Two NBC shows for the price of one

The beginning of fall for the television/entertainment industry usually means it is time bring in new shows and bring back new shows to the major networks. Two established shows will be returning in September as the Emmy award-winning comedy series The Office returns for its sixth season on September 17th and the superhero action/drama Heroes returns for its fourth season on September 21st. With the return of these series’ approaching, here are the Blu-ray reviews of Heroes: Season Three and The Office: Season Five.
Heroes: Season Three
This season is divided into two volumes: Volume Three: Villians and Volume Four: Fugitives. This season has the same problem with what happen with last season the show introduces and re-introduces so many characters left and right, it almost hard to keep up if you are not following the show.
Following the cliffhanger at the end of season two with the shooting of Nathan Petrelli (Adrian Pasdar), we find out that the shooter is his brother, Peter (Milo Ventimiglia), who is sporting a scar on his face. We also find out that he comes from the future where everyone has superpowers and the indestructible cheerleader known as Claire (Hayden Panettiere) is hunting Peter down. It also turns out that Nathan and Peter’s father, Arthur (Oscar nominee Robert Forester) has returned from the dead to devise a plan in order to steal a formula that create superpowers and use it to create super soldiers, ala Captain America.
In Fugitives, Nathan betrays his friends and family when he heads the operation of capturing every person he knows that has superpowers and imprisons them. After Claire comes to the rescue, the group manages to make a run for it and become fugitives. The problem I have with the series you never know who is good or who is bad unless you have been keeping tabs on Heroes. You have Sylar (Zachery Quinto) switching from bad guy to good guy throughout the season and one of the most beloved character in the series, Mohinder (Sendhil Ramamurthy), turn into such an absolute heel and then back to being a good guy in the next volume.
The advantage that the Blu-ray discs have over DVD discs is that Blu-ray has more exclusive featurettes then the DVD discs. With Heroes: Season Three, Universal has U-Control, which allows viewers to view featurettes via picture-in-picture (PIP) without having to watch the series uninterrupted. “Heroes Connections” is an interactive feature used on the U-Control and keeps the viewers updated with profiles of the characters throughout the series. Each episode also has commentaries from the cast and crew of Heroes using PIP to watch and listen to the cast and crew reflecting on their scenes and other scenes. You also have the choice of turning it off instantly if you do not enjoy the commentary. “Alternate Stories” are three Web series that shown online during the season three. “The Recruit” follows the story of a female solider with superhuman strength. “Going Postal” is about a mailman being chased by the Company in order for them to exploit his powers. “Nowhere Man” features a character that was appeared in eight episodes of this season, the Puppetmaster, who tries to have a normal life working in a office without using his powers.
“Building Coyote Sands” takes a look at the building and shooting of the Coyote Sands Internment camp shown in episode 21, “1961”. Over the span of ten minutes, the crew built the set from the ground up whether it is shooting the present (a run-down site of the camp) to the past (the camp in its heyday). “Genetics of a Scene” is divided into four mini segments as viewers get an in-depth look at the production process on four different scenes shown in season three and how the precise methods it takes for the scenes to look realistic using the combination of visual effects, makeup and prosthetics. “The Superpowers of Heroes” shows the task of stunt coordinator, Tim Gilbert, by trying to translate the powers of the characters and designing them into stunts on the show that will work on-screen.
“The Writers’ Forum” allows to viewers to heart creator Tim Kring, co-executive producer Adam Armus and supervising producer Aron Eli discuss the storylines of season three, the character development that have been shifting throughout the show and the process of writing their characters and the plots of this season. “Completing the Scene” explores the different visual effect scenes throughout the season with a look at the tricks used on set and in post-production to create scenes requiring visual effects whether it is showcasing a superpower or creating a scene that takes place in the future. “The Prop Box” basically says it all: the room where all the props used in the show, past or present, and how some of the props are made.
Heroes: Season Three is somewhat similar with the previous season as it introduces and re-introduces too many characters to keep up with. It also has a lot of characters switching sides whether it is good guy to bad guy or vice versa. The special features have many interesting featurettes that would be interesting for anyone who wants to know how there are able to make the special effects and stunts on the show.
The Office: Season Five
In the adaptation of the acclaimed British BBC that has a documentary crew following the mundane 9-to-5 duties of the men and women at the Scranton branch of the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company. In the season five premiere, we find out that Jim (John Krasinski) proposes to Pam (Emmy-nominee Jenna Fischer), Dwight (Emmy-nominee Rainn Wilson) and Angela (Angela Kinsey) are having a torrid love affair behind the back of right after accepting a marriage proposal from Andy (Ed Helms) and Michael (Golden Globe-winner Steve Carell) might have a chance to romance a replacement HR rep, Holly (guest star and Oscar-nominee Amy Ryan).
After the first episode, things seem to be going downhill, beginning with Pam enrolling in a three-month graphic design course at the Pratt Institute in New York, leaving Jim all alone in the office to fend for himself. When Dwight and Angela’s affair becomes public, Andy and Dwight duel for the Angela’s affection, only for both of them to dump her. When the corporate branch finds out that Michael and Holly are dating, Holly is transferred to another branch and lateron, we find out that she has acquired a new boyfriend. When Michael finds out , he goes through moments of heartache. Through these moments, Steve Carell not only shines as a comedic actor, but as a dramatic actor. This bring more memorable moments as the series continues on, especially small scenes before the credits. In the episode “Stress Relief”, Dwight locks all the exits in the office and set a trash can on fire to demonstrate a realistic fire drill. This only causes panic in the office with Oscar (Oscar Nunez) climbing through the roof tiles, along with furniture and cats being thrown in every which way.
Exclusive to the Blu-ray edition of The Office: Season Five is the “One-Liner Soundboard”, which allows the user to string together one-liners and quotes from the show to create an audio mix that can be shared online with other fans of The Office. Flubs, giggles, outtakes and goofs are shared in the 14-minute gag reel in which I discovered that John Krasinski giggles like a little girl, which in itself is hilarious. The “100 Episodes, 100 Moments” features short clips from every episode from the past five seasons of The Office. “The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Presents The Office” a half an hour long and has the entire crew from the show participating in a question-and-answer panel that features Andy Richer as the moderator.
Deleted scenes in The Office are great additions on the Blu-ray as they were deleted because they did not have enough room for a half hour episode. Some of the stuff included in the deleted scenes is hilarious with jokes, physical humor, long talking head scenes and alternate takes. Included in the special features are television promo spots shown on-air during the Summer Olympics and the Super Bowl. A highlight from one of the promos is where Michael asks Dwight to hit in the groin because he is wearing a cup, only to be kicked in shins, punched in the stomach and hit by an orange on the throat. Dwight explains his actions and says “If you want a predictable fight, don’t fight me”.
The Office: Season Five has manages to give characters a purpose in life and then within the season, takes it away from them as fast as it was given to them. Carrell’s performance is extraordinary this season and it might earn him his first Emmy in September. The gag reel and deleted scenes is funniest feature to be included on the special features section.

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