The Office UK Poster

The Office UK (2001)

Comedy  
Rayting:   8.5/10 104K votes
Country: UK
Language: English

The story of an office that faces closure when the company decides to downsize its branches. A documentary film crew follow staff and the manager David Brent as they continue their daily lives.

Episode Guide

Season 2

November 4, 2002Episode 6 Interview
October 28, 2002Episode 5 Charity
October 21, 2002Episode 4 Motivation
October 14, 2002Episode 3 Party
October 7, 2002Episode 2 Appraisals
September 30, 2002Episode 1 Merger

Season 1

Best The Office UK Episodes

Top 20 (Ranked)

July 30, 2001star8.9 1853 votesS1E4 Training
October 28, 2002star8.8 1451 votesS2E5 Charity
November 4, 2002star8.8 1414 votesS2E6 Interview
October 14, 2002star8.5 1376 votesS2E3 Party
October 21, 2002star8.5 1367 votesS2E4 Motivation
September 30, 2002star8.4 1399 votesS2E1 Merger
August 20, 2001star8.3 1449 votesS1E6 Judgement
October 7, 2002star8.3 1357 votesS2E2 Appraisals
July 16, 2001star8.2 1692 votesS1E2 Work Experience
July 23, 2001star8.2 1618 votesS1E3 The Quiz
August 13, 2001star8.0 1496 votesS1E5 New Girl
July 9, 2001star7.8 1975 votesS1E1 Downsize
July 9, 2001star7.8 1975 votesS1E1 Downsize

The Office UK Trailer

User Reviews

imdb-3362 17 October 2004

Had this been a 'Britcom-proper' it probably wouldn't have been as funny as it is now.

The tragic elements woven into it make it so much greater. Admittedly, there are a lot (and I mean A LOT) of cringeworthy moments in The Office. Moments that make you put your hand over your eyes and look through your fingers, moments that make you gasp and look away, and moments that will make you go "Aaaargh! Noooo!".

Everybody (who is not David or Gareth) who has ever worked in an office setting (especially those who worked in several ..) will feel that The Office is a condensed and compressed series of events, but very true to life. Everybody knows David and Gareth, everybody wants to slap them and shut them up forever. Everybody feels for (and feels like) Tim and Dawn. And everybody knows that an office would be a downright suicidal place were it not for common foes like 'the boss' and 'the wannabe boss' to loathe.

Don't watch The Office if all you want is a quick laugh .. you would feel way too uncomfortable for that. The Office is a true slice of (office) life, a bit larger, a bit darker, a bit more painful, but ultimately more humorous than anything I've ever seen. Make sure you catch the Christmas special(s) as well, as that puts the icing on the cake and makes life slightly more bearable.

chasgoose 9 December 2004

While admitting to being a general Britcom slut (Fawlty Towers, Ab Fab, Monty Python,) with the exception of Coupling which I wasn't that big a fan of, I think The Office is quite possibly one of the greatest TV shows ever to be put on TV. The show takes a few viewings to really get all of the humor/tragedy that the brilliant Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant have built into the script of the show. The first time it seems sort of blah, but if you watch the whole 1st season, by episode 4 or 5 you pick up on the style of humor and realize that it lies mainly in the simple throwaway lines that the abhorrent David Brent and other employees of Wernham Hogg's Slough branch utter throughout the show. Also, like Gosford Park, the dialogue is very quiet and to an American not used to British accents it is tremendously helpful to put on the subtitles to understand what the characters are saying (it also makes the cringeworthy things that much more cringeworthy when you see them written out). Once you get the humor further viewing will allow you to appreciate the horror of "The Office." Watching all of Season 2 in a marathon viewing session left me so emotionally drained (even though I have never laughed harder in my life) that I was crying by the end and I couldn't tell if they were tears of sadness or laughter. At the same time I was relishing David Brent's demise, the new levels of obsequiousness and insensitivity he descends to by the end of the series is almost painful to watch. Tim and Dawn's will it happen/it won't happen relationship is one of the sweetest and most soul-crushing romances I have seen in television history ranking right up there with Sam and Diane from Cheers and Ross and Rachel from Friends. The beauty of "The Office" is it mixes some of the most hilarious sitcom humor with a level of epic tragedy that is hard to capture in any performing art form and does it so effortlessly that it is hard to tell where one begins and one ends. I cannot wait to see the special and finally finish the emotional roller coaster that was "The Office."

michaelnash1999 13 December 2004

I wasn't go to write a comment on the programme The Office but after reading trpdean's comment, I had to. I'm not sure what office life is like in the states, but this is what office life is like in Britain.

