Season #: 1, 2, 3

Universal acclaim - based on 12 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 12
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 12
  3. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Jul 25, 2013
    Gervais' show is so unusual, and his performance as David Brent is so painfully specific -- and sometimes just so flat-out painful -- it's hard to imagine how anyone else can make it work. [23 Jan 2003]
  2. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Jul 25, 2013
    A scream, in the biting Britcom tradition of "Fawlty Towers" and the best depiction of middle management hell since Mike Judge's cult classic "Office Space." [23 Jan 2003]
  3. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Jul 25, 2013
    The funniest thing you're likely to see all year.
  4. Reviewed by: Virginia Heffernan
    Jul 25, 2013
    As viewers, because of the incalculable talents of the actor Gervais, who also helped create the show, we must choose to humor David or to loathe him—and that choice is exciting, somehow, and challenging.
  5. Reviewed by: Heather Havrilesky
    Jul 25, 2013
    The first time you watch the show, you really don’t believe what you’re seeing. Each moment feels so real, it’s hard to tell if the actors are improvising brilliantly or just delivering their lines with incredible conviction. Like the best moments of 'This Is Spinal Tap' or 'Waiting for Guffman,' 'The Office' offers up breathtaking slices of deadpan humor and amazing comic timing.
  6. Reviewed by: Mike Duffy
    Jul 25, 2013
    Fascinating and outrageously witty ... the best new sitcom to hit American television since Larry David's similarly inspired "Curb Your Enthusiasm." ... An instant classic. [23 Jan 2003]
  7. Reviewed by: Joy Press
    Jul 25, 2013
    Wincingly funny ... It's the details that make the show so funny, not to mention the awesome veracity of the acting.
  8. Reviewed by: Christopher Sieving
    Jul 25, 2013
    In 10 years of reviewing film and television for various publications, no comedy has given me as much pleasure as The Office.
  9. Jul 25, 2013
    It takes a little while to get into it (episode two clinched it for me), but once you get used to the accents and dry humor, you're hooked. [23 Jan 2003]
  10. Reviewed by: Steve Johnson
    Jul 25, 2013
    "The Office" is everything television comedy can and ought to be but almost never is. ... The result is subtle, searing and laugh-bitterly-out-loud funny, like a series of the darkest Dilbert strips strung together and given human dimension and narrative shape. [30 Jan 2003]
  11. Reviewed by: Tom Shales
    Jul 25, 2013
    Mike Judge, creator of "Beavis and Butt-head," made a darn good try at a seriously funny workplace comedy with his 1999 film "Office Space," but Gervais and Merchant have even greater success. "The Office" is hilarious in a very hip and flippant way. [30 Jan 2003]
  12. 90
    It's a wonderful, subversive concept, and by failing to romanticize the players, "Office" remains true to its ghastly, funny self. [23 Jan 2003]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 88 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. Oct 7, 2010
    Arguably the funniest series ever made, The Office (UK) was a watershed television comedy, spawning a huge number of spinoffs around theArguably the funniest series ever made, The Office (UK) was a watershed television comedy, spawning a huge number of spinoffs around the globe. Using realism to leverage Ricky Gervais's gift for uncomfortable humor, the Office ratchets up the awkwardness, the so-called uncomfortable humor, to (hilariously) painful heights. The absence of the usual trappings of sit-coms, (e.g. studio laugh tracks, colorful sets, overly good looking actors/actresses, and well timed zingers) in favor of handheld shaky cams, a drab office set, and sidelong glances of mundane office drudgery benefits the show quite a bit, and it mainly serves to augment Gervais's genius comedic performance as the imbecilic, approval-seeking, white-collar middle manager, David Brent. Gervais humanizes David Brent just enough so we still care about him at the end of each episode, which is quite a feat, considering that with each episode, David manages to get himself into what would qualify, for most people I suspect, as a peak moment of utter mortification in front of peers. And yet we care because David exists in a world that is so similar to our own, inhabited by people and things so similar to us, and because we can spot the almost imperceptible yet definitely there moment when David's Cheshire grin crosses those razor thin lines from mirthfulness to desperation, finally settling on concealed humiliation. Also noteworthy, Martin Freeman turns in a fine performance as Tim, an underachiever fighting to stay afloat the a sea of mediocrity surrounding him. We learn about these characters and get to know them more intimately than we would on a standard sitcom. In keeping with the documentary conceit, the characters are given a chance to share their thoughts, one-on-one with the camera man. Of course, as is the case with all reality show soliloquy , the less said the better, at least for the one being interviewed. Overall, there is really no excuse not to invest the three hours or so it takes to watch Series 1, especially for fans of mockumentaries like Spinal Tap, Best in Show, and of course the American Version of The Office. P.S. Tip for fellow Americans: Watch it with the captions on for the first viewing if you are having trouble breaking through the accents. Full Review »
  2. Feb 27, 2014
    @TheChaser1985 - No such thing as too dry, that’s subjective, you mean too dry for yourself. That says more about your intellectual capacity@TheChaser1985 - No such thing as too dry, that’s subjective, you mean too dry for yourself. That says more about your intellectual capacity than anything about whether this show is or is not objectively ‘too dry’ which is an oxymoronic statement in this context and when issued without qualifiers such as ‘too dry for me’ and thus is redundant and thus ultimately ignored.

