The Office (UK)

TV review by
Will Wade, Common Sense Media
The Office (UK) TV Poster Image
As hilarious as the U.S. version, but with a darker tone.
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 10 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

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 & Representations

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
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.

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byteenreviews(17yrs) October 21, 2011

It is TV-MA-L

There is lots of Profanity,I think it should desserve 4/5 language, there ARE some brittish pop-culture referances, some adults also drink beer and wine, that w... Continue reading
Adult Written byPittsburghmichaels April 19, 2018

The Original show that inspired the us Office is alright but not as great as the US.

The UK Office is not as good as the US edition but it is worth checking out. The show follows the employees of a Paper company in the town of Slough England in... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byBrando804 February 15, 2010
the Office UK is a truly smart, funny comedy from brilliant comedian, Ricky Gervais. This is one of my favorite shows.
Kid, 10 years old February 2, 2010
too much swareing!

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?

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...). 

Talk to your kids 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

For kids who love wacky characters

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