The show is perfect, it is indeed a true and honest reflection on every day working life.

The Boss is played by an actor by the name of Ricky Gervais, you will cringe and laugh at the same time, you will love him and hate him at the same time. The way the programme takes him thru the 14 episodes is brilliant, George from Seinfeld gets nowhere near this guy.

Then there is Gareth, a wimpy nerd, who thinks he is a big army man, but he really is just a weed of a man, we have all known someone like him.

The heart and soul belongs to Tim and Dawn though, you will cry your eyes out through out the series because of their relationship that isn't one.

This programme deserves all the awards that it has won, I don't want give too much away, its best if you go into the show not knowning too much about it, and to trpdean, once again this is what office life is like in England.

tim_bidet 30 November 2004

"The Office" is quite simply worth watching. I am tired of hearing people criticising it. It's not that it's not worthy of criticism, but the fact that those who label it as "overrated" and "falling short of expectations" have only ever seen one episode, or the Christmas Special, or 'The Dance'. It defies logic to make a judgment on a 14 episode programme on 2 feature-length episodes that merely act as a means of updating and rounding-off the series. I have yet to hear anyone make a solid argument as to why The Office fails in any way.

If you have not yet seen it, get Series 1 and 2 and settle down on a rainy afternoon ready to emerse and commit yourself. Forget the hype, put the dance scene that you've seen a million times out of your mind, and just watch each episode in order. Then make your own judgment. If you liked it, you will want to see the Christmas Specials; if you didn't, you won't.

Using a cast of unknown, yet perfectly chosen actors, The Office is a sharp, funny, painful, emotional and fabulous take on office life.

Superunknovvn 8 September 2005

Brits. You gotta love them. They got the best bands AND the best comedians. "The Office" is probably the best thing in comedy since Monty Python. This show is almost perfect. It's got an original concept, the writing is brilliant, and so is the acting. A group of people completely unknown outside of the U.K. has definitely made a mark in the history of television with this so-called "mockumentary".

A program like this was really what we needed, but hadn't dared to hope for anymore. In a time when it seemed like T.V. would forever be ruled by sitcoms with canned laughter played over the same old jokes (let's face it, even "Coupling" was little more than an edgier version of "Friends"), Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant came along with their accurate observation of everyday life in an office as we all know it. What they did was take "This Is Spinal Tap!" and put it in the context of an everyday working place. In lesser hands, this idea could easily have turned boring all too quickly, because what we are being shown is basically just reality. It could also have gone the other way with stupid and forced jokes thrown in to keep the viewer interested. Gervais and Merchant, however, managed to pull it off just the way it needed to be done. "The Office" is tragic, funny, sad and moving all at the same time. This show is so popular, because people all around the world can identify with it. You feel for these characters. Tim, Dawn, Gareth and Brent (especially Gareth and Brent!) are far from being perfect people, but it's because of their little flaws and personality problems that we care for them. We know colleagues like them, we know those grey days at work. And like this crew a lot of us have big dreams that are moving further and further away as we're stuck in dead end jobs getting older. "The Office" doesn't comfort us, it doesn't tell us that there'll be a happy ending, but it tells us that we're not alone with our situations. The fact, that we know most of those truly horrible scenes from our own lives makes us laugh. Sometimes the laughs are bitter, but they're always cathartic.

SEASON 1 is flawless. Hands down the best first series in a comedy show ever. We get to know Gareth, the annoying colleague who has no life whatsoever and makes up for that by taking himself way too seriously. We meet Dawn and Tim who are fighting their desperation and dissatisfaction by playing pranks on Gareth. The two are secretly attracted to each other with Dawn's boyfriend Lee standing the way. Most importantly, we are introduced to David Brent, the boss who somehow manages to always say the wrong things and embarrass himself and everyone around him all the time. The humour comes mainly from facial expressions, nonsense philosophies (Brent & Gareth), sarcastic comments (Tim) and incredibly awkward situations. Lots of times you'll cringe and the situation gets so uncomfortable you'll cover your eyes with your hands so you don't have to see anymore of it. It's a delightful torture.

