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  • The Office - Complete Series One & Two and The Christmas Specials [2001] [DVD]
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The Office - Complete Series One & Two and The Christmas Specials [2001] [DVD]


Price: £28.73
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Product details

  • Actors: Ricky Gervais, Martin Freeman, Mackenzie Crook, Lucy Davis, Ewen MacIntosh
  • Format: Box set, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: 2 Entertain Video
  • DVD Release Date: 22 Nov. 2005
  • Run Time: 450 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002IAQFY
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 15,532 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Every episode, plus the two Christmas specials, from the BBC's award-winning, faux documentary comedy series starring Ricky Gervais as David Brent, the manager of paper merchant Wernham Hogg's Slough office, who, in his own mind, is not so much the boss but 'more of a friend'. Unctious and ineffectual in equal measure, he turns the life of his staff into a neverending round of irritating mini-dramas. In the first series, David is informed that company downsizing means that the Slough office might have to close. In a moment of gauche managerial bravado he promises his staff that there will be no redundacies - a promise he might not be able to keep... In the second series, the office has been merged and new staff from the Swindon office arrive to feel the benefit of David's managerial skills. Tim (Martin Freeman) finds himself going out with new girl Rachel (Stacey Roca), whilst still in love with Dawn (Lucy Davis). After a series of mishaps, David is finally told he is to be made redundant - and in the final episode Tim tells Dawn how he feels. In the two Christmas specials, first screened in December 2003, three years have passed since the BBC documentary crew first began filming at Wernham Hogg. When they return for a final catch-up visit, they find Gareth (Mackenzie Crook) in the boss's chair. David Brent has become a travelling sales rep for a cleaning products company, blown his redundancy payout on releasing his own pop single ('If You Don't Know Me By Now'), and taken on a showbiz agent to book him a string of Z-list celebrity appearances. Despite his successful sueing of Wernham Hogg for unfair dismissal, Brent pays frequent visits to his old workplace with his dog in tow, much to the annoyance of boss Neil (Patrick Baladi). In 'Part 1', Tim is flustered to hear of the imminent arrival of Dawn, who along with her fiance Lee (Joel Beckett) is being flown back from her new life in Florida by the documentary crew to attend the office Christmas party. In 'Part 2', Tim's world is rocked when Dawn turns up at the office to say hello, but he tries not to get his hopes up, particularly since Lee is accompanying Dawn to the office party. Meanwhile, David Brent has joined a dating agency and, in between making his celebrity appearances in nightclubs, he meets up for drinks with a disappointing selection of single women. However, he hits the jackpot when he meets his dating-agency date for the office party, a very attractive and intelligent woman, Carol (Sandy Hendrickse), who seems to bring out the best in him. Meanwhile, Dawn, who had left the party early with her insensitive pig of a boyfriend Lee, later returns alone, much to the surprise and delight of her real soulmate Tim.

From Amazon.co.uk

It feels both inaccurate and inadequate to describe The Office as a comedy. On a superficial level, it disdains all the conventions of television sitcoms: there are no punch lines, no jokes, no laugh tracks, and no cute happy endings. More profoundly, it's not what we're used to thinking of as funny. Most of the fervently devoted fan base watched with a discomfortingly thrilling combination of identification and mortification. The paradox is that its best moments are almost physically unwatchable. Set in the offices of a fictional British paper merchant, The Office is filmed in the style of a reality television show. The writing is subtle and deft, the acting wonderful, and the characters beautifully drawn: the cadaverous team leader Gareth (Mackenzie Crook); the monstrous sales rep, Chris Finch (Ralph Ineson); and the decent but long-suffering everyman Tim (Martin Freeman), whose ambition and imagination have been crushed out of him by the banality of ! the life he dreams uselessly of escaping. The show is stolen, as it was intended to be, by insufferable office manager David Brent, played by codirector-cowriter Ricky Gervais. Brent will become a name as emblematic for a particular kind of British grotesque as Basil Fawlty, but he is a deeper character. Fawlty is an exaggeration of reality, and therefore a safely comic figure. Brent is as appalling as only reality can be. --Andrew Mueller

The second series exceeded even the sky-high standards of the first. Indeed, it ventured beyond caricature and satire, touching on the very edge of darkness. Ricky Gervais is once again excruciatingly superb as David Brent, but in this series, Brent's to-the-camera assertions concerning his management qualities and executive capabilities are seriously challenged when the Slough and Swindon branches are merged and his former Swindon equivalent Neil (Patrick Baladi) takes over as area manager. To compensate, Brent cultivates his pathologically mistaken image of himself as an entertainer-motivator-comedian whose stage happens to be the workplace. Meanwhile, Tim, who can only maintain his sanity by teasing the priggish Gareth, continues to wrestle with his yearning for receptionist Dawn Tinsley (Lucy Davis), a sympathetic character persisting in a relationship with a man about whom she still maintains unspoken reservations. As ever, it's the awkward, reality TV-style pauses and silences, the furtive, meaningful and unmet glances across the emotional gulf of the open-plan office, that say it all here. As for Brent, his own breakdown is prefaced by a moment of hideous hilarity--an impromptu office dance, a mixture of "Flashdance and MC Hammer" as Brent describes it, but in reality bad beyond description. Then, when his fate is sealed, he at last reveals himself in a memorable finale to perhaps the greatest British sitcom, besides Fawlty Towers, ever made. --David Stubbs

