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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

The Office: Season One (review)

If you’ve ever worked in an office, then you’ll recognize the hypocrisy, the petty cruelty, the ass-covering buck-passing, and the daily, soul-sucking corporate hell on display in this American adaptation of the hit British TV series. Thoroughly refitted for this side of the Atlantic — the impulse to add a laugh track was, thankfully, resisted — these mundane misadventures of the employees of a Scranton paper company can barely satirize an everyday environment already so absurd it beggars belief. As such, the humor tends to the obvious; the driving comedic force of most of these six episodes comes from boss Steve Carell (The 40 Year-Old Virgin), who thinks he’s a beloved buddy to his employees but is, of course, an object of hate and scorn, because he’s a boor, and a shockingly incompetent one at that. Extras include deleted scenes. Consider this strictly optional viewing, unless you just don’t get enough of this kind of thing at work.


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MPAA: not rated

viewed at home on a small screen

official site | IMDb
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