SEASON 2 is still very good, but Gervais and Merchant fall into the joke-trap too often. In season 1 they successfully avoided any jokes with punchlines or gags that seemed scripted. It was more or less a chain of uncomfortable events and funny interviews. In season 2 we already know the characters and the concept a bit too well. People expect a certain behaviour from the respective characters and Gervais and Merchant are

Pedro_H 27 May 2004

A TV crew move in to the Slough offices of paper wholesalers Vernom-Hogg to focus on how the ordinary British work place responds to change and business upheaval.

What a surprise this series was when it first came on the TV. Given that it was on BBC2 and not given much promotion you didn't expect much, but boy is this series good. Not only is there moments of absolute comic genius, but it is also very profound. Stand assured I have met all the characters on this show in real life - I have even worked alongside a few of them!

It is impossible to know what foreigners make of lead and star turn Ricky Gervais playing boss David Brent. Americans might not get the full satire of his off-centre and cliché bound management speak. Like another great British character Alf Garnett (of Till Death Us Do Part) he is not so much an invention as an acute observation of a particular type of crass over-promoted idiot that lurks among us. Incompetent and ludicrous, but full of the misplaced confidence that comes from never having to face a reality check. The office runs despite of him - not because of him.

If this was not comedy it would be considered the best portrayal of a man living under self-delusion ever put on film. His belief that he is incredibly popular and has the support of the full staff is clearly false and yet nothing can shake his beliefs. He is not blind but yet he cannot see. He is living in a land of fantasy and time-wasting - for example, inventing game shows instead of writing office reports!

Brent is a self-styled "chilled out comedian" that cracks rude or racist jokes to just the type of people that don't want to hear them. Wearing a fake wan smile he has the unerring ability to make difficult situations even worse. He is always aware of the camera and even plays to it - even lurking in the background to join in other people's on-camera moments as if he has nothing better to do.

Brent has a mini-me in the form of Gareth Keenan played by Mackenzie Crook. A wan and skinny man-youth who is chief support to Brent in the mismanagement of the office. A weekend soldier he makes constant references to this and how it applies to office procedure, as well as trying it on with spare office female talent - with no success whatsoever. He also runs the office course on safety - which is one of the funniest pieces of business I have seen in a long time. Instructing female employees on how NOT to put cups of hot coffee on the top of monitors and how to correctly lift boxes.

Only slightly more sane is Tim Canterbury (Martin Freeman) the college drop-out that is always threatening to quit and return to his books. A bored mediocrity that fills his days by winding up Gareth and flirting with receptionist Dawn (Lucy Davis) - who has less of a role, but looks on in disgust at some of the antics that the others get up to.

Special support comes from Chris Finch (played by Ralph Ineson) who is chief rep and office big mouth: Perhaps the most revolting person ever to appear on TV. His recollections of drunken evenings and stupidity being listen to with wide eyed wonder by the males - with only Dawn daring to show what he really is and even then not in words. When he leads the gang down Chasers (the local small town disco) things really hot up.

This show only ran two series (plus Christmas special - that was only so-so), but in the second series the nature of the Brent management style comes under pressure. Reality starts sweeping in to his little world and his b

laserprinterfeatures 17 December 2006

I hold everything I watch to a very high standard and in general I can't watch the vast majority of what is put on TV - 24, Lost, Gray's Anatomy, Heroes, essentially anything you can think of that people seem to go crazy for... and the reason is simple: they aren't driven by the writing.

And to those who are already upset and ready to describe the genius of the plot of X TV show or one I named above, consider that none of those shows are driven by the characters, by pureness of emotion created, by novelty of the plot, it can all be reduced to a few things: 1) Love triangles, quadrilaterals, pentagons, etc. 2) Action (doesn't take a PhD to blow something, put a child in harm's way, etc.) 3) THE BIGGEST ONE - leaving you hanging (which makes the viewer, in between episodes, feel like they just can't stand to not be watching this show, but really, you could tell one of the worst stories ever and stop just short of an important climax and people will naturally be interested - but why not ask for more)

And in general, what I like to think of as the plot skeleton (the core conflict or plot outline) in these shows is tried and cliché in all of these shows. There's nothing new.

