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Wolfville, Nova Scotia
Canada

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The Office

Chris Campbell

Gareth and DavidI've watched the first season of the BBC series, The Office and I love it. I'd read about it and saw most of an episode and took the plunge and bought the 2 DVD set. It's a 6 episode series set in the offices of Wernham-Hogg paper and it is shot in the style of a single-camera reality tv documentary. Cowritten and directed by Ricky Gervais (who plays David Brent, the boss from Hell) and Stephen Merchant it walks a fine line between comedy and pathos. The style works very well with the content and the actors. While on the surface it's a very dark comedy, there is a fascinating and touching level of identification that I feel with the characters. I actually work in a great office now, but what is fascinating about the show is the recognition of the absurdity of office life combined with the reality effect of the documentary camera. When I first watched it I felt uneasy as the show was so delicately balanced that some things were creepy...but that was the point and after watching more the sensibility of the show clicked in and it worked. Kind of like unfocusing your eyes to see one of those 3-D images...