It doesn't spoon feed you the jokes, but, if you are paying attention there is some super funny stuff here. If the people who made this never made anything else it would already be enough. I love David Brent as a character, he may say and do dumb things sometimes, but, he is a nice person who just wants to be liked. Tim and Dawn are more normal and Gareth is the perfect right hand man for Brent. You can see the influence of Larry Sanders. It is a great show and it deserves all the hype.
WARNING: NEGATIVE OPINION After having watched and loving the US version of The Office (twice actually), I finally decided to watch the original UK show. In short, this series is an ENTIRELY different show. The character and situation may loosely relate to the US version but the characters, humor, and overall story was much different and in that, not to my taste. I absolutely adored everything about the hilarious yet lovable US Office; I felt that it truly captured every single character's life and the fun, loose work environment with the witty jokes and still the romantic plots. Being an American of course, the UK's Office had a very confusing and to me, a boring, deadpan type of humor. The content is much more cynical to that of the US Office as well as more sexually inappropriate even if that's hard to believe. David Brent, the regional manager of Wernam-Hogg Paper Co. is the equivalent of Michael Scott of Dunder-Mifflin. (and may I clarify that I use the term 'equivalent' very loosely) David like Michael is a terrible boss, childish, easily angered, and tries too hard to be funny when no one appreciates the humor going too far. However, in my opinion, I find David to be quite repulsive as do I think the other employees of Wernam- Hogg whereas Michael you kind of feel sorry for and all in all, you and the employees of Dunder-Mifflin love him. David, I think, stays childish while Michael at his return in the Office's Finale finally grows up. Moving on, the assistant to the regional manager is Gareth (Dwight Schrute's equivalent). Gareth is admittedly very quirky and scrawny. The relationship to their bosses proves that they both look up to him while of course, being shot down. However, Dwight seems to have a father-like adoration to Michael whereas there is just no real spark with David and Gareth. The relationship with Tim/Jim is a childish rivalry however Gareth and Tim seem to actually hate each other while the Dwight and Jim dynamic was a mild pranking rivalry that transformed into an honestly beautiful friendship. Another huge difference between Gareth and Dwight is that honestly Gareth is a gigantic pervert and therefore repulsive to me. Plus, there was no relationship with an Angela whereas Dwangela was a HUGE component in the US Office. In summary, I can say in the end I too loved Dwight yet still find Gareth disgusting. Onto Tim, the smug rival to Gareth and Jim Halpert's equivalent. Now don't get me wrong: I absolutely adore Martin Freeman (Sherlockian!!) but again, found the Tim character a bit unlikeable. He like Jim plays pranks on Gareth/Dwight with Pam/Dawn but I do believe Tim and Jim are VERY unalike. Tim is very cynical, sarcastic, easily angered, pessimistic, and a bit perverted as well while Jim was always happy go lucky, tolerant, goofy and all around a nice guy. I absolutely LOVED the Jim/Pam relationship of the Office yet the Tim+Dawn one seemed out of place, messy, and rushed. They both started out as friends with the receptionist but I don't know how to explain it. Jam was sort of dorky, well thought out and just plain adorable while Tawn? was so hectic and sloppy and in my opinion, just not worthy of fangirling over. Not adorable or cute like Jam; just the only romantic ship that you'd have to sail on if you HAD to. In the finale of the UK Office, Dawn just breaks it off with Lee (Roy Anderson) and goes off to kiss Tim and leaves with him while in Jam, it's more gradual and slow and in the end, they go out for a while and fall in proper love and get married and have children.// Last off (I'll explain why it's last off later), the dorky, artistic receptionist, Dawn- Pam's equivalent. In the US Office, my absolute favorite character was Pam and I think her character development was the greatest. At first, she started out dorky and shy and submissive. Through the years, she conquered her anxiety and became more assertive and confident. In the end, she was a completely different person: strong, friendly, outgoing, hardworking and confident. Dawn, I can't say the same thing at all. She really is just awkward and yes, dorky. More assertive and less shy than season 1 Pam but just kind of gross to me. In addition, Dawn becomes overwhelmingly jealous of TIm and Rachel (Karen Filipeli) but is still with Lee. Pam, however, broke it off with Roy right after Jim kissed her and when she realized she had feelings for him which I myself think was a way smarter move. Both Dawn+Lee and Pam+Roy were terrible relationships that had to end more than just because of Tim/Jim but in a way, the breakups felt different. Back to why I said 'last off' the thing I didn't like about the UK Office is that there was no exploration into other characters, really. You could identify Finch as Packer, Jennifer as Jan and Keith as Kevin? Other than that, there was just no more side stories. Nothing like the friendships and magic that were in the US Office. Not for me at least. To put this unbelievably long review into a nutshell, I'd say it just wasn't as funny, cute, intricate, or had the warmth of more stories. It was rushed, confusing, and admittedly boring. It is ABSOLUTELY different from the US version so those who loved the US Office would probably find all the wrongs as I did in this series. Perhaps I just don't get the humor, but I definitely didn't enjoy this series. I made every excuse to try to admit that I did enjoy it but this series didn't make me laugh or cry- not even giggle or frown. If I hadn't known any better, I would've thought THIS was a bad parody of the US Office.