The US version of the Office is just plain unbelievable. The characters are not real people. It's very funny SOMETIMES and I do watch it (which makes it like 1 of maybe 5 shows in the last several years), but Michael Scott could never exist in real life, and he's the only decent actor in the show. Jim and Pam don't have the incredible subtle, Victorian, romance that Tim and Dawn had. Martin Freeman is also 10x more the legitimate actor, and Dawn was significantly better than Pam - Jenna Fischer just doesn't have much of an emotional range. Dwight is just always high strung - Garreth had depth and incredible subtlety and a range of moods. Stanley's humor was meant for 9 year olds. Keith was infinitely better at deadpan and numb-skull humor. Angela, Meredith, Oscar, Creed - all 1 dimensional. Ryan's not awful.

AND THEN THERE WAS THE OFFICE (BBC)...

Incredible realism. Incredible and subtle use of the documentary genre. A barrage of original, subtle, diverse jokes. No laugh track (which many people notice, but it's more than that - it's that the show doesn't hit high hat cymbals to cue you to laugh too, it creates genuinely funny and awkward moments). The actors are outstanding too - such an incredible repertoire each of them has of emotional capacity (even, and in fact ESPECIALLY, Garreth, whose US counterpart Dwight can't come close to the pathos and sadness Garreth can evince - or really even realism, Dwight is just always high-strung and not a real human character).

I've seen lots of movies. More than anyone I know. I'm a pretty smart guy (at least on paper). Movies are my favorite thing in the world. If I put this series as a whole into my list of top movies of all time, and ignored the differences of the media, it would make the top 5.

My life is better because I've seen The Office (BBC). Just don't watch season 1 and 2 and forget about the Christmas special, like I did for a year. But I do think if you give yourself at least a week after watching 1 and 2 before watching the special, you can better "simulate" the time lapse that is meant to exist before the fictional creation of the documentary.

Do yourself a favor.

lxbass 2 January 2004

Now that I've seen the Christmas specials I must say that this is some of the best material I've ever seen! Every of the 14 episodes is just great and worth watching over and over again.

I'm going to miss you Dawn, Tim, Gareth, David, Keith, Jennifer, Sheila, Rachel and Monkey-Alan...

supertom-3 23 July 2004

Absolute magic! This is one of the best comedy series of recent years. It is brilliant stuff. This is a documentary about an office who make paper. What is so funny is that it is played so seriously that casual observers will believe that this is a real documentary and these characters are real. It's all larger than life in many ways and with some of the situations but it is pure genius.

The cast play their characters brilliantly. Ricky Gervais is outstanding. He, as an actor, writer, and director of this show has created one of comedies great characters. He is the imbecile and arrogant boss who we all have had experience of and who we can see some of our own traits in. It's frightening how many faux pas this guy comes out with, its cringe worthy and we all know we have said things like he has. You feel sorry for him because he acts so deluded but at the same time he can make you wince and burst out in laughter at some of his actions (remember the dance?). Also superb is Mackenzie Crook as Gareth the dorky and also deluded young worker who follows the book down to every crossed T and dotted I. He plays it to perfection, like Gervais. Also good is Lucy Davis, as receptionist Dawn. The one who I think plays it really well because his character has a more emotional element in his performances is Martin Freeman, as Tim, who has a big crush on Dawn. There is a great dynamic and he plays the lovesick worker, bored with his life with a real depth which is really evident in the Christmas special and end to the Office. The Christmas episode was the best from the Office; it was hilarious, tragic and brilliantly cringe-worthy.

It is no more and the American version will not hold a candle on this. All I can say is make sure that if you haven't seen the last episode of it, the Christmas special, then watch it. It's the best; it's beautifully done and will almost bring a tear to your eye.

