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DVD Pick of the Week: The Office – Season Three

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September is here and every television junkie out there knows it's debut time. Each September brings a special feeling to everyone who enjoys a little downtime with the tube. New series debut, old favorites return, and a general air of excitement surrounds the proposition of sitting in front of the ol' television set. The temperatures begin to cool and there is little desire to venture outdoors; the television represents an old friend who is always there to comfort you in good times and in bad. You may be wondering what this has to do with the DVD pick of the week. With the dawning of the new TV season it is the right time to catch up on the earlier seasons of your favorites. This week brings with it a healthy dose of TV-on-DVD sets.

The top choice for this week is The Office: Season Three. If you don't watch this series, you must. Go out and buy all three seasons, go to iTunes and buy a few episodes, just do it. The show is an American translation of the BBC series created by Ricky Gervais which ran for two series and a pair of holiday specials earlier in the decade. In 2005 the show was brought to American shores with Steve Carell leading a class of unfamiliar faces into the prime time landscape.

The series has received much critical praise and has been able to step out from the shadow of the UK series. The show is very funny in a variety of ways. There are moments of slapstick, verbal comedy, subtle comedy, in your face laugh-fests all while never losing its intelligence. It is a smartly written show comprised of a talented cast of characters.

Steve Carell stars as Michael, the egotistical manager of Dunder Mifflin in Scranton. He is like the Ed Wood of managers, someone who means well and is so blinded by his love for what he does that he does not realize just how bad he is at it. Among the cast standouts are Rainn Wilson as uber-nerd Dwight Schrute, John Krasinski as the too cool for school Jim, and Jenna Fischer as cute receptionist Pam. The rest of The Office cast are peppered with memorable smaller players.

The Office: Season Three features three hours of deleted scenes, 16 minutes of bloopers, and episode commentaries. Also featured are the Lazy Scranton and "Make your own promo contest" videos as well as a music video from Dwight Schrute.

Also out this week:

  • Prison Break: Season 2. The second season of this FOX series took it in a whole new direction following the actual prison break of the first season. This show is very good, delivering plenty of thrills. The third season begins at the end of September.
  • Nip/Tuck: The Complete Fourth Season. Here is a show that I have tried on numerous occasions but could never get into. It has a lot of fans, so here is the DVD to get ready for the next season.
  • Desperate Housewives: The Complete Third Season. First season I really liked, second season lost me early on, never watched the third.
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Seasons 1 & 2. This is sort of like a network sitcom on crack. Funny show, not terribly consistent, but it does deliver the laughs.
  • Robot Chicken: Season Two Uncensored. I have never watched this with any regularity, but whatever I see makes me crack up. The Star Wars spoofs were classic.
  • 30 Rock: Season 1. One of the better sitcoms to debut last year. It took a few episodes to get some steam going, but once it did It didn't let up. I have been rewatching the episodes and they are much funnier the second time around.
  • The Black Donnellys: The Complete Series. This show slipped into the slot vacated by Studio 60 on Monday nights and failed to deliver, quickly getting pulled. I never got into the show and was a little bitter over the removal of Studio 60, which I liked much better.
  • Rules of Engagement: The Complete First Season. The short first season of the new David Spade ensemble. Never watched it though.
  • Dirty Jobs: Collection 1. From the Discovery Channel comes this series that looks at the jobs that most people want nothing to do with.
  • The Wind that Shakes the Barley. This won the Palme D'Or at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival. Cillian Murphy stars in this story of brothers torn apart by an anti-British rebellion.
  • Night on Earth. The Jim Jarmusch collection of taxi tales spanning the globe.
  • Georgia Rule. Jane Fonda and Lindsay Lohan star in this moderately entertaining conservative exploitation flick.
  • Tomorrow Never Dies, A View to a Kill, Octopussy, Live and Let Die, Dr. No, Diamonds are Forever. The next wave of Bonds flicks arrive on DVD. I believe this completes the roll-out of these latest editions.
  • Delta Farce. This Larry the Cable Guy farce is exactly that, except without the laughs. Easily one of the worst films to arrive this year. Health Inspector was better than this.
  • City of Violence. Korean export delivers the action packed goods on a DVD set that is loaded with bonus features.
  • The Prodigy. An action film I have never heard of, but seems to have reviewed well. May have to seek this one out.

So, what's on your slate?

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