Back at Wernham Hogg, lovelorn Tim has to endure not only the officious behaviour of Gareth, now his manager, but also a cheerless existence bereft of Dawn, who is living in Florida with boorish fiancé Lee. Matters are brought to a head for all concerned--including Lee and Dawn, flown over specially for the occasion--when they finally gather in the office for the party.
As ever the script is full of priceless one-liners (witness big Keith's chat-up spiel, as he promises "at least one orgasm" to any woman), and the show is peppered with those direct appeals to camera (Tim's weary "I don't believe he just said that" look, Brent's desperate self-justificatory "Eh?"), as well as achingly effective silences that simultaneously enhance the fly-on-the-wall conceit and heighten the comic effect. Without descending into the sentimental or the trite, somehow The Office closes for business on a genuinely heartwarming note.
On the DVD: This single disc has good, if unexceptional, bonus features. There's a behind-the-scenes documentary in similar format to those on the previous releases, a commentary from Stephen Merchant and Ricky Gervais on Episode 2, a funny and deservedly self-congratulatory featurette on the Golden Globe Awards ceremony, the full video of David Brent's single "If You Don't Know Me By Now" plus a recording session for "Freelove Freeway" (with Noel Gallagher on backing vocals). --Mark Walker
Funny, touching... perfect!
Apart from the 'drama' (which in itself is worth it's weight in gold), the DVD has some gems for any discerning viewer wanting to see the banter and 'behind the scenes' of 'The Office' saga. The Golden Globe Awards documentary (the only British comedy EVER to win a Golden Globe award) is very touching. The best thing that comes out of these documentaries is what a good time they had. What with the full version of David Brent's failed single (a cover of 'If you don't know me by now'), Ricky Gervais' complete band version of 'Freelove Freeway' and more, you won't be disappointed. The warmth that comes from 'The Office' cast will leave you glowing and Ricky Gervais' unique, manic enjoyment of having a laugh and make others laugh is undoubtably the highlight of this DVD. Buy it. Show it to your kids and then give it to them to show to their kids.
It kicks off three years after The Office parted company with the nation's TV screens, the first of two Christmas specials providing an unbearably detailed account of David Brent's rapid descent into being a failed salesman and appearing in cramped, Burberry-swamped clubs to say hello and then be booed off. The specials interestingly move away from the Slough office to reveal the new and sad side of David Brent, the most excruciating scenes being those of his awful attempts to win women through an internet dating service.
But this is the end of a show which quietly sent every programme in its way packing its bags and going home, one that captured the hearts and imaginations of fans from the very moment Tim glanced at Dawn or David Brent insulted everybody in the room he was in for the first time. Is it possible to shake up the touch-sensitive relationships of the characters to finish the whole thing off for good? It is, with the ultra-realistic acting talent and the sharp writing, this is a fitting last bow by perhaps the best UK comedy show ever.
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