CuriosityKilledShawn 15 May 2004

Set in the bleak, awfully-named industrial town of Slough and the fictional office of the Wernam-Hogg paper merchants, a BBC film crew documents the expressionless workers, ringing phones, copiers churning out clone after clone after clone, pointless meetings and pointless bureaucracy that exist within typical, uninspiring companies.

Sadly, the majority of people in Britain work in dull, dead-end office jobs with lives that go nowhere and even the most meager of ambitions going unrealized. Maybe if they had a boss like David Brent their day would be livened up. Not because he's the 'boss/entertainer' he thinks he is, but for the morbid curiosity of watching a desperate, delusional and detestable man slowly crash and burn.

The majority of laughs in The Office come from awkward and embarrassing situations. Brent constantly forces his bullheaded and bawdy humor on unwitting staff. At first they appear scared of his ruthlessly imposing presence but towards the end they all ignore him completely. But he never realizes this and resorts to even more tasteless ways of getting attention. He loves the camera and rather than acting 'normal' for the purposes of the mockumentary he exaggerates his beastly character to the point of being sickening. He gets what he deserves in the end and by this point the audience has lost all sympathy for him.

His brutalized and beleaguered staff struggle to get on with their work as Brent's tyranny escalates. Among them we have Tim, an increasingly unhappy man who wishes to escape the monotony and drudgery 'ordinary life' brings him. He's long had the confidence crushed out of him but still has more humanity than anyone else.

Gareth is Tim's worst enemy. A dorky, 95 pound weakling who boasts of being in the (territorial) Army and is keen to assume more and more power from Brent's failing management. Like Brent, he has no clue about social interaction and behaves strangely among potential friends.

Dawn is the receptionist. She is engaged to a controlling, unloving boyfriend who insists she spend her life doing dull work despite the fact that she has higher and happier dreams. She has feelings for Tim, and they are more than mutual. But fear of change and happiness stops her from falling for him.

As soon as once branch of Wernam-Hogg incorporates the other it becomes clear how useless Brent is. The new staff are amazed at how such a horrid man has been employed at all, never mind become a boss. Complaints and unfinished work rise and the upper management are forced to take action. Sadly, Brent just won't learn.

In the end, his staff have the slightest chance at happiness and escape. Brent however doesn't learn from his mistakes and will probably go on to have an endlessly miserable life.

If you work in an office, get out! Among the blackest of humor there is a message; office life is fit for no human being. And Ricky Gervais' dark comedy is filled with thousands of examples of why this is so. It's absolutely classic stuff that is far ahead of dozens of canned laughter sitcoms.

bmoore-13 25 March 2004

I rented the first season almost at random--I'd only barely heard of the show--and I'm so, so glad I did. Within the first ten seconds Ricky Gervais had me quietly snickering; within twenty I was laughing out loud; eventually a few tears welled up and my stomach began to hurt. And I didn't quit laughing until the show was over. Gervais is possessed of the very rare talent of being funny on several different fronts, simultaneiously; he's like a comedic juggler: he's a teller of conspicuously (but not too conspicuously) bad, often tasteless, jokes; he's a backstabbing hypocrite of Tartuffian quality; and for those who have worked in offices and have had bad (or even mediocre) bosses, he is like a balm for the lost dignity office workers experience through petty politicking. (So the show is rather cathartic.) That little look Gervais gives the camera at times (which seems to state, "You didn't see that, did you?") is precious. I have to be careful to not oversell this show, but right now I would say that, as a character, David Brent (Gervais) is right up there with Reginald Perrin and Basil Fawlty, and that is sacred territory in my book. But while writer-actor Gervais is the brightest spot in the show, the other cast members, namely Tim Freeman, Mackenzie Cook (who some will recognize as the eye-popping pirate in PIRATES OF THE CARRIBEAN), and Lucy Davis, are great too. This show, I predict, will go down as one of the great TV comedies, up there with with FAWLTY TOWERS and SEINFELD but perhaps just below MONTY PYTHON and SCTV (at their best). A word of warning: if you don't like (i.e., don't understand) irony, this may not be the show for you; stick with Jim Carrey and Martin Lawrence. (Nothing against those actors; THE OFFICE, though laugh-out-loud funny, seldom hits one over the head with its comedy.) I only hope the second season approaches the quality of the first.

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