(FORTUNE Magazine) – The Office, the BBC's hysterical yet cringe-inducing mockumentary about life at a drab paper-supply company, is now out on DVD and recently began its second season on BBC America. If you're punching in late, here's your primer. ---Matthew Boyle and Devin Leonard
THE PREMISE The show's fly-on-the-wall perspective makes high comedy of every numbing aspect of office life, from cheesy motivational seminars to unrequited office romance.
THE BOSS Ricky Gervais (left), the show's co-creator, stars as the insufferable David Brent, a.k.a. "Sir David of Brent," who fancies himself the most charismatic boss in the world.
LEADERSHIP 101 David, showing off for a temp, makes his secretary cry with one of his ill-conceived gags: He tells her she's being let go for stealing Post-it notes.
THE SEQUEL Reveille, the Universal TV production house run by Ben Silverman (who brought Brit hit Coupling to NBC), is preparing a U.S. version of The Office for NBC, possibly for next fall.