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

103 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: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000063W2T
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 162,276 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

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?

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 --This text refers to the DVD edition.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By KPA Lowe on 27 Jun. 2008
Format: DVD
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 By Jay on 29 Mar. 2007
Format: DVD
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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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Matthew on 10 Jan. 2003
Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
My sister bought me this years ago as a birthday gift, and i pretended to like it so as not to dissapoint. But i'd never been intrested in watching it, so i stuck it in my DVD rack and forgot about it. Then a couple of weeks ago i finally decided to see what the fuss was about, i popped it into my DVD player, and by the end of all the episodes i was on Amazon ordering Series 2 and the Christmas Specials!

Why did i wait so long i'll never know. I think this is a comedy that you either love or hate because you'll either get it or you wont. I got it and i loved it! There's so many good points that it's hard to start. David Brent is a character that really, you shouldn't like but you kind of do. You feel sorry for him, he's such a try hard. And you know people are looking at him and thinking "you complete twit" and your thinking it too as you watch him make some awful joke and he's waiting an age for everyone to laugh, and it just makes you cringe with awkwardness and actually feel sorry for the guy!

Then there's lovely Tim and receptionist Dawn. They clearly love each other but she's engaged to a bloke in the warehouse. I love Tim's longing looks at her.

And Gareth, the lanky eejit who is in the Territorial Army and goes on about how he'd cope in the jungle if it was like his office. He's so geeky and bordering on becoming another Brent even though he would never think so.

One thing i couldnt forget after i watched this was... "Free love on the free love freeway" A song written by the musical maestro that is David Brent. A dodgy, but catch song he sings on the training day, with Gareth and his backing, er, noises. Honestly, you may think i'm talking rubbish but to understand the Office you have to see it. If only i had watched it years ago!
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