The Office - The Complete First Series 
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Contains all six episodes from Series 1:
- Episode 1 - David Brent learns that his branch of the paper merchants might be closed down. But he promises his staff that under his regime there will be no redundancies.
- Episode 2 - Donna arrives on work experience. But her first day at work is dominated by a dirty picture of her boss that's been e-mailed around the office.
- Episode 3 - It's Tim's birthday. But it's also the annual quiz night. Will Brent and Finchy be able to beat the young pretenders Tim & Ricky?
- Episode 4 - Rowan, a management consultant, has come to Wernham Hogg to give the staff a special training day.
- Episode 5 - Even though some of the staff may be made redundant, Brent decides to take on a new secretary. Naturally, he chooses the prettiest woman.
- Episode 6 - It's judgment day on whether the office is to be downsized.
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
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I think I’ve seen most of the ‘classic’ comedy series which appear on everyone’s’ best of’ list.
For me personally, this is quite simply one of the most hilarious comedy series ever. Yes, he’s portrayed as an idiot, yes he’s damn right irritating and no he wouldn’t last 5 minutes in any office, and no, he’d never get the job in the first place!
But how amazingly different this is and with such imagination of things that make you cringe and squirm in your chair and then laugh out loud. The characters are just brilliant. I got to love Gareth and his quite ridiculous outlook on life and his weird perceptions of women and how to treat them. Conversely, Tim and Dawn’s ‘at a distance’ romance was pure magic that I was swept along with.
Great comedy of a completely new nature and if like me you’d worked in an office then yes, it’s easy to relate to.
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...
Its a must see for anyone!
This was quite an original way to do a comedy sitcom and it was done in a great way with very funny and sometimes cringeworthy moments as well as having some moving moments at times. If you like Ricky Gervais and you've not seen this, where have you been!!? No, seriously, you must get it...and then get the second series afterwards! :-)
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