Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Office The Complete BBC Collection |
First and Second Series Plus Special
Actors: Ricky Gervais, Martin Freeman, Mackenzie Crook, Lucy Davis (II)
Directors: Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Television
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Member Movie Reviews
Mark H. (djmark) from MONTEREY PARK, CA
Reviewed on 1/27/2014...
If you enjoyed the American version, you are in for a treat. Ricky Gervias' dry sense of humor is outstanding.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
The Best TV Series Ever?
Maggie | United States | 10/31/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Every reviewer out there has praised this show for its brilliance and I'm going to be redundant and do the same. From its first episode to the last few seconds of the Christmas Specials, The Office never has one bad line or one false note. It's just about perfect.
Almost every scene takes place in the dull offices of the Slough branch of the Wernham Hogg paper company (Dawn, the receptionist, accurately describes it as "a crappy sub-branch paper merchant's). Wernham Hogg employs about 40 people and we get to know all their faces as we see them stare at computer screens, take coffee breaks, and goof off day after day. It's as realistic as TV has ever been. Nobody is too pretty, everyone's "office-casual" wardrobe is slightly wrinkled, and everyone looks bored out of his or her mind most of the time.
The people we get to know best are: Gareth Keenan, a bizarre "team leader" with a fixation on survival skills; Dawn Tindsley, the sweet and sarcastic receptionist who is stuck in both a boring job and a boring relationship; Tim Canterbury, a sales rep who hates his job but can never seem to actually quit it; and David Brent, a man who thinks he's everyone's "friend as well as their boss" but who is actually liked and respected by no one.
The two main story threads running through all 14 episodes of The Office are Tim's attempts to convince Dawn to leave her idiotic fiance and David's constant need to impress his employees, bosses, and everyone he meets with his various talents. We see his "humor," his "poetry," his "songs," his "dancing," and his philosophical "wisdom." All of which are horrifyingly bad. David's constant need to perform ends up slowly destroying him, Tim and Dawn remain unhappily inert, and things get worse and worse for everyone until the show almost becomes unbearable to watch. The cast is so good, though, and every line so pitch perfect, that you'd follow these people anywhere, even in despair. Also, the great thing about The Office is, like life, all the possibilities continually exist for these characters and we never know when they might have a moment of redemption.
So, it's not strictly a comedy, but it is the funniest, most devastating, and strangely uplifting show I have seen in recent years."
E. A Solinas | MD USA | 10/17/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It's a dark "Dilbert," a realistic "Office Space." Hit Brit-comedy "The Office" takes mockumentaries to the small screen, featuring the hilariously unfunny David Brent, and his unhappy employees. This three-pack includes both seasons, plus the satisfying holiday special, which also serves as the grand finale.
The first season opens with David Brent (Ricky Gervais) learning that either his branch or another branch of paper corporation Wenham-Hogg will shortly be downsized. So this wannabe-comedian sets out to prove that his branch is better, stumbling as he tries. Trailing in his wake is bored everyman Tim (Martin Freeman), dead-looking yes-man Gareth (MacKenzie Crook), and pretty, quietly cynical receptionist Dawn (Lucy Davis).
The second season, while more unsteady than the first, takes some new and darker steps. Now David's rival Neil (Patrick Baladi) is his boss, and David has a slew of new employees who are less than thrilled about his racist jokes, chicken suits, and the lack of any actual work going on. Dawn becomes jealous when Tim gets a girlfriend, and Gareth searches for any way to bed Tim's girlfreind. And after a catastrophic managerial meeting, David learns that the next downsizing just might be him...
After the dismal ending of the second season, the feature-length "Office Special" provides a satisfying wrap up. Three years later, everyone from Wenham-Hogg -- including those who no longer work there -- is being called back for a special reunion. Tim is given one last chance to win Dawn's affections, and David finally learns the truth about himself. (Anyone disappointed by the end of the second season had better check out the new endings)
Don't expect a typical sitcom in "The Office." No laughtracks. No punch lines. No gag humor... well, not much. And no episode has a clear-cut ending. Instead, we have the format seen in "This is Spinal Tap" and the Christopher Guest mockumentaries -- hidden cameras watching the madness. And what those cameras see is enough to make the world's cubicle-dwellers cry. Okay, most offices don't have giant inflatable genitalia, or a comedy-for-charity day, but the core of it is frighteningly close to home.
