DVD Review: NBC Comedies ‘30 Rock,’ ‘The Office,’ ‘Parks and Recreation,’ ‘Up All Night’

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CHICAGONBC/Universal released a wave of Blu-ray and DVD releases last week as four of their comedies came home with “30 Rock: Season 6,” “The Office: Season Eight,” “Parks and Recreation: Season Four,” and “Up All Night: Season One.” For some reason, “The Office” is the only NBC comedy available in HD (with an UltraViolet copy to boot) but all four sets are well-transferred and three of them feature impressive bonus material. Get your laugh on.

30 Rock: Season 6 was released on DVD on September 4, 2012
30 Rock: Season 6 was released on DVD on September 4, 2012
Photo credit: NBC/Universal

“30 Rock: Season 6”

HollywoodChicago.com DVD rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

A bounce-back season after the more inconsistent fifth one features the cast and writing crew at “30 Rock” more playful, silly, and fun than they have been in years. As the show heads into its final season on NBC, it’s nice to see it if not at an absolute creative peak at least pretty damn close. And “30 Rock” DVD sets have always been strong ones with commentaries, deleted scenes, and more. A great set for the penultimate season of a great show.

Primetime Emmy, SAG, Peabody and Golden Globe Award-winning comedy 30 Rock returns for more Korean dictators, mantra stealing, erotic normaling and plant children in its outrageous sixth season. Primetime Emmy® Award winner Tina Fey is back as Liz Lemon, the struggling TGS writer who seems to have found a new groove along with M&M pancake-filled domestic bliss. But with GE executive Jack Donaghy (Primetime Emmy Award, Golden Globe, and SAG Award winner Alec Baldwin) scheming his way through KableTown, Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan) finding his voice as an idiot, Jenna Maroney (Jane Krakowski) taking her love life to new levels of extreme and NBC Page Kenneth Parcell (Jack McBrayer) being, well, Kenneth, will the chaos be too much for this new and improved Liz to handle?

The hilarity continues with loads of exclusive bonus content in addition to 22 episodes of the critically acclaimed series from executive producer Lorne Michaels (Sons and Daughters).

StarClick here to buy “30 Rock”

Special Features:
o Audio Commentaries By Jane Krakowski, Jack McBrayer, Judah Friedlander, Executive Producer/Composer Jeff Richmond, Executive Story Editor Tracey Wigfield and Associate Producer/Script Coordinator Tom Ceraulo
o Deleted Scenes
o Behind The Scenes Of Live From Studio 6H
o West Coast Version of Live From Studio 6H
o Cheyenne And Jane’s Warm Up Songs

The Office: Season Eight was released on Blu-ray and DVD on September 4, 2012
The Office: Season Eight was released on Blu-ray and DVD on September 4, 2012
Photo credit: NBC/Universal

“The Office: Season Eight”

HollywoodChicago.com Blu-ray rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

Why is “The Office” treated with more respect than any other NBC/Universal show? Not only is it the only program to receive a Blu-ray/DVD/Digital combo pack but it has over 100 minutes of deleted scenes, extended episodes, etc. While the Blu-ray release here is impressive, the show was never more inconsistent than in this rocky season, which it also turns out will be the second-to-last for the Emmy winner. The first half of this season bordered on disaster but it did seem to stabilize a bit in the second half. I’m curious to see what they’ll do with the creative freedom of a final season and if that Dwight spin-off actually comes to be. Until then, enjoy yet-another strong Blu-ray release for what is clearly the favorite comedy son of NBC/Universal.

Big changes are in store for Scranton in the hilarious eighth season of the Primetime Emmy Award-winning series. Andy has taken over as manager of Dunder Mifflin and finds the job to be more than he bargained for. He wants to win the respect of his employees, while going toe-to-toe with Robert California (James Spader, Boston Legal), the enigmatic new CEO who wants to turn the office into his personal playground. Dwight makes his own grab for power when he leads a team to Florida to work under Nellie Bertram, who may be slightly out of her mind. Jim and Pam’s relationship is put to the test when Pam goes on maternity leave and her replacement has eyes for Jim. Meanwhile, Erin harbors lingering feelings for Andy; Angela’s relationship deepens with her dashing (state) senator; and Darryl looks for love in the warehouse.

