19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
A comedy classic,
This review is from: The Office - Complete Series One & Two and The Christmas Specials  [DVD] (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