The Office Special

DVD Reviews | Mar 4th, 2005

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Starring Ricky Gervais, Martin Freeman, Mackenzie Crook, Lucy Davis, Patrick Baladi, Stirling Gallacher
Written By: Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant
Directed By: Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant
Studio: BBC Home Video
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After I saw The Office’s second season, I thought that was the end of the series. But reading on message boards, I found out that the BBC aired a Christmas Special (in two parts). The special finally aired on BBC America last month, and now the DVD is out too!

The Office Special takes place three years after the second season. The BCC wanted to have a follow up episode with the staff that work/worked at Wernham Hogg in Slough. At the end of the second season, David Brent was laid off and got a “redundancy” package. Tim asked Dawn out again, but of course said no because she was moving to Florida with her fiance. Gareth got David’s job and is in charge of the Slough Branch now. David is now doing crappy live appearances in clubs with other wannabe celebrities. If you thought he was loser when he was working at Wernham Hogg, he’s an even bigger loser now. I really feel sorry for that character. He spent all his redundancy check on trying to start a music career, and even has a pop single. You can see some of the video in the episode. It’s really awful haha. David still shows up at Wernham Hogg, and still makes everyone feel uncomfortable. He’s still competing and bickering with Neil, the one who let him off. Tim seems more depressed than ever, and has an annoying employee sitting next to him. Tim still can’t stand his co-workers, and still purposely annoys and plays pranks on Gareth. He still has feelings for Dawn, but she’s in Miami. Dawn doesn’t seem happy either. She is a babysitter, and her fiance doesn’t pay attention to her, and is just a jerk. The documentary filmmakers tell Dawn and her fiance that they will pay them to go see the old crowd for the office Christmas party. While this is going on, David tells Neil that he’s bringing his girlfriend (which he doesn’t have). For both parts of the special, you see David on dates. You can just imagine how cringy this is to watch. First dates are always cringy for anyone, but going on one with David Brent would double the uncomfortable-ness. But everything seems to work out towards the end for everybody.

I think the Office special was great, because it summed up the series in a good way and it was just uncomfortably hilarious to watch at times. Like in my other reviews of the series, the show’s comedy is very subtle and dry. It’s also great because there isn’t a laugh track. I think the show wouldn’t have worked if there was a laugh track. It’s not that type of show. I’m satisfied the way the show ended though. Everything seems to come together nicely, well except there’s no closure with Gareth. But his character didn’t really have anything special going on besides that he was the boss now. The series wasn’t just about David Brent, and I like that. I’m glad Tim and Dawn were the other vocal point of the show. The acting is excellent and I’m just amazed they can keep a straight face acting. There is some bloopers in the making of, but even then, I can’t see how they kept their composure together and got through the line. The show also has it’s fair share of drama, and isn’t always about comedy. The acting is believable, and that’s what made the show work. When I first saw this, I actually thought they were real people in a documentary haha. I think if the show kept going on, it might have ran out of gas eventually but I think the creators did the right thing and ended the show while it’s still very popular. Though another special wouldn’t hurt down the road. I would like to see Ricky Gervais and the other actors in other sitcoms though. I believe Gervais is currently writing in a new sitcom soon. The actress who played Dawn (Lucy Davis), can be seen in the zombie dramedy, Shaun of the Dead. Martin Freeman, who plays Tim, makes a cameo in that film as well.

There’s a great 20 minute (or so) featurette about the show. It features all the cast members this time, plus the co-director/writer Stephen Merchant. Each person talked about their favorite episode of the series, and most of them picked episode 4 of season one, which was the training episode. They talk about their character, and the sucess of the series. It was a decent featurette, though it could have been a little bit longer. There’s the full length video of David Brent’s “If You Don’t Know Me By Now,” if you actually wanted to see the full version of it. There’s a featurette on the making of David Brent’s b-side song “Freelove Freeway” featuring one of the guys from Oasis. I can never tell which one is which. It’s not the asshole one though. That song was actually catchy and not bad like the other song. I think that song was done more in a serious way than “If You Don’t Know Me By Now,”. Other extras on this DVD include director’s commentary and a Golden Globes featurette. Extras weren’t that bad, just okay.

Overall, it’s a shame the series is over but fans can now enjoy all the Office’s episodes & specials on DVD. Definitely worth getting if you don’t want to sit through a bunch of commercials on TV.

Director’s Audio Commentary
Exclusive Behind The Scenes Documentary
Making Of “Freelove Freeway” Single
Music Clip: “Freelove Freeway” Single
“If You Don’t Love Me By Now”
Complete Music Video




Favorite Scenes: David doing his appearances, Tim locking Gareth in his office, David’s music video, David telling Finch to fuck off
Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 0 minutes
Extras Rating:
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