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The Office 10th Anniversary Edition - Complete Series 1 & 2 and the Christmas Specials [DVD]
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The Office 10th Anniversary – Special Edition staring Ricky Gervais as the excruciatingly superb David Brent contains every episode from this ground-breaking comedy and also includes these incredible extras:
• A never-seen-before 20-minute pre-pilot
• Broadcast wraparounds
• Celebrity interviews (including Hugh Jackman, Matthew Perry Richard Curtis & Ben Stiller)
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For me the office perfectly captures that documentary feel, right down to the shaky cam and shots going in an out of focus when people move quickly, right then to the perfectly framed tripod shots during the little interviews which are edited in throughout. David Brent is a brilliant creation, a childish, insecure, overbearing boss who's made that dreadful error of wanting to be popular rather than respected. He sees himself as far more than just a boss though but something of a polymath too, someone as comfortable writing music, doing comedy or discussing philosophy as he is running an office. Other characters include Dawn and Tim, two bored young adults trapped in their unsatisfactory lives, neither seem to enjoy their work and their only real pleasure seems to be chatting together and playing the odd joke. Despite Tim's witty jokes and office antics you can see he very unhappy, full of unfulfilled wasted potential, living with his parents while the woman he really wants is unavailable, a university drop out self aware enough to know he's not a success. Other characters include the awkward and unpopular assistant to the Manager Gareth, a guy who takes himself incredibly seriously, manages to get on everybody's nerves and seems to have very poor social skills. Unlike Tim though Gareth takes his responsibilities with the utmost seriousness and seems to look up to David quite a bit. There are many other people too but these are the main 4. New characters are also introduced during season two which slightly changes the power dynamic in the office with David now having a new manager on his case which he doesn't react to well.
The Christmas special is designed to be a follow up returning a couple of years later to see where characters are in their lives. This special begins to touch on a theme Ricky Gervais has returned to in other series, that being the pursuit of fame at any cost and the consequences in our celebrity obsessed culture which leads to comically tragic results.
The show is a masterpiece I felt in poking fun at our insecurities, our vanities, our envy, the office politics, how dull life at work often is, the unfunny colourful characters desperate for our attention, the loneliness of it too, also our self-delusions, our egos, our childishness, all of combined takes on a tragic yet funny effect, with a very high cringe factor...
How annoying. I'm happy to watch these "making of" type extras separately, but when they interrupt the actual film you bought to watch, then you haven't thought things through.
Now I have to fast forward the first few minutes of every episode to get to the actual start, so my wife can watch it without some B-grade celebrity telling me what we're about to watch.
Watching it I laughed, I cringed, I wept, I mourned. Ultimately I died, like we all must. Its the way of the world my dear friends and fellow earthlings.