The series gets off to a slightly bumpy start -- at first, the jokes are a bit too thinly-spread. But soon "The Office" gets its footing and the humor steadies itself ("Tim's put my stapler inside a jelly again. That's the third time he's done it!" Gareth complains, displaying the stapler in a Jell-O mold). And a lot of the humor is a subversive, subtle kind -- it creeps into your mind, and by episode two you'll be laughing your head off at David's bad jokes, his spastic chimp dance, and his prejudices hidden behind a veil of political correctness.
Ricky Gervais is brilliant. David is every bit as annoying and obnoxious as the immortal Basil Fawlty, but hides it under a genial mask and stupid jokes. Mackenzie Crook is wonderful as the obsequious boot-licker with a bit of a sex fixation; his Dirty Bertie toy is one of the most tasteless, horribly funny scenes on TV. Tim, like Dilbert, is a lovable loser who can't get himself out of his soul-sucking job. And Dawn is mired in a relationship with an obnoxious cheapskate, yet it takes her the whole series to finally do something about it.
Clearly destined for cult status, this is "The Office" as it was meant to be, with a darkly funny storyline culminating in a satisfying finale. Funny, strange and immensely entertaining."
Hell Is Other People, Indeed
R. W. Rasband | Heber City, UT | 11/17/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There has been much hype about "The Office" being a great sitcom on the level of "The Honeymooners" or "Fawlty Towers" and it is that, but it's something else, too. It may be the invention of a new genre you might call the sit-tragi-comedy, because there are many moments in this dark, unforgettable show when the skull beneath the skin of the human condition becomes appallingly visible. They may sound pretentious (as Ricky Gervais says jokingly about his show on the DVD, it's like Dickens, only better) but "The Office" deserves every scrap of praise it gets.
It owes a lot to the Christopher Guest mockumentaries like "Waiting for Guffman" in which the limits of human self-delusion are scathingly explored. There's also the achingly tart characterization and wit of "Fawlty Towers." Neil LaBute's savage comedies of sexual combat and office politics seem present as well. There's also the unmistakable whiff of Samuel Beckett (yes, I said Beckett) in the pacing and style, the emptinesses and Godot-like futility of the work. Perhaps the greatest aspect of the show is how it combines both mercilessness and compassion at once. Many of the characters are just awful people, but on the other hand at times they are very painfully aware of it. As David Brent despairingly wails, after his exploits have supposedly been telecast all over Britain, "I am not a plonker!"
David Brent, brilliantly incarnated by series co-writer and creator Ricky Gervais, is a Frankenstein-like compilation of the worst qualities of every boss you ever despised. Abusive, dishonest, incompetent, socially inept; yet convinced in his own mind he is a "chilled-out entertainer and comedian" before he is a boss, Brent is a walking inducer of cringes and acid reflux. The only worse person in the place is the truly vile Chris Finch; bully, insult-artist and would-be womanizer. (The bar they frequent, Chasers, is like Dante's Inferno set to disco music.) The team leader, Gareth, is a weedy little git who believes he is Rambo. The corporate executives circle the office like sharks, waiting for the next opportunity to cut jobs. Caught up in the mess are two innocents; Tim, the smart 30-year-old clerk who still lives with his parents and sees through everything and who is in love with Dawn, the sweet receptionist who is engaged to a swinish yob from the warehouse.
Scott Adams, of Dilbert fame, says that he is not anti-business but anti-idiot. I think the same could be said of "The Office"; although the environment truly is soul-crushing, still most of the characters wounds are self-inflicted. (The incredibly terrible music video Brent makes with the money from his severance package can be seen in the Christmas special, and it has the power to make your jaw drop to the floor.) Included on this DVD are both seasons of the show as well as the Christmas special which bring the series to an end. It's not too much to reveal that the creators do bring a happy ending of sorts; whether you believe it can be sustained even 24 hours after the "documentary" cameras have finally been turned off is of course up to you. A brilliant, classic series."