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<p>Office Special, The (DVD)</p><p>Three years after the cameras stopped rolling, the BBC returns to Wernham Hogg to catch up with the staff, past and present, of the most famous paper merchants in Slough. Gareth is now office manager and Tim, last seen asking Dawn out (again), appears to be nearing the point of despair. David Brent has blown his redundancy money on releasing a single, and now makes his living selling cleaning products door-to-door and making z-list celebrity appearances. Meanwhile, Dawn and her fiance Lee have relocated to Florida, but are being flown over specially by the documentary makers for the end-of-year office party. This two-part special of <i>The Office</i> finally brings the story to a close, as we find out whether anyone in this life ever gets what they really want.</p>
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The brilliant and devastating comedy of The Office is brought to a satisfying conclusion in The Office Special, originally a two-part Christmas special on the BBC, set three years after the end of the faux-documentary's second season. The former office manager David (Ricky Gervais) now ekes out a desperate existence as an oblivious quasi-celebrity, making awkward, humiliating visits back to the office staff he still believes loves him. Gawky Gareth (Mackenzie Crook) has risen to manager and become a petty tyrant, while the sweet but snide Tim (Martin Freeman) continues to pine for former receptionist Dawn (Lucy Davis), who fled to Florida with her fiance. When the documentary crew pays for Dawn to return for the holiday party, an unpredictable reunion looms ahead. The Office fuses scathing humor and genuine empathy, turning excruciating social discomfort into inspired satire. Fans will find this special rewarding in all respects. --Bret Fetzer
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