Scranton’s most outrageous workforce is back to give their clients the business in the fifth hilarious season of The Office. Join obnoxious regional manager Michael Scott (Steve Carell) and his fellow paper pushers Dwight (Rainn Wilson), Jim (John Krasinski), Pam (Jenna Fischer) and Ryan (B.J. Novak) as they steal customers, frame co-workers, indulge in intra-office love affairs and just plain behave badly while a documentary film crew captures their every word and misdeed. Developed for American television by Primetime Emmy® Award-winner Greg Daniels, The Office: Season Five features 26 uproarious episodes – including two one-hour specials, exclusive commentaries, webisodes, deleted scenes and more in a sidesplitting five-disc collection no true fan of The Office can afford to miss!
Season Five is not just another day at The Office, delivering break-ups, corporate shake-ups, and a game-changing finale that, as with Jim (John Krasinski), should leave you ecstatic and speechless. The writers continue their masterful handling of the Jim and Pam (Jenna Fischer) romance, taking care of some unfinished business from last season's finale in the season opener with a glorious rain-swept gas station proposal. Their initial separation--while she attends art school in New York--avoids the usual sitcom mechanics ("We are not that couple," Jim states as he aborts a panicked trip to see her). The course of true love is no smoother for The Office's other soul mates, Michael Scott (Steve Carrell) and "major dork" Holly Flax (an Emmy-worthy Amy Ryan), the new HR rep. Meanwhile, Angela (Angela Kinsey) and Dwight (Rainn Wilson) are having office trysts under the nose of her fiancé, Andy (Hangover star Ed Helms, having a breakout season in a career year). On the corporate front, Michael shockingly quits after butting heads with no-nonsense new boss Charles Miner (Idris Elba). In a brilliant stroke, Jim immediately gets on Charles's bad side, much to Dwight's delight. The formation of The Michael Scott Paper Company is a highlight of the season, as Michael and his dream team, Pam and Ryan (B.J. Novak), improbably put a major dent in Dunder Mifflin's sales (but at what cost?). For everyone who wonders how the blundering and tactless Michael keeps his job, it is instructive to get a glimpse of his sales acumen in the episodes "Heavy Competition," in which Michael poaches one of Dwight's clients, and "Broke," in which he negotiates a buyout of his struggling company. The Office's own dream team got dreamier with the addition of Ellie Kemper as "Erin," the adorable and naïve new receptionist. The Office still makes for cringe-worthy discomfort television (see a reunited Michael and Holly's excruciating skit at the "Company Picnic" in the season finale), but some of the best episodes are the ones in which the Scranton branch bonds in the face of adversity. A season benchmark is the episode in which the former Michael Scott Paper Company office space is transformed into "Café Disco" and all squabbles and resentments are forgotten on the dance floor. This season is representative of why The Office is one of television's most DVR'd series. Each episode offers priceless bits of background comic business and charming character grace notes that lend themselves to repeated viewing. Among them: Andy's drunken late night phone call to Angela in "Company Trip"; Pam demonstrating her volleyball prowess in "Company Picnic"; Kelly (Mindy Kaling) setting up one of the series' very best "that's what she saids" in "Customer Survey"; and Andy and Kelly's "dance off" in "Café Disco." As Dwight notes in "Heavy Competition," "There's a lot going on" in The Office, and in that chaos, this series soars. --Donald Liebenson
Also on the discs
This five-disc set works overtime with about eight episodes' worth of deleted scenes. Highlights include Pam bonding with her younger fellow students in New York, Kevin's revelation that he loves the smell of bacon on a woman, and Michael Scott on the loose with a defibrillator. The 10 audio commentaries are low-key, but informative, and some offer unique behind-the-scenes perspectives (one features craft services and catering personnel who reveal what the cast eats for breakfast). Along with the standard-issue gag reel, there are for completists two webisodes featuring the series' B+ team and synergetic promos for the Super Bowl and the Olympics. Andy Richter moderates an Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Q&A featuring the cast, key creative personnel, and crew members. A "100 Episodes, 100 Moments" countdown is open to debate (not one "that's what she said!"). --Donald Liebenson