Friday, December 29, 2006

What We're Watching: The Office, Season One

Our library has an impressive array of television box sets on DVD, and among them is the first season of The Office (American version). While I have found myself roaring that "The original is better!" for most TV shows and movies, I can say no such thing in this case. I'm sure fans of the British version will find this distasteful, but there it is. You are welcome to check both out and see what you think.

The Office is filmed in a documentary style, much like the "rockumentary", cult classic This is Spinal Tap. Steve Carell (Little Miss Sunshine, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Anchorman) plays a boss who is self-absorbed, completely absurd, and utterly offensive. However, he's difficult to hate because of his awkwardness and insecurity. Carell is always a laugh, but some of the most painfully amusing moments arise between the power-hungry, nerdy, and gullible Dwight, and his office enemies, Jim and Pam. Practical jokes are the norm, as when Dwight finds his office supplies floating within a mass of Jello.

There was a sale on this season at Best Buy recently, so the husband and I jumped at the chance to finally pick it up. There are only 6 episodes on this set, but take heart: the bonus materials more than make up for it. Each episode has several minutes of equally funny deleted scenes, and there are commentary tracks for nearly the entire season. The commentaries are high in energy, funny, and interesting. I had no idea that many of the background characters are also writers for the show. Make it your New Year's resolution to get acquainted with The Office - my personal favorite comedy of 2006.

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