iTunes Gets The Office 10 Years Late
The UK version of the The Office is celebrating its tenth anniversary and to help with the festivities the BBC is making all 14 original episodes available on iTunes for the first time. Besides launching Ricky Gervais into the spotlight and serving as the inspiration for one of the most popular sitcoms in the United States, The Office has had a tremendous impact on comedy television since its debut. Its mockumentary style has been widely imitated and all but eliminated the fourth wall from many new sitcoms. The Office also popularized the cringe-inducing style of humor by way of humiliation. It used to physically pain me to watch Ricky Gervais portray David Brent because of the empathetic embarrassment that his antics would inspire.
Back in 2001, The Office didn’t so much as burst onto British TV screens, as quietly shuffle in. It was a slow burner. The BBC gave it hardly any publicity and broadcast it on its less-watched BBC 2 channel. Then, over the following couple of weeks, word got out. There was this new comedy. Set in an office. The main character, some guy called Brent, is funny. He’s excruciating in the way he tries to ingratiate himself with his staff. But it works.