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Old 12-21-2003, 10:20 PM   #1
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Super Cool "The Office" TV series

Having seen RemiO's avotar and thinking - that looks like David Brent - and then noticing the sig, can I just say that The Office is the greatest comedy series since Fawlty Towers.

Quite similar humour too - in that it's so horrifyingly excruciating to watch all you can do is laugh.

Fawlty Towers was a nice concise 2 series, as is The Office - though I have read rumours of the possibilty of a 3rd season. Don't know how it would work considering the way the 2nd season wrapped up.

Anyway, I see the series 2 DVD has just been released here in New Zealand, just wondering if anyone has the DVDs and what the extras are like (on either season 1 or season 2 DVD).


And Gareth rocks. He's my hero.
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Old 12-21-2003, 10:49 PM   #2
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Yeah, The Office is good, but its become way too popular for my liking here now. Its totally overrated, and all the "tv people" who go to the UK TV awards shows masturbate about it. Yes, it was funny, but seriously, come on!! I mean, don't get me wrong - I love it, but I just hate its popularity. Its like Friends now, for Christsakes.

As for series 3... I read that the upcoming 2 part christmas special is the final appearance of David Brent. Kinda good, kinda bad.


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Old 12-21-2003, 11:17 PM   #3
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So... because lots of other people like the show, your liking of it has reduced?

I wasn't aware of the Christmas special, so that's great news.




I do know what you mean though, if suddenly something "cultish" becomes hugely popular. Luckily in NZ it had a pretty average timeslot - 10:30pm, Monday nights on the "adult channel" (by that I mean Coro Street, The Bill etc, not porn!) - so it has retained its cult following here.

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Old 12-22-2003, 12:09 AM   #4
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Friends is only loved by a select group of people (idiots), so The Office having a similarly broad appeal isn't too bad. "TV people" exist to be ignored.

The UK DVD release of the first series is pretty bland, with only one extra that springs to mind - Ricky Gervais and the other writer guy spouting on about it for about four hours. Well, it's not that bad - it does include some clips of a 'pilot' type thing they did which are interesting enough, I suppose. The US edition includes more extras, such as "what do these crazy British words mean anyway" and the like. I presume you would get the UK edition in NZ. I don't know what the series 2 DVD is like.

On top of the Christmas specials (after which there is no more), the programme has apparently been sold to some American station, so expect a heartless shadow of its former self to shuffle out and suffer an undignified death soon enough.

Oh man, I only started to write this post as an excuse to make fun of Friends fans. To think.


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Old 12-22-2003, 12:14 AM   #5
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I agree with LucasTones - it's great, but people should stop with the constant "It's great!". Because, at first, most of these people were "I don't get it", and then the big Brent bandwagon came along and they all leaped aboard, clapping along to all of the comic-relief flash-dance / MC hammer ****.

Definitely no third series, too. It would've gotten completely out of hand anyway. Looking forward to the boxing day special, and the post-boxing day one too. ;D
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Old 12-22-2003, 12:14 AM   #6
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Thanks for the info. Yeah, we get the UK version of the DVD in NZ. It's about NZ$60, where pretty much every other full price single disc DVD is $40. The season 2 one is $50.

I have no idea why.

As far as the US version extras - even with the explanation of british slang, I still doubt that I will ever hear an American use the work "wanker" correctly.

I don't know what it is about that word. The Yanks just don't seem to "get it".

The wankers.
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Old 12-22-2003, 12:20 AM   #7
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To follow up on what Huz said, Friends got big largely due to the fact that they had six good looking people spewing out simple jokes that appeal to teenagers and people feeling like some braindead entertainment. The Office appeals to pretty much the exact opposite group, namely those who usually don't watch much TV.

The US DVD I believe is the same as the UK one, with only one documentary and a short outtake reel. The glossary is a hard copy, and you also get a Wernham Hogg newsletter (also available from BBC's site). There's a great easter-egg though, that has the full version of "Freelove Freeway".

Oh yeah, as my avatar, custom title and sig suggests - I think The Office is quite possibly the best thing I've seen on TV since... yeah, probably Fawlty Towers.


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Old 12-22-2003, 12:26 AM   #8
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Well, in defense of Friends, I quite enjoy it - and most episodes have at least one laugh-out-loud moment for me - which is way better than most other American sitcoms that we've seen over the last 10 years (Seinfeld excepted, which was almost always brilliant). Yes, Friends is hugely popular and "commercial", but it is still watcheable for the most part.

Do you Poms get Larry David's "Curb Your Enthusiasm"? He was co-creator of Seinfeld. It's an interesting show, with a lead character as unlikeable as David Brent or George Costanza, and it's another of those 'excruciating' comedies, but just never quite fires on all 4 cylinders.
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Old 12-22-2003, 01:18 AM   #9
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Curb Your Enthusiasm is one of my favourite programs

I know what you mean about it not "firing on all four cylinders" - its not funny throughout, as with The Office etc, but it has the same amount of humour in it. Hmm.. that sounds odd. What I mean is, you laugh as much during Curb Your Enthusiasm, but your laughter is compressed into four or five moments of intense hilarity, instead of spread out throughout the entire half hour.

Maybe I like it because its more of a cult-ish thing here. I dunno, I just hate liking things that everyone else likes, cos if everyone likes it there are no real fans, just people who read that such and such a program is "the funniest thing on tv!" and feel they have to like it. If there are as many people who like it as don't, or even don't know about it, it seems better to me. I guess its just personal, I dunno. I can safely say I watched the first series of The Office the first time it aired, when the reviews slated it, and I liked it then.

