We’re back at the open plan offices of Wernham-Hogg in Slough, which have now mergedwith the branch at Swindon. This spells disaster for manager David Brent (Ricky Gervais). His(erroneous) self-image of popular, entertaining boss is dealt a mortal blow by the arrival of theSwindon employees and their genuinely smart and funny manager, who becomes Brent’simmediate superior.
The style, as in the original series, is mockumentary, with a fly-on-the-wall handheld camera…capturing the antics in the office, intercut with direct-address interviews with the main characters.The humour is sour, nasty, and very funny, in the same kind of vein as The King ofComedy. In other words, this is the comedy of abject social humiliation, and you won’t knowwhether to laugh or to cringe.
The 2.0 surround track has a fairly constant, low-key environmental effect consisting ofbackground office noises. That’s about it as far as surround is concerned, but this isn’t the kindof show that would lend itself to more. There is no laugh track, and the overall sound is fairlyquiet. The audio is almost entirely dialogue-powered, and the voices are clear and distortion-free.They do, however, occasionally bleed inappropriately into the rear speakers.
Much stronger than most TV products. The aspect ratio is 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen.The colours are cold and institutional — perfect for the atmosphere of the setting. There is nograin or edge enhancement. The blacks are solid. The picture is sharp, and nicely enhances themockumentary feel.
Three featurettes here. One is 13 minutes of deleted scenes, the second is just under 8minutes of outtakes, and the third is a 20-minute video diary. This last covers the second season,from writing to filming, but does so in a way that mocks the very form the set diary. Is nothingsacred??!! Finally, the liner notes provide an extensive slang glossary.
Vicious, painful stuff. Damn funny, too.
Special Features List
- Deleted Scenes
- Video Diary