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The Office - The Complete First Series [2001] [VHS]

Ricky Gervais , Mackenzie Crook    Suitable for 15 years and over   VHS Tape
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
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Product details

  • Actors: Ricky Gervais, Mackenzie Crook, Martin Freeman, Lucy Davis, Ewen MacIntosh
  • Format: VHS
  • Language: English
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: 2 Entertain Video
  • VHS Release Date: 14 Oct 2002
  • Run Time: 180 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000063W2T
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 157,634 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

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 that the programme acquired 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 Slough paper merchant, The Office is filmed in the style of a reality television programme. The writing is subtle and deft, the acting wonderful and the characters beautifully drawn: the cadaverous team leader Gareth, a paradigm of Andy McNab's readership; the monstrous sales rep, Chris Finch; and the decent but long-suffering everyman Tim, 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 cowriter Ricky Gervais. Brent will become a name as emblematic for a particular kind of British grotesque as Alan Partridge or Basil Fawlty, but he is a deeper character than either. Partridge and Fawlty are exaggerations of reality, and therefore safely comic figures. Brent is as appalling as only reality can be. --Andrew Mueller

On the DVD The Office, Series 1 is tastefully packaged as a two-disc set appropriately adorned with John Betjeman's poem "Slough". The special features occupy the second disc and consist of a laid-back 39-minute documentary entitled "How I Made The Office by Ricky Gervais", with co-writer Stephen Merchant and the cast contributing. Here we discover that Gervais spends his time on set "mucking around and annoying people", and that actress Lucy Davis (Dawn) is the daughter of Jasper Carrott; as well as seeing parts of the original short film and the original BBC pilot episode; plus we get to enjoy many examples of the cast corpsing throughout endless retakes. There are also a handful of deleted scenes, none of which were deleted because they weren't funny. --Mark Walker

Product Description

The complete first series of the award-winning BBC Television faux documentary. David Brent (Ricky Gervais) is the manager of paper merchant Wernham Hogg's Slough office, but in his own mind he's 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 episode 1, 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 episode 2, Donna arrives to start her work experience placement at Wernham Hogg, but the office is more obsessed by a dirty picture that's circulating. In episode 3, it's the annual quiz night and David's longtime sparring partner 'Finchy' is in town to take on all comers. However things soon turn nasty as the quiz turns into a battle against the university-educated newboy Ricky and Tim the reluctant sales rep. In episode 4 a management consultant has been sent to the office to impart some much needed wisdom. However David can't help but try to run things and soon the session descends into farce. In episode 5, despite the imminent cutbacks, David decides to take on a secretary and gets a bit too involved in the selection process, with a suspicion in the office that only the prettiest candidate will get the job. Finally in episode 6 the big day has finally come. Will the staff keep their jobs, or is the office to be closed down?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best BBC comedy since Blackadder... 10 Jan 2003
In fact the best comedy since Blackadder, period. When I first stumbled upon The Office halfway through the first episode, I took a moment or two to realise that it was a spoof, and not a genuine fly-on-the-wall. When I realised I laughed my head off at it's often painful accuracy, and have done so with each episode since.

For those few who haven't yet seen it, The Office is not a traditional sitcom. The 'plotlines' are intentionally drab (end-of-financial year disco!!) and nothing of note happens at all. But this ridiculing of docusoap culture and it's pointlessness is what makes the series. As of course, are the people in it.
The character of Brent is magnificent. Every last mannerism, every utterance of cringeworthy 'let's all pull together' management-speak is spot-on. Finch is revolting in every way, Tim is terrific (although a little unrealistic, has there ever been a 20/30-something lad as intelligent and thoughtful as that?) and his yearning for Dawn, already in the clutches of caveman Lee is genuinely poignant. The scene where Lee discusses their future, and his plans for Dawn (a few kiddies under her belt and a cleaning job!) is priceless. So true, and so sad.

As for Gareth...well, as Mackenzie Crook says in the documentary, 'a right wally'. Boasting about army exploits has never sounded so ridiculous.