That doesn't mean it has to be a cult-ish sort of show for me to like it, nor that I like all cult-ish shows. I like Red Dwarf, which is despised by people who watch shows like Will and Grace, and Friends, because the characters aren't beautiful people. I like Fawlty Towers, like the rest of the world, because its brilliant. Monkey Dust is quite a culty show, but I don't like that.

Well... I understand what I mean anyway

Unfortunately, it seems now that Bo Selecta is going the way of The Office - its so funny, but because of its strange format it was never mainstream. (I distinctly remember the people who moaned about Avid Merrion being "wierd" and "creepy" - he is wierd and creepy, but its an act and its hilarious; they didn't get the joke.) However, it looks like the show is about to be catapulted into mainstreamness. :/

PS. George Costanza is my favourite character in Seinfeld, he's not unlikeable!!


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Old 12-22-2003, 01:29 AM   #10
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Yeah, I'm a big fan of Curb Your Enthusiasm & Seinfeld too, although they're totally not loved over here. Strange, since Larry is incredibly unlikeable, which is supposed to be a British "thing" (Basil Fawlty, Blackadder, Alan Partridge, David Brent, etc). As far as the standard American sitcom goes Spin City is the daddy.

Those who like The Office should check out "People Like Us", which was probably the first born in the land of spoof documentaries. Also see "I'm Alan Partridge" - Partridge & Brent share many qualities, although this is pure sitcom. Maybe a bit too British to make it to BBC America/NZ, though.

Oh, Brass Eye & The Day Today = ultra-win.

Edit!
Bo' Selecta is a bad, bad television program - I don't recall it being "cult" either - all of my friends seemed to like it so much that they felt the need to consistently spout off catchphrases, which get funnier every time.
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Old 12-22-2003, 01:39 AM   #11
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Is that Alan Partridge one where he's a has-been radio DJ who wears a really bad cardy?

If so, I loved that series.

> Those who like The Office should check out "People Like Us", which was probably the first born in the land of spoof documentaries.

I'd give that credit to the absolutely wonderful "This is Spinal Tap".

Is People Like Us a movie or a series?


Series I've not seen that have been mentioned in this thread (whether due to passing me by, or not screening here, I do not know);

Brass Eye, The Day Today, Bo Selecta


You know what else I miss when it comes to British Comedies?

Great sketch shows like;

Not the 9 O Clock News, Alas Smith & Jones, A little bit of Fry & Laurie. Even French & Saunders.

You may still have shows that continue that fine tradition, but the ones I have seen lately don't live up to that pedigree - I'm talking about that Harry Enfield guy that I just don't find funny...
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Old 12-22-2003, 01:44 AM   #12
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Is Bo' Selecta a sort of Ali-G / Dennis Pennis ripoff?

Comedy actor dupes stars in reality "set-up" type situations?
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Old 12-23-2003, 06:26 PM   #13
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Bo Selecta is a program about this celebrity obsessed maniac, with extreme characture impersonations of celebrities. He wears rubber masks, but always keeps the glasses on, its inspired

Sitcoms, yeah - Seinfeld and Red Dwarf are my favourites, but you're right about Spin City Scabb - its brilliant! I've only seen one episode since MJ Fox had to leave, and although not as good it was still pretty funny. Alan Partridge, of course, is absolutely hilarious. Probably the most quote-worthy program in years - if you say a line from it, everyone knows where its from.
("ooooh Ladyboys")

The best sketch show, in my opinion, was The Fast Show. The problem with sketch shows though is that they tend to get repetetive really quickly - the reason The Fast Show worked so well is because all the characters adapted in order to stay funny. Monkfish was the best Besides, if Johnny Depp likes it, its good enough for me.


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Old 12-24-2003, 04:02 AM   #14
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I'm glad I missed the hype surrounding The Office (I was living in the US at the time and my mate sent me the Season 1 DVD over from England). MAN, it IS a BRILLIANT show. I can say that without a doubt, it made me proud to be British

Can't wait to see Season 2!

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Old 12-26-2003, 10:04 PM   #15
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The first half of the final two episodes aired tonight, and it was great. Of course, soon everyone will be talking about it, so I'm going to duck out of the discussion and get my thoughts in first. I won't ruin it for those that didn't see it, so I'll use an annoying spoiler.

spoiler:

Brent is still the same, even though this is set three years after the previous two. He still hangs around the office, though, in his new job as a door-to-door (ish) salesman. Much mirth is to be found when we learn he released a single, which got to 113 in the charts - the music video is hilarious! Later in the show, he goes to a Blind Date kind of event in a nightclub, with two other C-list celebs. The bit backstage after the event is the highlight of the show, along with the part where David and Gareth set up a profile for the former on an internet dating site.


Roll on part 2


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Old 12-28-2003, 10:21 PM   #16
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Can anyone in the U.K. let us know how the specials were (in non-spoiler terms of course)? Just as funny? We just had Season 2 shown here in the U.S. on BBCAmerica so hopefully they will show the specials sometime soon as well.
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Old 12-30-2003, 05:26 PM   #17
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Yeah, they were great. The jokes were just as funny, but strayed from the old office-based format. Same kind of humour though.
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Old 12-31-2003, 02:33 AM   #18
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Jeez, can't wait for series 2 to come out on dvd here in region 1. On a completely unrelated note, I could catch a monkey.
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