Developed for American Television by Primetime Emmy Award winner Greg Daniels (Parks and Recreation, The Simpsons), watch all 24 episodes back-to-back in this 5-disc set, with outstanding bonus features including extended episodes, deleted scenes, webisodes, and more!

StarClick here to buy “The Office”

Special Features:
o Over 100 Minutes Of Deleted Scenes
o Producer’s Extended Cut Episodes
o Blooper Reel
o Webisodes
o The Office Promos

Parks and Recreation: Season Four was released on DVD on September 4, 2012
Parks and Recreation: Season Four was released on DVD on September 4, 2012
Photo credit: NBC/Universal

“Parks and Recreation: Season Four”

HollywoodChicago.com DVD rating: 4.5/5.0
Rating: 4.5/5.0

The best comedy on network TV without question. I like “30 Rock.” I like “Modern Family.” I like “Community.” I LOVE “Parks and Recreation.” It’s the best comedy ensemble on television working with the best writers and the only negative thing I could say about this DVD release is that it’s not in HD. Extended episodes, deleted scenes, a gag reel, and even a music video for “Catch Your Dreams” — this is a fantastic collection of special features for a fantastic show. There are rumors that this season of “Parks and Recreation” may be the last. Let’s hope that’s not the case.

Four-time Primetime Emmy Award nominee Amy Poehler (Saturday Night Live, Parks and Recreation) returns for the hilarious fourth season of Parks and Recreation. The ever-enthusiastic Leslie Knope (Poehler) has her sights set on the City Council, but political campaigns are never easy - Leslie must deal with shady journalists, a deep-pocketed opponent (guest star Paul Rudd), bus accidents, and even a still-smitten old flame in her quest to serve her beloved hometown. This Peabody Award-winning season features “TV’s funniest ensemble cast” (Entertainment Weekly) and phenomenal guest stars including Rudd (Knocked Up), Megan Mullally (Will and Grace) and Louis C.K.(Louie). Catch all 22 episodes uninterrupted and commercial free, from Primetime Emmy Award winners Greg Daniels (The Office, The Simpsons) and Michael Schur (The Office, Saturday Night Live).

StarClick here to buy “Parks and Recreation”

Special Features:
o Four Extended Episodes
o Deleted Scenes
o Gag Reel Uncensored
o Webisodes
o Campaign Ads
o “Catch Your Dreams” Music Video

Up All Night: Season One was released on DVD on September 4, 2012
Up All Night: Season One was released on DVD on September 4, 2012
Photo credit: NBC/Universal

“Up All Night: Season One”

HollywoodChicago.com DVD rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

I’m conflicted about my critical feelings regarding “Up All Night,” a show with an undeniably strong core of actors but some repetitive writing and lackluster plotting really killed some of these episodes. It’s a mediocre season for a show that should be better but can’t quite get it together. Maybe in season two.

Primetime Emmy nominee Christina Applegate (Samantha Who?), Maya Rudolph (Bridesmaids) and Will Arnett (Arrested Development) star in this smart, irreverent comedy about adjusting to life with a newborn. Reagan (Applegate) and her husband, Chris (Arnett), have long enjoyed partying with their famous talk show host friend, Ava (Rudolph), but their glamorous lives change with the unexpected arrival of their daughter. Follow their wild and relatable journey through parenthood with this three-disc set that includes all 24 Season One episodes and features phenomenal guest stars Jason Lee (My Name is Earl), Molly Shannon (Saturday Night Live), Megan Mullally (Will and Grace), and music icons Alanis Morissette and Stevie Nicks. Written and produced by Saturday Night Live veteran Lorne Michaels, this is one show worth staying up for!

StarClick here to buy “Up All Night”

Special Features:
o Deleted and Extended Scenes
o “Basically” Music Video by B-Ro featuring Ava

The latest seasons of “30 Rock” and “Up All Night” will be released on DVD only on September 11, 2012. The latest season of “Parks and Recreation” was released on September 4, 2012. “The Office: Season Eight” was released on Blu-ray and DVD on September 4, 2012.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

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