This is a two-part special episode of The Office, picking up some time after the endof the second season. The loathsome but self-regarding David Brent no longer works in theoffice, but still hangs out there all the time. Gareth is now in Brent’s position, and Brent is tryingto launch a pop career, and at the same time find himself a girlfriend in time to avoid humiliationat the Christmas party.
This is more of the viciously corrosive humour that made this sho…’s name. Ricky Gervais’David Brent is one of the most hilariously appalling creations on TV, and his rendition of “If YouDon’t Know Me By Now” must rank as some sort of horrific classic. The pseudo-documentaryapproach gives the proceedings an extra touch of embarrassing authenticity.
The mix is 2.0, and, as with the other releases of this title, a 5.1 track is neither missed norneeded. There is no backing music, and there is only a small bit of sound design (which doesoccasionally mean some surround effects of an office at work). What counts is the dialogue, andthis is perfectly crisp and clear.
The same sharp, naturalistic look as the other releases. The flesh tones are accurate, thereis no visible edge enhancement or grain, the blacks are good, and despite the deliberate “shot onvideo” look, the aspect ratio is a generous 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen.
The 20-minute making-of featurette has some of the same snarky tone as the show itself, andis a sight more interesting than most other featurettes of this kind (it also looks back at the seriesas a whole). It is supplemented by a few minutes more of interviews concerning the GoldenGlobes show where The Office took home a prize. Co-writers/directors Ricky Gervaisand Stephen Merchant provide commentary for the second half of the special, and though they doget a bit silly, they are also rather amusing. The horrendous “If You Don’t Know Me By Now”video is here in its entirety, along with a short featurette about the making-of Brent’s B-side“Freelove Freeway” (and the full band performance is here too). The menu is animated in aminor way, and sound effects gradually creep in.
For once, the horse is not flogged to death. This is still a nastily funny exercise.
Special Features List
- Audio Commentary
- “The Office Closed for Business” Documentary
- Golden Globes Featurette
- “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” Music Video
- The Making of “Freelove Freeway”