    Whether you did or did not laugh aloud to this is also subjective, and whilst critical deconstructions require and allow for some subjectivity, saying things like ‘this is too dry’ and ‘I didn’t laugh aloud’ proves nothing as to the show’s value or quality, it merely means it didn’t gel with your specific, subjective tastes, especially when you provide no logical, objective and insightful deconstruction as to why.

    The actors are horrible for their character? Care to elaborate? As without an elaboration it is a closed statement and means absolutely nothing other than the fact it ties in with the theme that you don’t understand what is going on here.

    The fact you say ‘yes I understand British comedy’ is defensive, typical of most Americans, as though simply by saying that you are impervious to any rebuttal as to the obvious notion that you do not understand British comedy, and certainly did not understand this show. You don’t, but I’ll prove that later on. This is not cinema and thus your absurd statement of ‘America is the king of cinema and it’s not even a close race’ is entirely null and void, other than the fact that it isn’t a close race, but America is losing said race. America is a cynical production-house of such ‘classics’ as Two and a Half Men, that’s your highest ranking comedy in terms of viewers – those are undeniable statistics and paint a very specific and undeniable picture of a class of people who enjoy immersion in mediocrity, laughter trackers and unrealistic plot-points. So that ends that part of your ‘deconstruction’.

    What you have failed to properly acknowledge is the fact that America, as it does with most quality British or European film and television, is xenophobic in nature and thus, if it is not created and packaged by and within America, resistant to accepting it. I refer to Let The Right One In, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and Death At A Funeral, in cinema, and Being Human, The Office and Skins, in television, to name just a few that have been repackaged within the last 3 or 4 years, and diluted to appeal to the conservative, middling nature of your country and its preferences. I refer to the fact that in Let The Right One In it was renamed Let Me In so the audience wouldn’t be confused pre-viewing as to what may go on, despite the title being based on the Swedish novel, and thus would maybe consider going to it, and also the fact they skipped over the part that the vampire in that film is actually a boy, due to your backward and homophobic tendencies which are still dangerously immersed in conservative religion. I refer also to the fact that Maxy, one of the most adored characters on UK’s Skins and who is homosexual, was repackaged to a lesbian cheerleader on your version of Skins so as not to put anyone offside, once again with the fear of homosexuality, anything too out-of-the-box (for your culture) and a need to tweak great ideas to water them down for the ignorant, closed-minded masses.

    See how these are facts? See how I’ve used items that are tangible and objective to rebut your biased, subjective opinions? That’s rhetorical by the way.

    John Kraskinski is one of the most boring, one-dimensional actors going around. Refer to his film listings on Rotten Tomatoes to see how he has gone in ‘comedy’ when he isn’t using paraphrased scripts from Ricky Gervais and Steve Merchant. Pathetically. Steve Carrell is indeed funny in the far inferior USA version of The Office, this argument is not about the fact USA’s version isn’t good, it is, but if it is good then UK’s version is a genre-changing miracle (which I say to develop the distance between the two but also tend to agree with).

    You acknowledge, somewhat backhandedly, that the USA version is in decline. It has been in decline since they started trying to write their own scripts. The first couple of seasons are funny, and that’s because the material is either a direct recreation, or a paraphrase, of the existing UK version. The further they’ve strayed from the existing source material the further they’ve gone off course and into the same kind of farcical, middling mediocrity that Two And A Half Men is world-famous for.

    NOW – I’m up to the part of your ‘argument’ that really brings you undone, which I referred to above regarding how you clearly don’t understand dry, subtle or British humour. When Ricky Gervais hosted that award, and called Steve Carrell ‘ungrateful’ as you say, and said ‘thanks for taking all my ideas and becoming famous off of it’ (paraphrased) you do realise he was being sarcastic right?

    Continued under profile TheIlluminati.
    Full Review »
  3. May 2, 2013
    A British comedy Gem, there are few shows that can match the brilliance that Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant have made with 'The Office'.A British comedy Gem, there are few shows that can match the brilliance that Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant have made with 'The Office'. If you haven't seen it yet, buy it now or watch it on Netflix, you want regret it. Full Review »