The brilliant and devastating comedy of The Office is brought to a satisfying conclusion in The Office Special, originally a two-part Christmas special on the BBC, set three years after the end of the faux-documentary's second season. The former office manager David (Ricky Gervais) now ekes out a desperate existence as an oblivious quasi-celebrity, making awkward, humiliating visits back to the office staff he still believes loves him. Gawky Gareth (Mackenzie Crook) has risen to manager and become a petty tyrant, while the sweet but snide Tim (Martin Freeman) continues to pine for former receptionist Dawn (Lucy Davis), who fled to Florida with her fiance. When the documentary crew pays for Dawn to return for the holiday party, an unpredictable reunion looms ahead. The Office fuses scathing humor and genuine empathy, turning excruciating social discomfort into inspired satire. Fans will find this special rewarding in all respects. --Bret Fetzer

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By S. K. on 17 Dec. 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
When "The Office" first aired I was only in my teens and it passed me by. In the years that followed when I stumbled upon repeats I never gave them a proper chance, partly because I felt I had missed the bus, and also to a large extent because its ability to prick my cringe-reflex was too much to handle. However, when "Extras" came along, and I had the chance to experience the genius of Merchant and Gervais, I began to feel obliged to give "The Office" another try. I only recently got round to doing just that, opting to take a chance on the boxset and having watched both seasons and Christmas specials over the course of two days I'm definitely a belated convert.

The similarities between "Extras" and "The Office" aren't difficult to spot, and there really isn't any reason I can see why a fan of one wouldn't enjoy the other just as much. I'm only left wondering why I missed out on it for so long. The cast is perfectly assembled, and it's probably fair to say, 10 years on and with the series having been remade and revamped dozens of times in a multitude of countries, that this is one of the best written and most original TV show in TV history (not trying to be hyperbolic I think it's justified). All the central characters are brilliantly conceived and perfectly played. I'm not surprised that it's not some people's cup of tea, seeing as it isn't exactly a standard-issue sitcom (with the easily disliked central character, absence of laugh track and the degree to which it embraces its dull setting), nevertheless having remedied my ignorance of it I couldn't recommend it more. The DVDs have quite a few special features, with the usual behind the scenes, commentaries and outtakes, all of which are well worth watching. All in all a great series and boxset, definitely a 5 star product, and at less than £10 you can't go wrong.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By haunted on 3 Feb. 2010
Format: DVD
It's hard to imagine how this series was successfully pitched to the BBC.
There is no canned laughter. It is a faux documentary set in the admin section of a paper manufacturer. The boss is really nasty and none of the staff lead interesting lives. When the show was being made none of the actors or writers were even mildly famous.
The Office is hilarious though, possibly because of rather than despite these points.

David Brent is one of the great sitcom characters. He is unpleasant to deal with, completely self-absorbed and seemingly oblivious to how much he is disliked and ridiculed. Initially it is impossible to have any sympathy for him. However by the end of the Christmas Specials, when his ego has taken enough of a battering, I was glad to see a bit of hope appearing in his life.

While Brent is definitely the main character the supporting roles are integral to the series. The "will they, won't they" romance between Tim and Dawn is well done. Even these characters have an edge as we wonder why she stays with her fiancé and why Tim will neither take a promotion nor go back to college. Brent's scary sidekick Gareth is also an excellent character. Most of us have had to work with a Gareth at some point.

The scripts are brilliantly written by Gervais and Merchant. Among the best scenes are:
- Brent breaking into song on the training day
- Brent in the bird costume on Comic Relief Day
- The dance (of course)

This box set has good extras such as interviews with the writers and cast, early versions of the series and Gervais obviously getting a great kick from recording "Free Love on the Freeway" with Noel Gallagher

This box set is all fourteen episodes of one of the funniest British sitcoms ever
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gingerbread on 24 Feb. 2011
Format: DVD
The Office is a comedy, drama, love story and quiet tragedy. It is a study of human frailty, with character studies that are so spot on, so utterly real, that it is almost impossible to believe these characters don't exist. It is at once extremely complex in terms of the depth of characterisitaion and stunningly simple in terms of its plot - not least the heartbreaking simplicity of the romance between Tim and Dawn.

In fact I would say 'comedy' is merely an add on, and to call this a sitcom is missing the richness and depth of the drama it presents. These characters are unique, and yet at the same time we can all recognise them from our own lives. They are all trapped not by circumstance but by their own weaknesses, which is something we can all identify with. Tim is stuck in a job he is free to resign from, Dawn is stuck with a fiance she seems to despise and yet she is free to leave. The only reason they don't is because they are afraid - and that is the great sadness of their love for one another. It would be so easy for them to be together, and yet we can all understand why they're not. The scene at the end of series two is one of the most poignant and subtle scenes ever on television in my opinion.

And then of course there is David Brent, one of the great comedy giants. A petty, small-minded, self-obsessed, insecure, hostile, prejudiced, dismissive boss that somehow, through the genius of the writing, we end up wanting to succeed, just for once.

It's very hard to give a proper review of this without talking about the ending, but I really don't want to, just in case there is someone out there who doesn't know how it ends. I had the real treat of watching it without having a clue, and it is an absolute delight, one of the best endings ever.
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Greatest Sitcom Character 3 26 Jun 2011
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