the end of the day, you've got to hand it to the show's talented staff of writers (and actors) for making us consistently laugh for more half-hours this season than any other comedy on broadcast television.
Disc includes: Deleted scenes; audio commentary; gag reel; 100 Episodes, 100 Moments featurette; Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Presents The Office featurette, The Office promos, webisodes
For people who would go peacockin' with Aziz Ansari on any night of the week: Parks and Recreation: Season One
So many people were confused with what Parks and Recreation was (and was trying to be) when it premiered on NBC in April. Was it the rumored Office spinoff announced in spring 2008? Would Rashida Jones play her Office alter-ego, Karen? Was it a cheap rip off, or a series that settled more comfortably on the "brilliant" end of the mockumentary spectrum?
If anything, those quick six episodes, which center on a mid-level bureaucrat who – among other things – takes it upon herself to turn an abandoned construction pit into a park, taught us that NBC had yet again greenlit and aired another Thursday night comedy worth your full attention. But that's not to say the first season came and went without a hitch, as the show hit many of the typical bumps and bruises that highlight a freshman series' first year on the air. Viewers complained that the show's male characters were all bad apples, that Amy Poehler's Leslie Knope wasn't all unlike Steve Carell's Michael Scott and that much of its comedy was just, well, unfunny.