The Office (UK)

Common Sense Media says

As hilarious as the U.S. version, but with a darker tone.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The corporate world seems dreary and tedious, filled with self-serving coworkers who try to kill time by planning practical jokes and making fun of each other.

Positive role models

David Brent is truly The Boss from Hell, but what makes him even worse is that he thinks he’s everybody’s best friend. Insensitive, crass, and rude, almost every word out of his mouth makes people cringe.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex

No nudity or sex, but lots of flirting, innuendo, and sexist comments, some bordering on sexual harassment.

Language

Plenty of choice terms, including “s--t,” “twat,” “c--k,” and “wanker.” Some racist phrases, as well.

Consumerism

A few references to popular British TV shows.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Characters often talk about drinking and regale each other with exaggerated stories from their wild nights at the pub.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this sardonic British mockumentary skewers the corporate world, exposing the drudgery, tedium, and mindless pranks that make up daily life for so many office drones. Central character David Brent manages to inadvertently offend nearly everyone around him with his casual sexism, occasional racism, and nonstop pompous blather. Nearly the entire series takes place in the office, but there’s plenty of talk about wild nights out drinking, plenty of swearing (including "s--t"), and a fair bit of flirting and sexual innuendo.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

David Brent (Ricky Gervais) thinks he’s God’s gift to middle management, but really he’s The Boss from Hell. He wants, desperately, to be everybody’s pal, but he usually manages to offend just about everyone in THE OFFICE with his constant stream of sexist, racist, and just plain idiotic verbal misfires. Don’t think of him as a total jerk, however; his comments don’t stem from hostility, but from sheer obliviousness and a near-total inability to empathize with anyone. The hilarious "Britcom" focuses on Brent and his coworkers in a regional office of a large paper supplier -- could anything sound drearier? By showing Brent’s daily offenses against propriety and his coworkers' pained responses, the show documents the never-ending tedium and petty infighting of the corporate world.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Gervais is brilliant as the clueless office manager. Steve Carell has made the role his own in the hit U.S. version of the show, but Gervais deserves credit for inventing a character who's pure blather and corporate doublespeak to the core. The series uses the “mockumentary” format, following the office workers through their daily activities and letting them explain their inner thoughts directly to the cameras. This enables Brent to show, in his own words, that his displays of false bravado and accidental insults are no show. His public missteps and private self are one and the same, and nearly everything that comes from his mouth is cringeworthy.

Brent’s coworkers are just as important, and the series is spot-on in capturing the little details of their efforts to make office life bearable. The unctuous Gareth’s (Mackenzie Crook) attempts to cozy up to his boss make him almost as annoying as Brent. And it’s hard not to feel for Tim (Martin Freeman), who’s clearly unsatisfied with his sales rep position -- and his life -- and pines for the receptionist Dawn (Lucy Davis). Viewers will likely see some aspect of themselves in The Office, making this a comedy with universal appeal (although it may make teens want to avoid the real world a bit longer...). 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about office politics. Do you think this portrayal of office life is close to reality? Do the characters seem real, or do they seem more like stereotypes of office workers? Would you like to work in such an environment? Do you think many people actually do?

  • How is British comedy different from American comedy? How does this series differ from the hit remake on NBC? Why was this concept able to travel well across the Atlantic? Why do other remakes fail?

TV details

Cast:Lucy Davis, Martin Freeman, Ricky Gervais
Networks:BBC America, Cartoon Network
Genre:Comedy
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:DVD

This review of The Office (UK) was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 14 years old Written byBrando804 February 15, 2010
AGE
14
QUALITY
 
the Office UK is a truly smart, funny comedy from brilliant comedian, Ricky Gervais. This is one of my favorite shows.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Great messages
Kid, 10 years old February 2, 2010
AGE
17
QUALITY
 
too much swareing!
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 10 years old September 21, 2009
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

It's way more inappropriate than the U.S. version

The language is a lot stronger , they say the " f " word sometimes , they also usually say the " s " word too . And the sex can be really bad .
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Essential Apps Guide