DVD Review: Special Edition of BBC’s Original ‘The Office’

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CHICAGO – I can still vividly remember when it was announced that NBC was to air a remake of the incredible British series “The Office.” Those of us familiar with the original thought it was a VERY bad idea. A guy from “The Daily Show” filling the shoes of Ricky Gervais? Now it’s safe to say, the current season excepted, that the remake has eclipsed the original. It leads me to wonder if there isn’t a whole generation now that doesn’t even know the NBC version is a remake. School them with “The Office: Special Edition,” now available for discerning Black Friday shoppers everywhere.

HollywoodChicago.com DVD Rating: 5.0/5.0
DVD Rating: 5.0/5.0

One of the reasons history may have begun to forget “The Office” is that it was such a brief run that the entirety of it can be captured on four discs, Christmas Special included. Still, there’s comedy gold here with one of the most memorable TV characters of the last twenty years. The show influenced not only its remake but countless other programs in the decade since it premiered. And it made Ricky Gervais a star. See where it all began.

Those of you concerned about double dipping and wondering if you should replace your current DVD editions of the two series of “The Office” (and the special, of course), I have some bad news — you’re probably going to want to do so. The Special Edition includes introductions and new extended interviews with not only the major players behind the series (Gervais & Stephen Merchant) but a cavalcade of celebrity fans, including Ben Stiller, Matthew Perry, Hugh Jackman, and more. Fans can also see the original pilot for the first time and experience a new retrospective documentary called “Comedy Connections.” All other previously-available special features have been imported. For shows as beloved as “The Office,” the occasional double dip can be forgiven.

The Office: Special Edition
The Office: Special Edition
Photo credit: Universal

Synopsis:
Celebrate the 10 Anniversary of the BBC premiere of the original Golden Globe winning comedy sensation with The Office: Special Edition!

The inspiration for the long-running NBC comedy, The Office garnered tremendous critical acclaim when it originally premiered on BBC America including being declared the “best comedy on television” by The New York Times and “pretty much the funniest show ever” by Newsweek. Only twelve episodes and a 2-part Christmas Special were ever made, but its influence on television comedy is unparalleled.

This new Special Edition includes the complete original series with all the bonus features from the original DVD release plus new bonus features. Join not only the co-creators Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, but also special guests Matthew Perry, Ben Stiller, Richard Curtis, Hugh Jackman and others for specially recorded episodes introductions and interviews. It’s a spectacular celebration of the original comedy phenomenon that is The Office!

Special Features:
o Episode Introductions to Series One And Extended Interviews with Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant and Special Guests Matthew Perry, Ben Stiller, Richard Curtis, Hugh Jackman and More!
o Comedy Connections: A Retrospective Documentary
o Original Pilot
o Exclusive Documentary: How I Made The Office
o Deleted Scenes
o Video Diaries
o Outtakes
o Director’s Commentary
o Golden Globes Featurette
o Music Video
o Making Of Freelove Freeway

“The Office: Special Edition” stars Ricky Gervais, Lucy Davis, Martin Freeman, and Mackenzie Cook. It was released by BBC Home Video on November 22nd, 2011.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

By BRIAN TALLERICO
Content Director
HollywoodChicago.com
brian@hollywoodchicago.com

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