27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
The best BBC comedy since Blackadder...,
This review is from: The Office - The Complete First Series  [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.