The Good

The Bad

The Office - Season One was something that I stayed away from when it aired, mainly because I had heard so much about some British version that was “so good” and that “America was just going to muck it up.” Also, I find Steve Carell to be sort of annoying, so you can understand why I wouldn’t go out my way to make this show something important in my life.

Well, after watching the 6 episodes that make up this DVD, I have to admit that I was wrong. I also think that had the original series that aired in the UK, not been watched by those people who are rabid fans of it here, then The Office - Season One would certainly have been hailed as the good show that it in fact is. While both versions feature what I like to call “Sherlock Holmes Humor” (comedy you have to search to find and hope that when you do you’re laughing at the right parts), both have a decent amount of humor and situations to keep you interested.

And to all those who didn’t give this show a chance simply because it was a US remake of something those funny Brits did, let me rewind you of a young Norman Lear turning a British show called “Till Death Us Do Part” into a little phenomenon called “All In the Family.”

Features

Deleted Scenes

There are 6 deleted scenes on here that were taken out for time reasons, I think. I say this because I found a lot of the stuff that wasn’t used to be pretty good. I loved how one employee said he didn’t want to leave the company because it was so close to his house. I mean, there is some really good stuff here and why it was passed over I will never know. Let’s just say “Thank You” to DVD for giving us the chance to see this unused material.

Commentary

There are two commentary tracks for “Pilot” and one for “Diversity Day.” To the devotees of Mr. Carell, you’ll be happy to know that he appears on 2 out of 3 of these. I was happy that they addressed all the “mean spirited” hoopla that surrounded the making of this show. So many people seemed to write it off simply because it was an American remake. The ever popular attitude of “hating when something small becomes big” really showed it’s true colors in this case. Thankfully, the show went on and the work that was created here seemed to be appreciated.

Video

Anamorphic Widescreen 1.78:1. This show is cut like a mock documentary so to a mainstream audience things might seem a bit choppy. Personally, I don’t think US audiences are given enough credit for being able to handle more sophisticated material. Executives think that things need to be “dumbed down” to reach a “larger demographic,” while I think this fallacy in thinking is why the movie box office is currently seeing a slump. There is no formula for making a successful movie, but that is a whole other argument. These DVD transfers have a crispness to them and it makes sense as The Office - Season One only aired some months back.

Audio

English Dolby Digital 2.0. I hate the awkward pauses that this show has and that are supposed to pass for high brow comedy. What has happened to a show that is written well, and just features people being funny? Why does everything have to be a game, a cliché or bit of irony in order for it to attract the Mussolini Intelligentsia? This show was funny, but to me it’s humor came when it allowed itself to be free from all the little devices it used to be above it all. Thankfully, there were a lot of moments when the show was just allowed to happen, the actors just acted and the comedy ensued.

Package

Nothing too special here. Just Carell and the rest of the talented cast in one of those awful office boardrooms, where everything is sterile and dry erase boards are supposed to convey ideas. The back features a description of the show, a bonus materials list and some technical specs. There are also 4 pictures from various episodes. I loved the way they cleverly used office supplies to accentuate this layout. All 6 episodes and their extras fit neatly on one DVD.

Final Word

Steve Carell is hot right now. With The 40 Year Old Virgin number one for 2 weeks in a row (having grossed $50 million), this costar has become a leading man and is now a very bankable box office attraction. The thing is, I don’t think we’ve even seen him do anything that great yet. Sure, he makes faces and funny noises, and occasionally says something funny, but I seriously look forward to the day when he strips away all this avarice and shows us something real. Something within himself that isn’t just a shield away from who he really is.

People might see The Office - Season One as a more palatable version of the British one, but I am not so sure that I see it that way. The humor on this show is more Americanized and as a result it resonates a bit more for me. I have liked what I have seen from the UK version, but at the end of the day I never really saw what all the fuss was about.

The Office was released .