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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get it?
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...
Published on 27 Jun. 2008 by KPA Lowe

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Not my cup of tea
Gervais's humor is understated and sarcastic, so you have to match him in taste if you want to enjoy his work. I frankly didn't, but it is simply a matter of taste. For something intended as humor, I actually found it horribly real and depressing! I will say that the acting, however, is quite good.
Published on 2 April 2012 by Alfredo Hamill


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get it?, 27 Jun. 2008
By 
KPA Lowe (Nottingham) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Office - The Complete First Series [2001] [DVD] (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. As Brent interviews and promises to employ someone who is plainly under-qualified for a job as forklift diver, he `bigs up' the candidate to Sammy (who gives jobs in the warehouse) complete with fibs, comical hand gestures, and knowing glances at the candidate and camera that are the staple traits of this main character. The complex relationship between Tim (Martin Freeman) and Dawn (Lucy Davis) is performed outstandingly by the actors and produces the main thread of the plot that links all the episodes. In turn, their light-hearted harassment of Team Leader Garrath (Mackenzie Crook) is also great entertainment for the viewer. The highlight of the series is probably episode 4, when an outside trainer visits the team for a day's workshop. Having an outsider among the chaos enforces the ridiculousness and unprofessional nature of the whole set up, and what a real fool Brent really is, as his reaction to potentially being slightly out of control is played brilliantly by Gervais.

So, some people cannot understand what IS funny about `The Office', personally, I simply cannot see what IS NOT funny about it. Pure genius in fact.
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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
This review is from: The Office - The Complete First Series [2001] [DVD] (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
5.0 out of 5 stars The best BBC comedy since Blackadder..., 10 Jan. 2003
This review is from: The Office - The Complete First Series [2001] [DVD] (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. The power of this series is that it took a fresh, raw idea, without a trace of commercial formula, and scored a massively deserved hit.

The DVD could hardly be bad, with this series on it. As previous reviews have suggested, a director's/writer's commentary would have been nice (even if it was just a couple of episodes) but the documentary is good, the deleted scenes definitely watchable, and the anamorphic picture lovely for a TV series. The couple of hidden extras are okay, but I haven't watched them more than once.
The Beeb don't always do a very good job with their comedy DVDs, but this one is a definite winner.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love the Brent Meister General!, 20 Mar. 2011
By 
S. Firth (Leeds, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Office - The Complete First Series [2001] [DVD] (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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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, innit?, 23 Feb. 2008
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Office - The Complete First Series [2001] [DVD] (DVD)
If you crossed "Office Space" with "Spinal Tap," you might end up with something like "The Office." This hit British comedy defies the usual sitcom rules, and brings us into the cringingly dull world of a paper corporation, all delivered with straight-faced wit and hilarity.

Wernham Hogg is a suburban paper corporation, a stunningly dull place to work. And presiding over it is David Brent (Ricky Gervais), a wannabe comic who claims to be a pal to all the people under him, despite driving them all up the wall. There's also his partner in crime, vaguely corpse-like Gareth (Mackenzie Crook), the downtrodden everyman Tim (Martin Freeman), and the beautiful Dawn (Lucy Davis), whom Tim hopelessly longs for.

In the first season, David is informed that either his branch or another branch are going to be eliminated. If his branch is eliminated, some people will be downsized, and others relocated. The employees -- including Tim and Dawn -- reexamine their lives as they struggle to survive in the day-to-day chaos, including a Web porn scandal, a quiz competition, giant inflatable genitals, drunken carousing, inter-office romances, and Gareth playing detective.

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.

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 and veiled prejudices.

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. 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.

More subtle and yet goofier than American sitcoms, "The Office" is a unique slice of British humor. Funny, witty, and horrifyingly true to life, this is a brilliant series.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Office, 27 Oct. 2005
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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5.0 out of 5 stars If you liked Fargo or The Big Lebowski, you'll like The Office, 19 Sept. 2011
This review is from: The Office - The Complete First Series [2001] [DVD] (DVD)
I've been hearing many good things about the British sitcom The Office, but they could not begin to describe the pleasure I took in watching this first series of The Office. I laughed out loud at bits where, as it turns out, the actors themselves took great pains trying to keep a straight face. And what a face that was!:) Ricky Gervais (Brent) and MacKenzie Crook (Gareth) are such good actors that you begin to believe that part of the conceit was based on real life. And yet it's all so absurd, and keeps getting ever more absurd, to the point where you wonder where they'll go next with the writing. And they deliver! The writing doesn't falter, and keeps you interested from one episode to the next. If I were to think of a contemporary American equivalent, I'd say that would be films by the Coen brothers, such as Fargo or The Big Lebowski - I feel the wit and performances are comparable in many ways.
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40 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Waiting for Godot, 12 July 2002
By 
I can only watch this curled up in a ball of cringe. It is utterly brilliant - perceptive, hilarious and totally tragic. An office of lonely people working for a paper merchant in Slough, bored out of their minds, just waiting for Godot. Nothing ever happens. And in the meantime they just pick at each other. I can't bear to watch it, but it is so eye-wateringly true to life that it's addictive. The overly competitive work pub quiz, the mind-numbing management seminar, wars over desk size... and best of all there's the rancid manager David Brent who flicks his eyes around the place and tries to be everyone's best mate.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Comedy, 24 July 2007
By 
L. Davidson (Belfast, N.Ireland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Office - The Complete First Series [2001] [DVD] (DVD)
"The Office" has now reached an iconic status among British comedies ranking alongside the likes of "Fawlty Towers", "Blackadder" and "I'm Alan Partridge" in quality. It's comedy is based on strong characterisation and an achingly accurate observation of everyday office life,highlighting it's banality and mundanity while tapping a rich vein of humour in the process.Characters like David Brent, Finchy, Gareth, Tim and Dawn are all memorable ones and although there are few hilarious, side splitting scenes involving them , their interrelationships are constantly amusing and entertaining. Highlights of this first series for me would be the Training Day and the night out at Chasers Nightclub.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A classic, 27 Nov. 2011
By 
Charles A. Crolla (Glasgow, Lanarkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Office - The Complete First Series [2001] [DVD] (DVD)
Having bought Seasons 1 - 5 of the US version (and preferred the cast, although Gervais' David Brent is superior and more accurate than Carell's Michael Scott), I'm now finding it difficult to watching the original.

There's no doubting that The Office is well worth the 5 star rating, but being so much more realistic - bordering on depressing - in its portrayal of office life, I'm going to have to wait until the memory of the lovely Pam (Jenna Fischer) and borderline psychotic Dwight (Rainn Wilson) wears off before re-watching the UK original.

This review covers both the second series and the Christmas Specials,so buy them all.

Just don't watch the US version first...
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