The Office: Season 1
DVD | Box Set
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Steve Carell (The 40-Year-Old Virgin, The Daily Show) stars in The Office, a fresh and funny mockumentary-style glimpse into the daily interactions of the eccentric workers at the Dunder Mifflin paper supply company. Based on the smash-hit British series of the same name and adapted for American Television by Greg Daniels (King of the Hill, The Simpsons), this fast-paced comedy parodies contemporary American water-cooler culture. Earnest but clueless regional manager Michael Scott (Carell) believes himself to be an exceptional boss and mentor, but actually receives more eye-rolls than respect from his oddball staff. Entertainment Weekly calls The Office "smart and trenchant," and all six hilarious season one episodes are available here on DVD for the first time. The awkward silences in The Office will have you laughing out loud!
The British sitcom The Office has the most devoted following this side of Monty Python, so an American remake seemed doomed. Amazingly, the remake actually finds its own enjoyable version of the original's uncanny comedy of embarrassment. Office manager Michael Scott (Steve Carell, The Daily Show, The 40 Year-Old Virgin) believes he's the beloved leader of the Scranton, Pennsylvania, branch of a paper products company--but his relentless and painfully forced efforts at comedy creep out everyone around him, including paranoid Dwight (Rainn Wilson, who had a memorable recurring role on Six Feet Under), nervous receptionist Pam (Jenna Fischer, LolliLove), and aimless salesman Jim (John Krasinski, A New Wave), who's smitten with the already engaged Pam. The pilot episode suffers from closely replicating the British pilot, but after that The Office finds its own footing, turning diversity training, an office birthday party, and a basketball game into excruciating yet hypnotically funny rituals of humiliation. Carell, though clearly talented, can't match Ricky Gervais' unique performance as the aggressively needy British manager (it's hard to imagine that anyone could); as a result, the supporting roles become more prominent, and Wilson, Fischer, and Krasinski quickly create a rapport that matches and may even exceed that of their British counterparts. Be sure to watch the deleted scenes; remarkably, they're as good as the material that made it on the air in this six-episode season. --Bret Fetzer
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Sadly, there are only five episodes in the first season, which is a letdown to those of us who did not watch the season while it was on television. It's worth a watch, but maybe only if you can get it at a good price (i.e. used on Amazon).