The Office: The Complete BBC Collection (First and Second Series Plus Special)
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Welcome to The Office, a place of petty rivalry, bad flirting, and easily-bruised egos. Filmed in documentary-style, this sharply observed and highly acclaimed comedy exposes the excruciating truth about the world of nine-to-five. Complete collection includes all twelve episodes plus the special.]]>
The second series exceeded even the sky-high standards of the first. Indeed, it ventured beyond caricature and satire, touching on the very edge of darkness. Ricky Gervais is once again excruciatingly superb as David Brent, but in this series, Brent's to-the-camera assertions concerning his management qualities and executive capabilities are seriously challenged when the Slough and Swindon branches are merged and his former Swindon equivalent Neil (Patrick Baladi) takes over as area manager. To compensate, Brent cultivates his pathologically mistaken image of himself as an entertainer-motivator-comedian whose stage happens to be the workplace. Meanwhile, Tim, who can only maintain his sanity by teasing the priggish Gareth, continues to wrestle with his yearning for receptionist Dawn Tinsley (Lucy Davis), a sympathetic character persisting in a relationship with a man about whom she still maintains unspoken reservations. As ever, it's the awkward, reality TV-style pauses and silences, the furtive, meaningful and unmet glances across the emotional gulf of the open-plan office, that say it all here. As for Brent, his own breakdown is prefaced by a moment of hideous hilarity--an impromptu office dance, a mixture of "Flashdance and MC Hammer" as Brent describes it, but in reality bad beyond description. Then, when his fate is sealed, he at last reveals himself in a memorable finale to perhaps the greatest British sitcom, besides Fawlty Towers, ever made. --David Stubbs
The brilliant and devastating comedy of The Office is brought to a satisfying conclusion in The Office Special, originally a two-part Christmas special on the BBC, set three years after the end of the faux-documentary's second season. The former office manager David (Ricky Gervais) now ekes out a desperate existence as an oblivious quasi-celebrity, making awkward, humiliating visits back to the office staff he still believes loves him. Gawky Gareth (Mackenzie Crook) has risen to manager and become a petty tyrant, while the sweet but snide Tim (Martin Freeman) continues to pine for former receptionist Dawn (Lucy Davis), who fled to Florida with her fiance. When the documentary crew pays for Dawn to return for the holiday party, an unpredictable reunion looms ahead. The Office fuses scathing humor and genuine empathy, turning excruciating social discomfort into inspired satire. Fans will find this special rewarding in all respects. --Bret Fetzer
- The complete 12-episode series and special
- "How I Made The Office" documentary
- Deleted scenes
- Video diary
- Golden Globes featurette
- Music video
Top Customer Reviews
Almost every scene takes place in the dull offices of the Slough branch of the Wernham Hogg paper company (Dawn, the receptionist, accurately describes it as "a crappy sub-branch paper merchant's). Wernham Hogg employs about 40 people and we get to know all their faces as we see them stare at computer screens, take coffee breaks, and goof off day after day. It's as realistic as TV has ever been. Nobody is too pretty, everyone's "office-casual" wardrobe is slightly wrinkled, and everyone looks bored out of his or her mind most of the time.
The people we get to know best are: Gareth Keenan, a bizarre "team leader" with a fixation on survival skills; Dawn Tindsley, the sweet and sarcastic receptionist who is stuck in both a boring job and a boring relationship; Tim Canterbury, a sales rep who hates his job but can never seem to actually quit it; and David Brent, a man who thinks he's everyone's "friend as well as their boss" but who is actually liked and respected by no one.
The two main story threads running through all 14 episodes of The Office are Tim's attempts to convince Dawn to leave her idiotic fiance and David's constant need to impress his employees, bosses, and everyone he meets with his various talents. We see his "humor," his "poetry," his "songs," his "dancing," and his philosophical "wisdom." All of which are horrifyingly bad.Read more ›
It owes a lot to the Christopher Guest mockumentaries like "Waiting for Guffman" in which the limits of human self-delusion are scathingly explored. There's also the achingly tart characterization and wit of "Fawlty Towers." Neil LaBute's savage comedies of sexual combat and office politics seem present as well. There's also the unmistakable whiff of Samuel Beckett (yes, I said Beckett) in the pacing and style, the emptinesses and Godot-like futility of the work. Perhaps the greatest aspect of the show is how it combines both mercilessness and compassion at once. Many of the characters are just awful people, but on the other hand at times they are very painfully aware of it. As David Brent despairingly wails, after his exploits have supposedly been telecast all over Britain, "I am not a plonker!"
David Brent, brilliantly incarnated by series co-writer and creator Ricky Gervais, is a Frankenstein-like compilation of the worst qualities of every boss you ever despised. Abusive, dishonest, incompetent, socially inept; yet convinced in his own mind he is a "chilled-out entertainer and comedian" before he is a boss, Brent is a walking inducer of cringes and acid reflux.Read more ›
The first season opens with David Brent (Ricky Gervais) learning that either his branch or another branch of paper corporation Wenham-Hogg will shortly be downsized. So this wannabe-comedian sets out to prove that his branch is better, stumbling as he tries. Trailing in his wake is bored everyman Tim (Martin Freeman), dead-looking yes-man Gareth (MacKenzie Crook), and pretty, quietly cynical receptionist Dawn (Lucy Davis).
The second season, while more unsteady than the first, takes some new and darker steps. Now David's rival Neil (Patrick Baladi) is his boss, and David has a slew of new employees who are less than thrilled about his racist jokes, chicken suits, and the lack of any actual work going on. Dawn becomes jealous when Tim gets a girlfriend, and Gareth searches for any way to bed Tim's girlfreind. And after a catastrophic managerial meeting, David learns that the next downsizing just might be him...
After the dismal ending of the second season, the feature-length "Office Special" provides a satisfying wrap up. Three years later, everyone from Wenham-Hogg -- including those who no longer work there -- is being called back for a special reunion. Tim is given one last chance to win Dawn's affections, and David finally learns the truth about himself. (Anyone disappointed by the end of the second season had better check out the new endings)
Don't expect a typical sitcom in "The Office." No laughtracks. No punch lines. No gag humor...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I enjoyed the British version of "the office" although I have to admit I prefer the American version.Published 18 days ago by Jeanne Melanson
I loved this Full CD Collection! I think the BBC Version (Original Office) is the best! I love the British humor...I just wish it went as long as the American Series did.Published 19 days ago by Sissymae
You can see where the seeds of the American version were sown. Wish there were more episodes.Published 1 month ago by Practical Gal
This actor is one of the best. Gotta love the British humor. Far better than The Office remake in the USPublished 4 months ago by paula m eaton
i love the american office series. this is not really as good in my opinion. i see a lot of similarities between the two, but i feel that a lot of the jokes get lost in... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Brent P
Along with Early Doors and Fawlty Towers my fave British comedy seriesPublished 7 months ago by Darren Preece