My top ten British sitcoms – number eight

Today I continue the list of my top ten British sitcoms with a modern classic.

Number eight – The Office

Set in the less than glamorous Slough Trading Estate, The Office is a fictional documentary about the employees of Wernham Hogg Paper Company. The star of The Office is David Brent, a general manager at Wernham Hogg who considers himself to be a talented comic, musician and philosophical thinker. In reality, he is none of these. Much of the programme revolves around David Brent’s misguided and often cringeworthy attempts to get what he most wants in life… attention and recognition. Other characters include Gareth Keenan (a man who attempts to compensate for his many flaws by always trying to be something he is not), Tim Canterbury (a likeable character whose purpose in the show is to highlight his colleagues’ shocking behaviour) and Dawn Tinsley (a down to earth secretary who, with her engagement to Lee, faces an unfufiling life ahead).

The fact that there were only ever fourteen episodes of The Office make it the second shortest running sitcom on this list. What it lacks in length however, it makes up for in originality and polish. Also, more than any other sitcom on this list, The Office divides people between those that love it and those that hate it. I understand that there may be a lack of in-your-face comedy (or arguably a lack of anything). However, in my opinion, the bland setting and subtly of the humor make the whole thing more meaningful and funny.

Here is a clip from one of the best episodes “Training”. In this episode, David Brent continually tries to divert attention away from the training instructor and onto himself by any means necessary.

You can buy the complete series of The Office for just £8 from Also, if you enjoy The Office, you may also like Extras; another sitcom by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant.