BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Entertainment  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Wednesday, 2 October, 2002, 10:03 GMT 11:03 UK
The Office: Your views
Gareth (Mackenzie Crook) in The Office
The Office has been a huge hit for BBC Two
Bafta-winning sitcom The Office is back with a second series for those who cannot get enough of middle manager David Brent's cringe-worthy moments.

The series opens with the merger of the Slough and Swindon branches of the paper company, and Brent is feeling insecure as a new boss arrives.

"Comedy shows this inventive and funny come along all too rarely," wrote BBC News Online's Caroline Westbrook.

But what do you think?

This debate is now closed. Please see below for a selection of your comments.

Have your say

We sat watching The Office, squinting and with cushions over our heads, such was the cringe factor. Marvellous stuff! Painful to watch but inspired.
Helen, UK

The script lacks depth and the plot relies on the characters forged in the first series. It is quite often the case the second series fails to meet the high standards of the first.
John, Wales

I've never cried so much during a comedy - absolute class.
Rob, England

If anything this series is even better. Ricky Gervais is a comic genius in my opinion.
Lindsay Pritchard, Britain

Didn't catch much of the first series, but David Brent and co were on top form! Oh and then on Thursday we have the new series of the League of Gentlemen. Things are really looking up on BBC Two.
Jonny, UK

Ricky Gervais and the team have done it again. The opening episode of the new series picked up exactly as I expected it to from the first series, and if anything the cringe-worthy moments are even better. Brent's character assassination in his introduction to the new staff was painful to watch, but so hilarious as well, and the new characters look like they will fit into the office with consumate ease. Congratulations to The Office, it was a joy to watch (and cringe).
Kenny, England

Bit slow, however I am sure it will warm up.
Dave Jones, UK

I was so tired after working in the office all day, I fell asleep and missed it.
John Raggett, UK


Even funnier than the first series

Guy, UK
Simply painful to watch - in the best possible way! A cracking start, and I'm sure it'll continue.
Brian McConnell, Scotland

Still as brilliant as the last series. Picked up perfectly from last, I almost cried with laughter again. David getting told off for his offensive jokes was classic. Hurray!
James Smith, England

First episode was brilliant, just where it left off last series. Almost made me feel like looking forward to going to work in the morning. Some of the one-liners were absolutely typical of the place where I work. Where does he get it all from? Painfully funny.
Stephen O'Connell, UK

It's brilliant and hopefully the next few weeks' episodes will not be a let down. We definitely will buy the DVD for the first series! Well done to BBC for the great entertainment!
Nazlee, UK

Even funnier than the first series. It's much more cringe-making as well. Good stuff. Hope it continues!
Guy, UK

FANTASTIC!! Second series is usually not as good the first but if they keep this up they'll be collecting a raft of awards next year :-)
Richard Riley, UK


It was cringeworthy, but very funny, and very cleverly written

Simon Watkins, Wales
This was the scariest thing I've seen since the Blair Witch project. After an initial guffaw, prompted by a milk monitor joke, the succession of noises I made were increasingly higher-pitched, strangulated pleas for clemency. As a child, I could look the daleks straight in the (one) eye; I spent most of The Office staring down the side of the sofa. Challenging and compulsive stuff.
Hong, UK

I laughed myself hoarse. A second series of any comedy will obviously lack any originality of the first. Nevertheless The Office is still sheer class, I can't wait for the next episode for me to cringe some more.
Alexander Storch, Wales

It was cringeworthy, but very funny, and very cleverly written. So far every bit as good as series one.
Simon Watkins, Wales

Hilarious and excruciating at the same time. Reminds me why I went freelance three years ago and have absolutely no desire to go back!
Andrzej Wawrowski, UK

If only the office did have characters in it like that it would make work a lot more interesting. I found it very funny.
Steve, UK

Not only was it very funny but has also given the Royal family an alternative to playing Trivial Pursuit on Christmas Day!
James Bailey, England


The whole cast was great, the long, slow looks at their faces told far more than their words

Steve Shepherd, UK
TV worth staying in for! An excellent start to the second series. Gervais is a genius.
Russell Hamilton, Scotland

A bit soon to say whether it will reach the heights of series one but, based on last night, I'm optimistic. Just hope it doesn't get shunted out of the way for the bleedin' snooker.
Paul Nagle, England

The new series mercifully plunged straight into the murky abyss that is Brent's soul. Despite the broad brush strokes it was a masterpiece of subtleties (Brent's split-second glances at camera, intricate "honest" ignorance vs indignation subplot etc.) Brent is so effectively dreadful because he isn't totally wrong, just wrong enough.
Jeff Harbourne, England

Comedy? I thought it was a documentary? I work in Slough and thought I'd seen the manager. Blimey!!
Andy McC, England

Really painfully embarrassing and sharply observed. The whole cast was great, the long, slow looks at their faces told far more than their words. I laughed out loud. Terrific stuff!
Steve Shepherd, UK

Due to the hype and build up for the second series, I was quite disappointed with last night's show. Like Trigger Happy TV, there is only so much you can do with a great idea. Ricky Gervais is a clever and funny man but I wouldn't call him a genius and certainly not up there with the likes of Steve Coogan and Peter Kay, who are in my opinion modern day comedian greats.
Shueng, Crewe, England

Excellent, a real class act of comedy. A true reflection of real office humour, especially the joke. Looking forward to more.
Darren, England


As I'm expecting David Brent to be pathetic, crass and insensitive, the novelty has worn off for me

Alex Quant, UK
Absolutely hysterical. Ricky Gervais is a comic genious.
Nick, England

"STOP! KEEP AWAY FROM THE COOKIE JAR!" Brilliant!
Josie, UK

The balance between boring office life and the comedy is fantastic. I think it's even funnier to look back on than to watch at the time. Our office has been full of quotes this morning and I've even managed to get a few more people to watch. Can't wait for the appraisal episode next week!!
Peter, UK

I really miss the nice Tim; we could all see a little bit of ourselves in him and he gave a touch of tragedy and reality to the show!
Wendy, UK

Quite funny. As I'm expecting David Brent to be pathetic, crass and insensitive, the novelty has worn off for me.
Alex Quant, UK

It's fantastic, but not for everyone, my boss doesn't seem to get the humour and actually looks up to David Brent as a people person!
Ollie, UK


Wicked first episode that leaves me feeling sad that my job in the paper industry is not as interesting

Terry McBlatt, UK
If you do not understand this comedy then there is a big chance you could resemble one of the characters. This should be standard viewing on management courses.
NF, London

As an ex-member of the Territorial Army with a propensity for telling dodgy jokes I still felt very uncomfortable watching it, so it must have been as good as ever. The League of Gentlemen on the other hand was poor by comparison with the last series.
James Crosby, Telford, UK

Like David's jokes I am sure the show will pick up! Gareth is on top form as usual.... Very cringeworthy!
Ed and Mark, England

Fantastically, wonderfully, blissfully painful.
Tjeerd Hendel-Blackford, UK


With the Office, League of Gentlemen, and Coupling, BBC2 IS the channel to watch

Steve, Wales
Wicked first episode that leaves me feeling sad that my job in the paper industry is not as interesting. Ricky reaches out to me in a special way.
Terry McBlatt, England

Worryingly, I think I used to work there. All together now, "nahnahnahnah ...dododododo..."
Cat, UK

Gervais has gone the extra mile to make us cringe this series. Cushions only normallly used for surgical dramas came into their own last night, partly to shield my eyes from the antics of Brent et al and moreover to wipe the tears of laughter away - brilliant.
John Wilson, England

I work from home for myself and as such don't have office co-workers, so this inspired piece of comedy genius just reminds me of what I'm missing!
Steve Roberts, UK

Pure quality....... I want a boss like Brent. With the Office, League of Gentlemen, and Coupling, BBC2 IS the channel to watch. Well done!
Steve, Wales


Not quite as subtle as the first series but I like the development of the relationship between Tim and the receptionist

Raf, England
I find it so clever to have David Brent dig himself into a huge hole - then keep on digging and yet keep it believeable that he is not sacked on the spot. Loved the show.
A different Rob, England

I found this documentary disturbing, surely this is a warning to management everywhere to sharpen up their acts? Good, solid reporting, well done the Beeb!
Damon, England

Pure class. Gervais and co are back and on top form. Roll on next Monday!!
Lee, England

Not quite the show stopper I was waiting for all summer, but I have faith it will be another great series. Gervais was so cringe-worthy that it almost hurt. I can't remember having ever looked forward to Mondays...
B. Spider, England

Fantastic! So happy it's back. Long live David Brent (and Gareth Keenan of course).
Ciara, Ireland

I saw only bits and pieces of the first series, but from what I remember, this new series is even better.
Reg Pither, England

Great first episode! And I am sure the rest of the series will be just as good if not better.
Simon Overthrow, Wales

Not quite as subtle as the first series but I like the development of the relationship between Tim and the receptionist. Do they ever get it together??
Raf, England


This is without doubt the funniest comedy since Blackadder

Dean, UK
My boyfriend and I watched The Office for the first time last night. We almost couldn't stand to watch it such was the cringe factor. It's a brilliantly written and well cast show that's only funny because it's all so true!!
AH, UK

Wonderful. No other way to say it!
Richard Mitton, UK

Very funny...but not as good as the repeat of I'm Alan Partridge which was on later...
Neil, England

Gervais and Merchant are comic geniuses. If you think The Office is slow, you just don't understand the humour. I can't wait for more.
Neil Denning, London, Uk

Ricky Gervais' characterisation is pure class - a distillation of small minded, ignorant and egotistical people in the workplace. We can all see elements of his grotesque character in people we know. To be able to make his outrageous statements without raising the ire of just about any minority group you can name is the work of true comic genius.
Nathan, UK

Already Eric Hitchmoe is the talk of our office: "I do not agree with that in the workplace".

This is without doubt the funniest comedy since Blackadder.
Dean, UK

It's just like being at work. Except I'm at home, not getting paid. Damn.
Chris Buxton, England


A timeless classic has been unleashed

Bob Skeens, UK
Uuuuurgh!! I cannot believe that as a grown man I was left squirming on the sofa with discomfort at a TV programme! I kept on wanting to turn the channel over, but felt compelled to watch (or listen whilst I hid behind the cushions) so I saw it through to the end...Even speaking to people about it in work, this morning (a sign of a good show) I am still cringing at some of the things that were said...
Jon Wedge, Manchester, North England

Genius! We were all tense on the sofa for the duration of this fantastic opening episode. The strength of the writing let alone Ricky Gervais' superb performance is just incredible. An amazing return!
Glenn Stokes, UK

Excellent - truely is the best comedy on TV... I absolutely love the show.
Emily Comerford, Ireland

Innovative, incisive, intelligent and funny - why can't all British comedy dramas be like The Office? Mackenzie Crook's character, Gareth is superb. Keep up the good work.
Anon, UK

The subtlety of the humour in the first of the new series is amazing. After it was finished I was still squirming in delight. A timeless classic has been unleashed.
Bob Skeens, UK

Excellent. The cringe factor was so good my girlfriend left the room because she couldn't take anymore. She doesn't work in an office but I do so I must be slightly immune.
Richard, London UK


Good, but not as brilliant as I had been led to believe it would be

Judy, England
It was so good I had to turn it off during the speech welcoming the Swindon staff. How many times have we seen that at work? Following Coupling, what an hour of intense creative comedy writing ... brilliant.
Julian, UK

This sort of programme justifies the license fee. How hard would it be to have something this funny on every night?
N Dowley, UK

It was absolutely fantastic. When the Brentmeister did the Basil Fawlty walk I almost had to call a surgeon to sew up my sides.
80s Gordon, Scotland

Absolutely fantastic- is this the best thing on TV?
Paul Cruise, UK

Almost unwatchable - fantastic!
Neil, UK

Good, but not as brilliant as I had been led to believe it would be.
Judy, England

Long awaited, but well worth the wait. My sides have actually split! Will hopefully have recovered for the next dose on Monday. Can't wait!
Mathew, Wales


Marvellous! If it wasn't through fear of being sued, I'd tell you exactly what company it's like that I used to work for

Andy A, UK
Could barely catch my breath for all the laughing. They have managed to create a show that is so cringe-worthy it makes you want to switch channels, all the while you are eagerly anticipating the next classic moment. Absolute genius!
Chris, Ireland

Utterly superb. I had doubts it would stand up to the first series but they are gone. Your stomach churns and splits at the same time watching Brent try to deal with more people than he can possibly cope with. Genius genius genius.
Steve, London, UK

The funniest thing on TV. True to form and more embarrassing than usual. Well done BBC.
Howard, UK

Marvellous! If it wasn't through fear of being sued, I'd tell you exactly what company it's like that I used to work for...
Andy A, UK

Buttock clenchingly painful to watch - especially the presentation scene. I began shouting at the television "Noooo, stop it, stop it." The genius of Gervais shines through once more - superb.
Tim Hadley, UK

What's so brilliant about this? The joke appears to be the cringe factor and not much else. The novelty wore off after 10 minutes and I turned off and did something less boring instead
Allan, Scotland

I have a very good sense of humour and I find things like Phenonix Nights etc very funny. I sat and watched The Office last night and I laughed once. It was very unfunny and lacked any acting skills. It was like watching a school role play session for PSE.
Joel Tobias, Leeds, UK


The David Brent squirm factor is almost too much for me though

Chris, UK
Possibly the least funny comedy since The Royle Family. Maybe it's because I don't work in a dysfuntional office with managers that would have been sacked years ago but it didn't raise a smile once. Emperors new clothes anyone?
Matt, UK

Watched through the gaps between our fingers, whilst cringing and murmuring "Oh nooo..." I think that was the desired effect.
Rhona, UK

We have a boss here who is soooo like the big man from The Office, it's unreal. I sit here now and watch him constantly behave in a way that can only be described as "pinched off the TV". Classic!
Anon, UK

Quality programme. Can't wait for next week. It reminds everyone of someone they know at work.
Trevor Tannenbaum, UK

I'd just watched Coupling, which was full of cringy moments. The Office was the killer though. I know people like that. Complete lack of self-awareness. Classic!
Mike Rew, UK

That's the first time I've had to hide behind the sofa since watching Dr Who when I was eight.
Dave, UK

Bit early to say whether this series will live up to the last but the interaction between Gareth, Tim and Dawn is still fantastic. The David Brent squirm factor is almost too much for me though.
Chris, UK

It's just so true! That's what makes it so scaringly funny!!
Kevin, England

It's same as series one but who cares! Ricky Gervais is getting better as an actor. Brent seems even more tragic and his speech last night was one of the most painful things I've ever seen on TV. I've never looked forward to mondays so much before.
Ian, UK


A friend of mine nailed it when he said The Office made him laugh himself silly whilst simultaneously depressing the hell out of him

Andy Trump, UK
The series is great! - Ricky Gervais' character David Brent is SO like my boss it's scary! His mannerisms are the same, as are his pathetic attempts at comedy and trying to be "one-of-the-lads". It's painful to watch on TV, but I know I can be in my office today and see it first hand! Great show - keep it up!
Lee, UK

Inspired. I couldn't tear my eyes away for the whole programme!
Chris Taylor, UK

Painful to watch, absolutely hideous. Superb. Nice to see they haven't abandoned the characters in favour of easy laughs. Brent's "Who complained?" moment had my teeth itching and wanting to turn it off. Genius.
Andy, UK

I was worried that the new series wouldn't live up to the first, but not anymore. A friend of mine nailed it when he said The Office made him laugh himself silly whilst simultaneously depressing the hell out of him. All the performances are superb and so understated it's easy to forget you're watching spoof. Very, very good.
Andy Trump, UK

During David Brent's "welcome" to the new staff I sat there and just wanted to die. I never knew that could be such a positive experience! Fantastic.
Richard Bell, UK


Cringe-worthy is too soft, we watched behind our hands for most of the episode

Chontelle Stevens, UK
Absolutely fantastic! It was everything that I expected, good to see them all back in the office!
Baz Khinda, England

Quality muppet humming opening.
Jon R, UK

Strangely enough, you'll find that nearly all the comments you receive will be in praise of this drivel. Because you can only comment on something if you've actually watched. And you'll only watch it if you find it funny.

Let the viewing figures tell us whether it's as much of a "success" as the last series was!
John, UK

Brilliant, absolutely brilliant. Never have I enjoyed a programme so much whilst hiding behind a cushion.
Olly Reed, England

Even funnier than the last series, but when are we going to see Finchy?
Helen, England

Fantastic, though I am trying to decide which of the characters I most resemble...
Matt, UK

So brilliantly cringe-makingly observed, it made my teeth itch to watch. A rival for Porridge as the best comedy of all time!
Ben, Beds, UK

Cringe-worthy is too soft, we watched behind our hands for most of the episode. Yet I think most people can say they have worked with someone like that, I have! Back for more next week.
Chontelle Stevens, UK

More quality from the "chilled-out entertainer"....
Craig, Scotland living in England


Boss's presentation scene ott and lacked the plausibility of the first series. Verdict: trying too hard

Stephen Moore, UK
Absolute agony. For much of the programme I had to have a cushion on my head (at the ready), and at one point I leapt from my chair screaming "Noooooo". Fantastic. It is the first programme in years that I will make a point to watch.
Will, UK

Although brilliantly conceived and written, I find it almost completely unwatchable. I don't mind cringing mildly at some points during a programme, but find nothing entertaining about doing it without ceasing for 30 minutes.
Edward, UK

Good in parts, but repeated all the funny situations (sexism, racism, embarrassments of the boss) which were previously spread over several episodes into one show....therefore very repetitive. Boss's presentation scene ott and lacked the plausibility of the first series. Verdict: trying too hard.
Stephen Moore, UK

Not bad at all! I am just hoping that the new "Swindon" characters get a substantial role in this series as new faces are needed. I sometimes wish my office was like this, would be a change to the boredom I experience here.
I Rentmeesters, Belgium

It was an absolute treat to watch last night. I give it a cringe factor of 9.9 because of its reality in some offices that I have worked in over the past 5 years! Brilliant!
John Beckett, London, UK

Great show, makes you cringe and laugh. David just digs himself deeper and deeper into trouble and it gets worse for him the more he tries to fix things. What with Alan Partridge back in a few weeks, and the great Coupling on beforehand, BBC2 is essential Monday night comedy viewing.
Martin Darlington, Surrey, UK


How does Ricky Gervais write and then become someone as pitiful and horrifying as David Brent? Magnificent

Robin Rogers, UK
Absolutely brilliant. My boss in our office says he can't see anything funny in it. I wonder why?
Hector, UK

What can I say, another serving of sublime comedy writing. The strength of this great comedy is in the observation of the real, portrayed as the surreal.

The office "Party" that ends with everyone returning neatly to their desks, the non-descript manager who believes that the people he manages are not just staff but an audience to play to, the NERVE shredding annoyance of the latest novelty toy being brought into the workplace and tortured to death, the TOTAL dependance of the middle aged manager on obtuse references to non-descript conferences for cheap laughs which are only understood by their cronies. As I say, TOTALLY accurate, and truly awesome.

I hailed the first series as one of the best and innovative pieces of British comedy, on the strength of last night's programme, Monday nights will be great once more!
Mark Philpot, UK


If the rest of the series is up to this standard, then Ricky Gervais can expect to complete his set of book-ends with a second BAFTA

Stuart Walsh, England
I forgot how much it made me cringe and squirm!! Absolutely brilliant!
Simon S, Oxfordshire, UK

The preceding series, Coupling, is funny, but we never believe we're watching real people. The real people work in The Office. How does Ricky Gervais write and then become someone as pitiful and horrifying as David Brent? Magnificent.
Robin Rogers, UK

This is very clever writing. Gareth's now even more git-ish with his hair-cut, cookie jar and phone and he's apparently completed chapter one of How to Pull Birds by Wayne Slob. Tim is living up to his new role as SENIOR sales-rep and occasonally bosses around the only person who takes notice of him, Dawn, while she hankers after the days when they just spent their time at work annoying Gareth and having a laugh, but still under the ever present gaze of big, beefy boyfriend.

Dave, now he has a "pile of men under him", has redefined his role from "Friend, Manager, Entertainer" to "Entertainer, Manager" (yeah, right!) Redundancy candidate, although he still keeps his eye on the fly on the wall crew so perhaps he's auditioning for a role as TV presenter. Obviously he won't get it as every scene he's in makes you squirm! If the rest of the series is up to this standard, then Ricky Gervais can expect to complete his set of book-ends with a second BAFTA.
Stuart Walsh, England


There were some great moments in last night's Office but Brent is such a one-joke/note character

Tom, UK
Good to see the quality hasn't dropped between series. The jokes were well written and extremely well performed, especially the odd small glance at the camera from a few of the characters, really adds to the fly-on-the-wall effect.
Phil North, England

The more I watch the programme, the more I am convinced that Gervais based the Brent character on my boss! Marvellous stuff.
Dan, Surrey, UK

Achingly painful and funny at the same time. Brent's excruciating welcome speech was one of the best pieces of comedy seen this year. This series looks to be even better than the last.
Martin Neville, UK

For so long, Homer Simpson has been my role model. Now I have a new idol. Sheer inspired brilliance. I can't wait to try out the new techniques on my staff.
Toby Aldrich, UK

Brilliant - just brilliant. It's a cringe-a-minute sit-com. David Brent is a perfect patchwork of every bad manager. I would like to see more from the rest of the cast though.
Martin Randall, UK

If this is the best of British comedy, bring back the Americans!
Andy Wood, UK

There were some great moments in last night's Office but Brent is such a one-joke/note character plus there was a solid 15 minutes of cringe which Cleese at least ensured was continually broken up with laugh-out-loud gags.
Tom, UK


Pretty tame and I think I'd only have found it side splittingly funny on a Friday after a few beers!

Duncan Callow, England
Ouch. Although we are all familiar with the set up, it is still the most inventive show on TV. My email had 14 messages in it before 8:30am with various cookie jar references. Genius.
Rich, UK

I'd not seen any of the first series, but based on last night's episode it is sheer class. Mackenzie Crook is superb, and Ricky Gervais is a genius!
Scott, UK

Painfully well observed and oddly touching at times.
Toby Mathews, UK

I thought it was brilliant and although Ricky Gervais's performance is wonderul and highly acclaimed I think the whole cast (especially Martin Freeman's "Tim" who is struggling to accept his place in life as an office worker, deserves the highest praise possible).
Debbie, England

I just had to shut my eyes and cringe. It was wonderful.
Chris Green, UK

Much hyped, eagerly anticiptated but a big disappointment. Pretty tame and I think I'd only have found it side splittingly funny on a Friday after a few beers! Here's hoping for an improvement.
Duncan Callow, England

I cried with laughter last night watching The Office, then cried with sadness this morning when I remembered I had to go and work in a office!
Martin, UK


Really cannot see what all the fuss is about

Nick Dogilewsky, UK
Not a patch on Alan Partridge - also shown last night.
Roger, UK

I can't understand the fuss. The producers have obviously never worked in an office themselves. It doesn't reflect anywhere that I have worked in the last 30 years.
Julian, UK

Although I never saw the first series, I couldn't believe how boring it was! Too painful to watch, too difficult to stay awake. My time was better spent watching the latest episode of Friends.
Wim, Netherlands

No better or worse then the last series, just consistently perfect!
Theresa, England

As funny as the first series, if not more so!! I laughed and winced as David Brent went about his introduction to the new Swindon staff. Coupling before hand was also very funny.
Richard Scott, UK

Inspired. I feel like I felt as a kid when Christmas arrived. The wait since series one has been intolerable, but well worth it. This is as good as Fawlty Towers or any of the classics. We will be watching videos of this for years to come.
Ian, England

Absolute dross, no comedy there at all, I really cannot see what all the fuss is about.
Nick Dogilewski, UK

Very good, an improvement on the first series I think. They are really building on the characters "good" points and still manage to keep vaguely in tune to real offices and their quirks.
Stephen, UK


This is pure genius. I have never ever wanted the ground to swallow me up simply by watching a character on TV making a complete fool of himself

Anne, England
I think this series will be as good, if not better than the last one. Gareth just cracks me up. Isn't it scary that there are actually people exactly like Gareth and David Brent that work with us. Well I know of a few in my office anyway.
Celia, Scotland

Toe-curlingly brilliant! Highlight of the viewing week.
Heather, Belgium

I've been looking forward to this for ages. Cringey and painful to watch, but it's brilliant! The understated acting is superb.
Paul, UK

Excellent start to the series. Looked forward to the new series and it didn't let me down. Top class writing.
Gerry Kirby, England

Apart from laughing, I spent most of it saying "I've worked with managers like that". Wonderful, it has captured the office environment perfectly. It is embarrassing to watch ... I love it!
Laura, UK

Opening episode was amazing. All I did was laugh and cringe at the same time. That presentation he gave reminded me of an old boss!
Mark, UK

You always have to be careful not to rely solely on "more of the same" with a second series. Credible cringeworthiness and new characters should ensure success however as the Swindon gang merge in!
Chris Thomas, UK

For the benefit of John in Wales, the success of The Office is becuase it doesn't have a script, and because it does build up the characters perfectly. What more could you want? This is pure genius. I have never ever wanted the ground to swallow me up simply by watching a character on TV making a complete fool of himself. The point of this show is that it takes real life characters and shows them as they are. There's nothing so funny as real life.
Anne, England


The first show was a sluggish one-joke mess

Barry Lynch, Ireland
Excellent start to the new series - you had to cringe as Brent dug himself deeper and deeper into holes. Can't wait for the reappearance of the mighty Finchy, Brent's drinking partner from hell.
Tim, UK

Brilliant. Full of excruciating, delicious moments of hide-behind-your-hands embarrassment. This is destined to be a classic. Well done BBC.
Alan Vaughan, UK

What can I say, except..."The Royal Family are sitting down to Christmas lunch..." Classic comedy, cringeworthy and hilarious. Bring it on!
Liz, UK

Brilliant, Brilliant, Brilliant. David Brent physically makes me curl up in a ball with his comments. In a way you feel so sorry for him trying so hard to be popular - he confuses popularity with respect, ending up with neither. What a fantastic continuation of the brilliant insight into half the nation's everyday life - The Office.
Ben Wilson, UK

Didn't like it at all - especially the managers. The good manager is never like that in my experience - only the bad ones.
John Griffiths, Wales

Brilliant and beautifully observed like slugs on razor blades.
Paul Stringer, UK

Wow, I thought the first episode was brilliant, using a docu-soap format, where more was implied than seen, the opposite of most sitcoms. I missed the first series as I was out of the country, so I was intrigued to see what all of the hype was about. I was not disappointed. However there were parts that were so cringe-making that I had to watch behind my hands. David Brent is an excellent comic monster, and I will definitely be watching next week.
Hugh, London, UK


I will be having my annual appraisal next tuesday. I hope to pick up a few tips after watching next monday's "appraisal" episode

Henry Wolney, UK
The first show was a sluggish one-joke mess. The cast mumbled their lines, the performance of Rick Gervais lacked any kind of energy and some of the camera work in attempting a cinema verite style was just amateurish. Nice film stock though.
Barry Lynch, Ireland

I never watched any of the first series so I cannot make a comparrison. However I watched last night's show and I found it funny but hand over the eyes/ears cringe-worthy. My other half tried to grab the remote to turn over as she found it too painfully embarrassing to watch. The welcoming speech made by Ricky Gervais, I don't know the character names yet, made me want to laugh out loud and shoot him to end our mutual embarrassment and suffering. Is this the normal reaction most people get when watching the show?
Michael, UK

Had my mate Swaffy in tears and chuckling for more. Oggy Swaffy Oggy oi oi oi!! Where can we get one of the talking cookie jars?
Thorpy, England

You may not believe this but in 1998-1999 I actually had a boss who was like a twin brother of David Brent (except that he was Indian). He was incompetent, cowardly, vindictive, egoistic, professionally dishonest and stupid.

If you never have had a boss like that, you will not understand the emotions I went through when I first watched The Office! Thank you Ricky Gervais.
Pratik B, India/UK

I will be having my annual appraisal next tuesday. I hope to pick up a few tips after watching next monday's "appraisal" episode.

PS Wim from The Netherlands - in Friends the gags are intentionally played for laughs, whereas in The Office it is David Brent's self-belief in his own ability to make the rest of his team laugh, rather than any of his so-called jokes, that makes the show painfully funny.
Henry Wolny, UK


What really is funny is that all the people who are now reciting lines from last night's show are the sort of sad losers that this programme is taking the micky out of

Peter T, UK
Coupling immediately beforehand shows far better script writing, delivery, timing and understanding of comedy. The Office may have cringeworthiness as its selling point. But having watched it last night to see what all the fuss was about, was not sure whether I was supposed to cringe on behalf of the characters or the actors. Frankly - rubbish.
Tom, UK

To all those "middle" managers out there, you can't say you had no idea of what a prat you've been! David Brent is the best character since Basil Fawlty!
Eddie, N.Ireland

WOW! What a fantastic return to form. Perfect opening episode, with great pace and sharply observed humour throughout. Anyone who as any experiance of office-work can instantly relate to 99% of what we saw last night, and I can't believe how good a hit rate this comedy achieves. The dynamic between Tim and Gareth is as inspired as ever (the Ogi phone call met by Tim's sarcastic response was class). Roll on next week's episode!!! A+
Barclay, UK

I was disappointed, to be honest, although I loved the first series. That Peter Kay Show on Channel 4 last night was far superior and it's good to see that Coupling hasn't lost any of its appeal.
Andy, UK

Where's all the subtlety gone? What really is funny is that all the people who are now reciting lines from last night's show are the sort of sad losers that this programme is taking the micky out of. Or is that too subtle for some of you?
Peter T, UK


Those people struggling to find the jokes have obviously become too reliant on canned laughter!

Dave, UK
BRILLIANT! Dave performs a cretinous character and he just expresses it in such a natural way that makes us feel ashamed of all office people who take their job too seriously, hiding their real nature behind silly and invented social rules of behaviour.
Analgesio, Italy

Unbelievable! RG is a genius. Cringe factor was off the scale....Did you hear the one about the royal family playing 20 questions? Anyway Camilla said....
John, Wirral

I can't see how anyone thought it was funny. In fact I did tape the episode as it will provide a jolly useful multimedia interlude during my "Management Masterclass" - £2,500 a day. That David Brent person is a great role model for the aspiring middle-manager in the cut-throat world of consumable supplies.
Mike, UK

Brilliant! I watched most of it through my fingers. David Brent's speech was fantastic, I hope next week's is as good!
Glyn , England

One of the funniest moments was when Gareth and Tim were intoducing themselves to the new woman from Swindon and debating which of them saw her first, and after a brief delay the geeky bloke with the beard standing next to them by way of intoduction just says "Keith".The expression on their faces!
Richard, England


I was really disappointed and no one at work talked about it either

Peter, UK
Classic. The documentary format works marvellously well. Those people struggling to find the jokes have obviously become too reliant on canned laughter!

The best bit for me was Gareth's "Oggy oggy oggy!" scene. The comedy in this scene was so subtle as to be hilarious.
Dave, UK

From those mails shown only 10 had negative points. Never saw the first series, watched this becase of the hype and wished I had watch the news, it was more funny. This has nothing to do with office life and I have never seen any manager do what the boss did. Total drivel, but it has an audience so will no doubt be hailed a success. I was really disappointed and no one at work talked about it either.
Peter, UK

I thought it was good, but compared to the massively high standards the first series set was a bit below par. There were lots of mildly amusing bits but no laugh-out-loud funny moments. But, seeing as it is only the first episode, I suppose we cannot expect miracles.
James Smith, England

Superb, just like Phoenix Nights, the second series lived up to expectations and then some. All we need now is for the new Partridge series to do the same.

Oh, and to answer John's point, just because a show isn't watched by 15-16 million doesn't mean that is isn't good, and vice versa. I never cease to be amazed at the number of people who watch the badly acted, self-satisfied, po-faced politically correct, right-on, badly written collection of cliches that is Eastenders.
Andy C, England

Like last series I just want to slap Gareth for being so annoying and as soon as I saw one of the new staff was in a wheelchair I started to cringe thinking of what David Brent might say. Along with League Of Gentlemen and Coupling, another good new series (although the first are always the best).
Laura Goldsmith, England


t's just like those mediocre sitcoms of the 1970s - forgettable and just not funny

Peter Naylor, UK
Brilliant start to a second series. Ricky Gervais joins the ranks of the Comedy Greats: Sessions, Cleese, Milligan...
Simon , England

If it is as bad as the first sesies I will switch off! What utter rubbish.
Steven, England

Brilliant, this latest series follows straight on from previous. David Brent's lack of PC must remind a lot of us of similar gaffs we have all made.
Ian, Lancaster

Loved this programme. Brent's a beast, even blamed the other chap for his rubbish presentation "He put me off". Classic stuff this...
Craig Munday, UK

Absolute rubbish. Call this comedy? If you do, you are easily entertained.
Mark, England

A very funny and original series that has continued into the second series. Unmissable.
Robert Davis, UK

What can I say? Superb. Ricky Gervais was excellent. Do we really have to wait until Monday???
Lee, Swindon (!) UK

Never have I been more excited at the prospect of a new series of anything - The Office didn't let down ...Ricky is brilliant, it's a shame some people just "don't get it". Roll on next monday (God, what am I saying?!! )
Doug, UK


There may be some universal truths being portrayed but its nothing like an office. Perhaps that doesn't matter but it stifles most of the laughs for me

Paul, UK
I fail to see what the fuss is about; it's rubbish! It's just like those mediocre sitcoms of the 1970s - forgettable and just not funny. Give me The League of Gentlemen anyday - now that IS good.
Peter Naylor, UK

Magical!! Ricky Gervais can do no wrong, carried straight on from the first series and delivered with excellence. "OGGY OGGY OGGY!"
Robert Leek, Bradford

I think the problem is that while there's some real observation and wonderful acting, it's not REAL somehow. It's what actors who have never worked in an office THINK being in an office must be like. Can anyone with any experience of a senior sales rep think for a second that the character who is supposed to be one would be so downtrodden? I've never met a real sales person who isn't ruthless or smart (not necessarily both).

