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The Office - The Complete First Series (BBC Edition) (2003)

Ricky Gervais , Mackenzie Crook  |  NR |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (245 customer reviews)

List Price: $14.98
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Product Details

  • Actors: Ricky Gervais, Mackenzie Crook, Martin Freeman
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BBC Video
  • DVD Release Date: October 7, 2003
  • Run Time: 210 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (245 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00009ZY9E
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #113,824 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Office - The Complete First Series (BBC Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • All six episodes
  • Exclusive documentary, "How I Made The Office"
  • Deleted scenes
  • Wernham Hogg News
  • Slough slang glossery
  • Wernham Hogg personnel file

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

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 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 British paper merchant, The Office is filmed in the style of a reality television show. The writing is subtle and deft, the acting wonderful, and the characters beautifully drawn: the cadaverous team leader Gareth (Mackenzie Crook); the monstrous sales rep, Chris Finch (Ralph Ineson); and the decent but long-suffering everyman Tim (Martin Freeman), 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 codirector-cowriter Ricky Gervais. Brent will become a name as emblematic for a particular kind of British grotesque as Basil Fawlty, but he is a deeper character. Fawlty is an exaggeration of reality, and therefore a safely comic figure. Brent is as appalling as only reality can be. --Andrew Mueller

Product Description

Welcome to Wernham Hogg, a suburban paper company where "life is stationery." Critics and fans alike have lauded this hilarious, biting look at everyday office life, told in the mockumentary style of cult comedy classics such as This is Spinal Tap and The Larry Sanders Show. The show revolves around David Brent, (an instant classic character widely compared to Basil Fawlty of Fawlty Towers) the oblivious general manager who instigates petty office rivalries. The wince-worthy Brent still considers himself "a friend first and a boss second...probably an entertainer third."

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The funniestTV import to the States since Monty Python October 10, 2003
Format:DVD
If it wasn't for "The Office",most people would still think that BBC America only had home and garden shows,EastEnders and Graham Norton on all day.If you've seen the first season's episodes,you already know how great this show is.If not,do yourself a favor and catch up,then buy the DVD and watch it again. Ricky Gervais is so brilliant as the creepily funny David Brent,you WILL actually feel more than a bit uncomfortable and embarrassed for him when he 1)tries too hard to be funny or 2)when he's so clearly unaware of the hole that he's digging that it becomes surreal. And that's the beauty of this show:Take a total idiot meanie of a boss and combine it with the mundane day to day goings-on of working in Corporate(office politics seem to be identical on both sides on the Atlantic) and you immediately recognize the similarities to real life.While David Brent is the linchpin of the show,the characters of Tim,Dawn and Gareth are also essential.A classic play on the office crush subplot(Salesman Tim pines for the lovely but unobtainable receptionist Dawn)grows at a mild but always interesting pace that it reaches a brilliant fever pitch by the second season. And you'd feel bad for Brent's suck-up subordinate Gareth if the practical jokes played on him by Tim weren't so damn funny. Another plus for this series:no laugh track/studio audience to spell out to you what jokes are funny,no gimmicks or situations for the characters to work out(ala "Friends")and no political correctness. It really is reminscent of "Fawlty Towers"or "Curb your Enthusiam"so if you're a fan of either of those,you shouldn't find any problem with "The Office". Again,I say:get the DVD,watch the reruns on BBCAmerica and savor the genius before the Hollywood fat cats make good on their promise and ruin it i.e.making an American version.
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
From time to time I go swimming for media outside the mainstream. In the UK, this is as popular there as Curb Your Enthusiasm (which shares similar dark appeal) and approaching Friends. I had to take a look, despite the fact that I never really liked British humor.
The first episode was more confusing than anything else. Done in a documentary style, it chronicled the goings on within, of all interesting venues, a paper company, and followed the relationships between its completely pathetic inhabitants. The office constituency is led by (co-writer of the show) Ricky Gervais who plays David Brent...a cocktail of extreme insecurity, arrogance, and level of social ineptitude that pushes (but doesn't cross) the envelope of possibility.
I'll embarrasingly admit that the unorthodox style took a while to get used to, from no laugh track, to a complete absence of jokes or punch lines. This show plays on a variation of the axiom about "truth being stranger than fiction". Well, after an episode or two, I became totally immersed in the environment, an environment that seemed more like reality than fiction. That threw my switch, I now find this show insanely funny, but the realistic element has a gravity of its own. You start to really care about the characters. Pretty unusual for a comedy series.
So, for those of you who haven't seen it, but are curious, I recommend without reservation. For the rest, get this DVD, it's among the few in my collection that I play frequently.
Hope this helped.
Christian Hunter
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ricky Gervais unleashes David Brent on "The Office" March 2, 2004
Format:DVD
Every time David Brent (Ricky Gervais) starts fiddling with his tie I get anxious. It is like hearing the sound of an artillery shell coming at you and wanting to yell "Incoming." Yes, I know I am contrasting a visual clue with an aural clue, but my point, vis-a-vis "The Office: The Complete First Series," would be, to wit, on point in the same way taking a round hole and finding a square peg to put into it would make a modicum of sense, in a round about way.
We live sheltered lives up here in the Northland, so I had never seen "The Office" nor heard much about it until the BBC series won the Golden Globe for Best Television Series: Musical or Comedy and Gervais won for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series: Musical or Comedy. But that was enough to check it out. Since this is a British situation comedy there are only a handful of episodes, six to be exact, so we are spared from the sub-par and totally wasted episodes that so many American sitcoms are bloated with (is there going to be even one more great "Friends" episode before the grand finale?). The result is an instant cult classic in the mode of "Police Squad," another limited run sitcom series that inhabited its own little comedy world.
"The Office" is the Slough office of Werham Hogg, manufacturer of paper products, where David Brent is the office manager. The key story arc of the first season is the company's impending decision to close either the Slough or Swindon branches and merge the two, which brings up the dreaded idea of "redundancy." Brent talks about protecting his people but we are aware from the start that this guy is talk, all talk, all the time, and has achieved new levels of self-interest and self-absorption in the process.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Couldn't even get through one episode. Feel the same about the American version too.
Published 7 hours ago by Michelle Fiedler
1.0 out of 5 stars blaaa
The english is jiberish i wanted to like it i didn't
Published 13 days ago by nate + jessica
5.0 out of 5 stars Watch Anything by Ricky, Steve, or Karl!
The Office is a fake docu-drama which relies heavily on comedy. It's filmed as though someone is silently making a documentary about a charming paper company, and the eccentric but... Read more
Published 1 month ago by TheRealDizzo
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it!
OMG!! Just the funniest show I have ever watched!!! Love it!! Love it!!
Published 1 month ago by Big Discounts
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Would rate higher if there were more episodes. Placing the rating for my daughter, who watched it, not me.
Published 1 month ago by Karen W. Miller
1.0 out of 5 stars Novak has a good sense of humor
BLICK! English humor is not very amusing if you are American. Steve Carell blows this guy out of the water! B.J. Novak has a good sense of humor, for sure! Read more
Published 2 months ago by mousies
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
It takes a minute to understand the boss, but then you realize he is in every office!!!!
Published 2 months ago by Marci
2.0 out of 5 stars As with many British TV shows, it usually takes ...
As with many British TV shows, it usually takes me some time to "tune" my ear to be able to understand the dialogue. Read more
Published 2 months ago by M. Koplas
5.0 out of 5 stars The first scene of the first episode is brilliant and is just a hint...
Unlike anything on TV before. The first scene of the first episode is brilliant and is just a hint of what's to come. So painful and funny.
Published 3 months ago by PJ
3.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat Entertaining
Consistently gets you to the point that you want to laugh, but fails to put you over the top enough to actually laugh. Overall entertaining, just not funny enough.
Published 3 months ago by Henry Augustine
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