The vast majority of us have known the characters featured in The Office, and had the misfortune to work with them. It is a comfort to those of us who always suspected how supremely sad these people were, but never wanted to say. Now we have it confirmed. The Office is a masterpiece, and I hope it will stay that way, and that Gervais and co. don't blow it by making abysmal feature length versions, for example.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get it? 27 Jun 2008
Some people still don't get this. I'm amazed how many people still give me that perplexed glare when I compare the genius of `The Office' with that `Faulty Towers'. `The Office?' they say, as if their long-standing respect for my opinion is suddenly in jeopardy, `but why is it funny? It's just people in an office'. An worthy reflection and précis, no doubt! I'm increasing convinced that people just don't WANT to get it! People just don't want to give undivided attention, absorb every aspect, and conclude for themselves (.e., without the assistance of a studio audience or laughter track) precisely what is and is not funny. Yes, the lack of a `laughter prompt' is a hindrance for some. I can't help but wonder how many past sitcoms would have been so superior if the laughter track been dropped: `I'm Alan Partridge', `Father Ted', `The Young Ones'..... but the dim reality is that they would not have been half as successful!

Thankfully, Merchant and Gervais managed it! In fact, they used this concept to attract the audience they desired: an audience who appreciated their art. Indeed, in this fast-paced day and age, many simply do not have the time they wish to emerge themselves in book, classics and culture, but are completely aggravated with the monotonous so-called entertainment that the `box' offers.

`The Office', in this sense, is perfect! That is not to say that it is for the elite. Actually, I fail to comprehend what is NOT to get or what is NOT funny. Gervais sets up the exasperatingly over-confident tactless idiocy of character David Brent right from the opening shot.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cult & British Too 29 Mar 2007
By Jay
British comedy took a new twist in "The Office," the brief but funny series starring Ricky Gervais as the worst boss you will (hopefully) never have. While the ending is somehow a letdown, the road there is a glorious tangle of cubicle hell and mad boss antics.

The first season opens with David Brent (Ricky Gervais) learning that either his branch or another branch of Wenham-Hogg will shortly be downsized. So this wannabe-comedian sets out to prove that his branch is better, stumbling. 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 Office" is clearly destined for cult status alongside classic "Fawlty Towers." While it has its dud moments, the mockumentary office comedy is a must-see for fans of subtler, weirder television.

We all have those moments in our own little offices
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Office 27 Oct 2005
Format:UMD Mini for PSP
If you don't already own the Office Series One on DVD, then you might consider getting the series on UMD. The Office provides comedy which will make you laugh so loud everybody on the bus will want to know what's making you laugh so loud.
There are scenes from this TV show that are timelessly funny, and you'll enjoy watching them again and again. Each episode is 30 minutes and there are six of them. However, the series has been split onto two discs, so three are on each. Also, because of the shortage of space on the discs, there are no extras, which you would get on a DVD.
One more criticism is that the sound isn't very loud, even if you are wearing earphones with the sound to the maximum. If you're travelling on a bus that makes a lot of sound, or there are people around noisily chatting, you'll struggle to hear what is being said on the DVD. The only option is to have subtitles on.
Despite this, the Office is a comedy classic; and although its comedy concept has been done before (in the Day Today) it still manages to have you laughing out loud.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 5 days ago by Edgaras
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
All good
Published 8 days ago by B. J. Mcdonnell
5.0 out of 5 stars Forget the U.S. version...
This is the best comedy I have ever seen, all the episodes are great the acting and delivery of lines is perfect. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Carlos Maia
5.0 out of 5 stars A real classic
A real classic British comedy. This was so intensely funny to watch when it first aired on TV.

It has really passed the test of time, years later it is still laugh out... Read more
Published 2 months ago by T Singh
4.0 out of 5 stars A great series
I do sometimes think that 'the office' is overrated; but that is only because people describe it as the best sit-com ever. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Andrew
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
This is a great comedy sitcom and I think Ricky Gervais is so talented. He's a great standup comedian, writer, director and actor. Read more
Published 6 months ago by L J A
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Item!!
The product is as described and will recommend this item to anyone!
Item also arrived in-time and as described without any issues.
Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars funny
having missed this series on the telly i purchased the dvd`s to see if its as good as everybody says and yes it has me hysterical with laughter.
Published 16 months ago by W. Holburn
1.0 out of 5 stars Too much swearing
I much prefer the more family friendly American version.
I found the language rather offensive, not being British and therefore not being used to this manner of speaking.
Published 16 months ago by van de merwe
5.0 out of 5 stars The offce
Another great comedy series by Ricky Gervais, anyone will enjoy this fantasttic comedy, all the cast of this mockumentary are perfect and create a very funny show!
Published 18 months ago by Matty08
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