There may be some universal truths being portrayed but its nothing like an office. Perhaps that doesn't matter but it stifles most of the laughs for me.
Paul, UK


I don't think I laughed at all. I feel very sad watching this

Michael, England
Watched last and laughed until tears were in my eyes! Gareth "Team Leader" and Tim " Senior Sales Consultant", what leaders they are! David, well he's done it again.
Jimmy T, UK

I didn't see much of the first series, and whilst I did enjoy last night's episode, I guess that I swim against the tide of adulation here, by saying that I thought the comic focus on "that joke" was excessive and unnecessary. Perhaps it's just that I would have been one of those in the office complaining about the joke.
Andy, England

I was in stitches last night watching The Office, I had tears running down my face and it's so true, you do cringe watching it!!!
Michelle Thornton, London

"He's just a tiny bit more senior than me." I'm already sad at the prospect of this new series finishing in 6 weeks time.
Martin Day, UK

Perhaps a little less deft than the first series. Gervais risked overplaying his character as did the rest of the cast. Still-inspired comedy by any reckoning.
Shane, UK

Painful, certainly. Close to some truth, definitely, but funny? I don't think I laughed at all. I feel very sad watching this.
Michael, England


Funniest thing I've ever seen on TV

Adrian, UK
Everybody knows a David Brent. At times I just had to leave the room under the pretence of making tea as it was so embarrassing. It is funny, realistic and painful to watch all at the same time. A work of genius from all involved
Cam, England

Well, what can I say but brilliant! As you can see by my e-mail address I work within a paper merchants, and I'm sure you've bugged my office to obtain material for this excellent programme, for it is spookily close to the characters who work here. Keep up the good work Ricky. P.S You need to include a health and safety guy, come down and our H&S guy will be able to give you plenty of cringe factor material for you to include for the next series.
Lee Cornell, Britain

Utter rubbish! Totally unfunny, completely false and not worthy of a primetime TV slot. Bring back Red Dwarf!
Chris Tagg, UK

Sublime. I turned round to look at my friends while it was on and one of them, by no means a squeamish person, was actually hiding behind his hands. Funniest thing I've ever seen on TV.
Adrian, UK


The Office has to be one of the best comedies of all time along with Alan Partridge and Fawlty Towers

Leon, UK
I'll have you know that a bomb did a lot more damage in Swindon than £15 worth (but not much). What a great start to the second series.
Ken, Swindon, UK

I think it's a brilliant comedy! Very funny and realistic!! I will definitely be watching the new series. We keep watching the older ones as well and can't get enough!
Marloes, Belgium

My boss uses this for a role model.
Tony Parker, England

I hope John, UK, appreciates the irony of his statement. He claims that only people who find The Office funny would watch it and and then send in a comment about it. yet he proclaims the show to be drivel. Seems that he has a touch of the Brentmeister about him or he just hasn't watched it. Bit close to the bone, eh John?
Iain, UK

A triumphant return for the Brentmeister-General. I'm already getting edgy in anticipation of next week's Appraisals episode.
Jon, UK

Great to see it back. Just as funny, but I thought the cringe factor was higher this time - especially when Brent made his speech to welcome the new crew from Swindon. It was almost too embarrassing to watch.
Ida, Woking, UK

I nearly suffered involuntary incontinence.
Beth, NI


Don't you get the ultimate joke? It is not about Brent or Gareth but you sitting at your desks for 40-plus hours a week for 40-odd years of your lives!

Peter Morgan, UK
The Office has to be one of the best comedies of all time along with Alan Partridge and Fawlty Towers. David Brent's attempt at stand up comedy during his welcome speech was the most cringing and funniest things I have ever seen. Although Brent is so awful, he still manages to gain my sympathy when the other over-serious area managers and staff gang up on him. The only people who don't appreciate this comedy are the very ones who The Office sets out to poke fun at. I work in an office and I've been trying hard to keep a straight face all day as the memory of last night's episode keeps repeating in my mind.
Leon, London,UK

As someone who escaped a number of years ago the pathetic mind-numbing existence that is working in an office, it is obvious that there is a major irony in the popularity of The Office. That is for all those who find it cringe worthy and the characters all so recognisable, that the joke is infact on you, that you yourselves should be willing to waste the major part of your lives in such pathetic and mind-numbing organisations yourself!!

Don't you get the ultimate joke? It is not about Brent or Gareth but you sitting at your desks for 40-plus hours a week for 40-odd years of your lives!!! Brent is so sad he wants the office to have a laugh about the cookie jar...how many people today are similarly wanting their office to have a laugh about David Brent? Think about it!
Peter Morgan, Oxford, UK

Just watched last night's episode for the second time. It's sheer genius, the cringe factor is even more the second time around. Excellent start to a brilliant series.
Bryan, Scotland

For those who have not worked in a company with managers like David Brent it is hard to "get it". For those of us who have - it is incredibly realistic and funny. Why do we want to turn it off when he is making such a fool of himself - it is acting after all?! It is so true to life and so compelling that as a film it would win him a Hollywood Oscar.
Mark, UK


I certainly wouldn't throw plaudits at it like everyone else is doing. Maybe it's because I'm still a student and not worn down by office life yet?

James, England
Amazing! Funnier that funny! I cannot wait till next Monday. I think it should be on every night. BBC2, you are good to us.
Niloufar, London, UK

Surely enough demand for two episodes per week. Absolutely superb.
Nick Vaughan, Wales

Fantastic! The BBC2's comedy nights are a breath of fresh air for people like myself who hate Mondays at work. Keep up the good work, it fast becoming the best channel in my view. As for The Office, well I think it speaks for itself.....pure class!
John Robson, England

I was in such a bad mood afterwards. Brent and Gareth were so awful I sat tensed up through the whole of the programme. It was really sad to see Tim becoming a manager himself and ignoring Dawn, so it was blessed relief when he identified the window to go and annoy Gareth (I've used the "Did you see that film last night..." line three times today and felt like I was back at school - fantastic!) Dawn's consequent squeal of delight was a treat. Gripping, repulsive stuff. Buzzcocks (Bill Bailey - good choice!), Coupling (Jeff should have his own series) and The Office, then Partridge later on... must get some sleep! Marvellous.
Nick, UK

Subtle and undersatated with a real cutting edge. A modern classic to rate alongside Phoenix Nights and Alan Partridge. Wait till Brent gets out his guitar!!
Brendan Doherty, Northampton, UK

Well, obviously I have a terrible sense of humour, but I think The Office is only faintly amusing. I certainly wouldn't throw plaudits at it like everyone else is doing. Maybe it's because I'm still a student and not worn down by office life yet? Oh well. Bring back Teachers. That's a REAL comedy.
James, England


If Ricky wants some more characters - they're working with me in Cardiff!

Islwyn, Wales
Oh dear - another one-series wonder. The only phrase that springs to mind is "Over-egging the pudding". Not every line or scene needs to contain a joke. The first series was so succesful because of its subtlety, without it - it's just another run-of-the-mill sit com. I was half expecting Gary Bloke to turn up. You'd be better off watching That Peter Kay Thing over on Ch4 for some real inspired comedy.
Simon, Scotland

I watched hand over mouth most of the time, in blushing hysterics. Glorious anachronisms abound in this toe curler - can't wait for next Monday's rollercoaster ride.
David O., UK

At 46 I should not have been counting down the days to the second series. What a fantastic series. If Ricky wants some more characters - they're working with me in Cardiff!
Islwyn, Wales

Pretentious and unfunny. Switched to Channel 4 for Peter Kay - genuinely funny.
Dave Griffin, UK

Original and funny. The smile does it for me and the way he quickly glances at the camera. Genius.
Dave, Barnsley, South Yorkshire


At last subtle, un-PC comedy with subplots, rather than pretty people and canned laughter

Graeme Armitage, South Korea
I am sure David Brent has been fired from the paper company, changed his name by deed poll and is now my boss up here in Scotland!
John, Scotland

I can't sit still watching The Office as it makes me cringe so much, it is so true to life at work it's frightening. Keep picking on Gareth, he is a girlie swot.
Claire, UK

I loved the first series but after catching some of RG¿s Channel 5 chat show, my opinion of him has changed ¿ he can be quite crass and vulgar. Also the racist joke was perhaps not necessary - although I do accept jokes like that do occur in the workplace. If I¿m playing devils advocate you could argue it was brave putting in a racist joke in or perhaps too easy.
Dave, UK

If people don't find The Office funny, they either ashamedly relate to the characters, or are Friends addicts. At last subtle, un-PC comedy with subplots, rather than pretty people and canned laughter.
Graeme Armitage, Seoul, South Korea

Superb! Really great to watch and made me realise why my wife never wanted to work in an office.
Julian, London, UK


When a performance can affect you so emotionally, you have massive respect for the actors - I can't wait for next week

Jenny, UK
We watched the programme to see if it was funny and waited, waited and waited for a laugh - which didn't come - what a load of obscene rubbish - come back Eric & Ernie please.
I Hussey, England

I don't think I've ever seen this many postings for any other subject. On BBC Canada, we are only just getting the first series (along with Coupling and League of Gentlemen) which is sparing us from the monotony of American sit-coms. Count your blessings Britain, even if the second series isn't as good as the first, it will still be a shining beacon amidst a sea of drivel when we get it over here.
Adrian, Canada

Intelligent comedy for those who can see themselves and co-workers in this series built around awkard silences, office clichés and always ever present berk middle management. Those who didn't laugh just simply haven't been there or simply don't understand when to laugh without the canned laughter to queue them. Utterly brilliant portrayal of characters found in every office environment.
Alex, Canterbury, Kent.

I felt like I was in that office, so good was the way it was put over. I felt and lived through every cringe. When a performance can affect you so emotionally, you have massive respect for the actors - I can't wait for next week. Its like "What is the ninny going to do next?".
Jenny, UK


Two giggles in 30 minutes is hardly BAFTA is it? Very disappointed

Wazza, UK
Regarding "John from Wales" comments that the plot relies on characters from the first series...isn't this the case for all classic sitcoms?? Only Fools & Horses, Porridge, Friends...you could argue that they all have scripts that lack depth. The real thing that sets a TV series apart IS its characters...for which The Office gains full marks every time.
Paul, Manchester, UK

I'd never heard of this programme before, and thought it was a genuine documentary. I felt ever so sorry for poor Mr Brent, who seemed to be trying his best for the new staff, but everyone was very cruel to him. And no, I didn't see Gaylords Say No either.
David Dagger, UK

Laugh? I nearly did. Two gigglewo giggles in 30 minutes is hardly BAFTA is it? Very disappointed.
Wazza, UK

I'd gladly pay double the licence fee for more of this... truly superb, a big well done to all involved.
Martin, UK

Very sharply written and brilliantly observed, but I agree with some of the criticism here too - OTT in parts and some of the subtlety lost from the first series. Still, easily the best comedy on TV at the moment and those people who said it isn't funny just don't have a well-developed sense of humour.
Andy Birchall, UK

See also:

30 Jan 02 | Entertainment
03 Jul 02 | Entertainment
28 Aug 02 | Entertainment
23 Jul 02 | Entertainment
11 Apr 02 | Entertainment
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Entertainment stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Entertainment stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes