It's time to clock in for Season Two of The Office, the comically honest look at the world of white-collar employment. Steve Carell (The 40-Year-Old Virgin) won a Golden Globe for his role as Michael Scott, the sometimes pathetic but always hilarious regional manager of Dunder-Mifflin paper supply company. Join him and the amazing ensemble cast (Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer and B.J. Novak) as Michael, Dwight, Jim, Pam and Ryan navigate the hidden romance and open absurdity of the business world, from the Christmas party to sexual harassment training to the "Booze Cruise" retreat to the heartbreak of "Casino Night." Developed by Greg Daniels (King of the Hill, The Simpsons), fully staffed with all 22 outrageous episodes and packed with hours of laugh-ot-loud bonus features, The Office: Season Two is the must-own cure for the workday blues.
Thank goodness for second seasons. While the first season of The Office
started dubiously with a pilot that was just a poor copy of the original British version, it did manage to provide enough good material to stay on the air and hint that better was yet to come. And here it is. The second season of The Office
finds its own footing and manages to do the near-impossible by not only breaking free of the gravity of that excellent BBC version to stand solidly on its own, but establishing it as one of the best comedies on TV. Season 2 starts out strong with "The Dundies," where Regional Manager, Michael Scott (Steve Carell, The 40 Year Old Virgin
) hosts the companys annual office-awards event with his signature less-than-perfect grace. Things seem to only get worse for him this season as he bumbles a potential affair with his boss, Jan (Melora Harding), angers his employees by reading their emails ("Email Surveillance"), cooks his foot ("The Injury"), and accidentally destroys the warehouse with a forklift in "Boys and Girls," one of the seasons highlight episodes. Always at his side is the clueless paranoid Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson), the Assistant Regional Manager ("Assistant to
the Regional Manager," Michael always reminds him in one of the shows running jokes).
One of the reasons for the shows improvement in the second season is increased focus on Dwights character, whos becoming something of a pop-culture icon right down to having his own bobblehead. He in turn provides so much good material for Pam (Jenna Fischer) and Jim (John Krasinsky) to play off of, to their own amusement. But of course, Pam and Jims simmering relationship is the real meat of the show, as their compatibility becomes more obvious, Jims feelings for her continue to grow, and Pam struggles with the impending marriage to her less-than-caring boyfriend, Roy (David Denman). Things have to come to a head, and they do nicely in the final episode, "Casino Night." As strong as the leading characters are in The Office, its the excellent peripheral characters that really make the show hilarious, especially dimwitted office-slug Kevin (Brian Baumgartner), long-suffering intern Ryan (B.J. Novak), office-ditz Kelly (Mindy Kaling), and ultra-conservative Angela (Angela Kinsey). As with season 1, this season contains excellent bonus features to give you an excuse to spend more time at The Office, including the fake PSAs, commentaries, Michaels The Faces of Scranton movie, the ten stand-alone webisodes, and deleted scenes. --Daniel Vancini