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Old 09-20-2011, 09:07 AM   #79
phantom train
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 462
"The Office" Season 7 DVD review

This is an edited version of a review I posted on another board recently:

Just finished watching The Office Season 7 on DVD; this was the first time I had seen most of these episodes. Fantastic & truly hilarious, and far superior to the overall average Season 6. And, IMHO, this was definitely hands-down one of the best seasons of the show.

Here are my thoughts/comments:

- The various tricks/pranks that Jim would play on Dwight (before the opening credits) seemed to be very much ramped up in this season, and were in many cases side-splittingly funny - Dwight just never learns!

-It was great how Dwight bought out the building and installed the extremely overpriced coffee bar in the front to generate revenue. I liked how the security guard obviously didn’t want to be there taking money for the coffee, etc., which made the whole thing funnier.

- Kevin, though always funny, was in rare form this season - I liked how the first episode had the sequence with him admitting to doing something new, i.e. lying about everything - hilarious. Also classic was his very inappropriate comment in the breakroom when discussing Angela & her boyfriend, the state senator.

- Going along with the above, the clarification that many in the office would make re: Angela's b-friend being a state senator and not a senator was hilarious, and reminded me somewhat of the whole 'Assistant Regional Manager'/'Assistant to the Regional manager' distinction that was a running joke in the earlier seasons of the show.

- Being a big Will Ferrell fan, I enjoyed his guest appearances as Deangelo Vickers on the show. However, even though Ferrell was good here, IMHO he was still overshadowed by Michael Scott and the rest of the cast in most of his scenes. I also found his behavior much more restrained that in his movies (IMHO, Old School is one of the top 5 comedies of the last 30 years, but that's another thread). That being said, the sequence when he ate the cake with his hands and had to stop himself from then actually putting his face in the cake was great – the glance that Jim gave Dwight during the scene was perfectly timed, since you knew they were thinking Deangelo was (or would become) another Michael Scott. It was very appropriate that he left the show after doing something extremely stupid (having the basketball stand fall on him)

-Threat Level Midnight was hilarious from start to finish; great cameos (by Jan, Pam’s Mother, etc.), voice-over by Stanley, funny theme song, Jim as Goldenface, the group dance in the bar w/Andy as bartender, the Toby Maneqquin, etc. Classic.

-I always thought the Todd Packer character was funny, so it was good to see an episode devoted to him. That being said, I’m glad he left for the “Florida job” at the end, since I can see the character could wear out his welcome if featured on the show too much.

-The Dundees episode was hilarious, and when Michael Scott & co. got thrown out of the restaurant this reminded me of a similar scene in one of the earlier seasons (S2?!) where they also got thrown out of a restaurant during the Dundees for being crude/loud.

-The last episode with Michael Scott was bittersweet, and it was nice to see him saying goodbye to everyone (though it was strange how he didn’t tell everyone when his actual last day was – I guess he thought he may get too emotional at the going-away party). The last scene with Pam hugging him at the airport was touching. It was interesting that Scott didn’t seem to have job lined up in CO, which was actually typical of his behavior (not thinking ahead to the consequences of his actions).

-The garage sale/proposal episode was great, and it was funny how the gullible Dwight was “tricked” by Jim into buying the “magic” beans. The last scene when Jim put plants in the place of the beans (in the office park) was amusing. I also liked the sequence when Kevin, Daryl, and Andy played the “Dallas” board game – hilarious.

-The one episode where Dwight was “Acting” boss was fantastic – all of the strict rules he put in place were very much in character, and I enjoyed the “James Bond villain” comment that Jim made when he first walked into Dwight’s office with the samurai statue, elaborate desk, etc.

-The very last episode (Search Committee) was one of the best episodes of not only this season, but of the entire series. I especially enjoyed the interviewee Nellie (the British woman), and her constant back-pedaling when confronted; her initial idea that there should be no cubicles in the office & then that the office should be filled with cubicles was hilarious. Her behavior reminded me of David Brent (Ricky G.) in the original BBC version of the show (which I’m sure was intentional) – I was a huge fan of the BBC show, so really appreciated this “homage”. Also, James Spader was great as Robert California – his scene in the coffee bar with Ray Romano was hilarious, i.e. trying to psych Romano out re: the job interview so he could solidify his own position! Also very funny was his later stare-down sequence with Dwight, and then his dismissing Dwight as inconsequential/irrelevant – great stuff! Prior to this, I’ve only seen Spader in ‘80’s teen dramas (Pretty in Pink, New Kids, Tuff Turf) or strange independent films (Secretary), so it was surprising to see that he could do comedy well.

Special Features:

-As with prior DVD sets, the deleted scenes were in many cases as funny (or funnier) than the actual episodes they were taken from.

-It was great to see Threat Level Midnight unedited!

-The “3rd floor” webisodes were good.

Final thoughts:

I am very much looking forward to S8 of this show. I was initially concerned since I didn’t know how well the show would fare when Michael Scott left; however, the last several episodes of S7 were great even without Carrell, which illustrates that the show has an excellent ensemble cast & as long as the writers, actors, and producers of the show keep putting out a quality product, it should continue. Casting J. Spader as the new office manager was a great move, and I look forward to seeing what they come up with.
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