The Office has a new Special Edition DVD out now, in time for the holidays! No, it's not the American sitcom starring Steve Carell, but rather, the original UK version, which is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year. Created by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant — who still collaborate today — it's dry British humor, but every bit as funny as the American counterpart. Considering this is an article written in America, and will mostly be read by Americans, parallels between the two series will be drawn throughout.
Ricky Gervais (The Ricky Gervais Show, Extras) plays David Brent, a completely horrible boss for a small branch of a large paper company. More concerned with being liked than getting the job done, and hopelessly inept at both, Brent bumbles along for twelve episodes and a two-part Christmas special, getting fired along the way — a highly realistic development. Gervais is excellent in the role, which put him on the map. David Brent, who has cameoed twice in the American remake, is way worse than Michael Scott ever considers being. He is eager, but not generally a good person. He gets what he deserves in the end.
Of course, Gervais does not carry the series alone. His assistant to the regional manager is Gareth (Mackenzie Crook, Pirates of the Caribbean), much more well rounded than Dwight, Gareth makes a much better boss when the time comes. Tim (Martin Freeman, Sherlock, Love Actually) and Dawn (Lucy Davis, Studio 60 On the Sunset Strip) are the Jim and Pam, 'will-they, won't-they?' couple. Spoiler: they will... eventually.
There are also other employees, most notably Keith (Ewen MacIntosh), who is a sort of Kevin. But aside from the main foursome, the others are not as fleshed out as the supporting players that Americans are used to. This is all right, however, because of the short run of the original The Office. With only two six-episode series and the Christmas special, there is no time to give anyone else any depth. Which doesn't detract from the enjoyment at all.
Now, many already know the story of The Office, as these episodes have been released before. The great thing about this tenth anniversary special edition, available only on DVD, not Blu-ray, is the many, many extras included. The bonus features from earlier editions are present, plus much more. Deleted scenes, video diaries, outtakes, director's commentary, and a music video are just some of the repackaged content, already released.