DVD Release Date: Sept. 8
Creators: Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant (original British series), Greg Daniels (developed for American TV)
Starring: Steve Carell, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, Rainn Wilson, B.J. Novak
Fifth season keeps audience squirming in their seats
Engagements and other vaguely soap-operatic plotlines play out to their logical extremes in Season Five of NBC’s Thursday night hit. And when “world’s best boss” Michael Scott leaves Dunder Mifflin in the season’s last quarter, the show takes a wild left turn into new territory—Idris Elba enters as the new, deeply feared boss, a fitting role for the man who played Stringer Bell on The Wire.
The founding of the Michael Scott Paper Company isn’t the first time Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton employees have left headquarters, and its side purpose of sneaking B.J. Novak back into the show is fairly contrived. But the fifth season still feels fresh and depressingly topical. After 100 episodes, The Office is just as willing to try new things and buck formulas as it was four years ago. More than three hours of often worthwhile deleted scenes are a nice bonus; the sadly perfunctory webisodes—not so much.