The Office (2005–2013)
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From watching the original uk series back in 2001 on bbc TV, i never thought an American remake would stand any ground whatsoever. When the first series aired in the uk it did'nt really make its mark, and unfortunately never caught on. I was disappointed when it disappeared from our screens, and then quickly forgot about it. I thought it had 1 series and crashed and burned. Then one day i was checking out the reviews for evan almighty on IMDb and noticed that steve carel had still been making this show. I had to get hold of it and see it, And to my joy there was 5 series waiting for me. I never get into TV like i have done with this, i ended up watching 10 episodes in a day, i think i did all 5 series in just under 2 weeks. This show is funny, its acted brilliantly, its over the top, totally crazy but totally entertaining. If your ever down just bung on a couple episodes from good old dunder miflin in scranton and you cant go wrong.
Gervais said that 2 series of the office in the uk was enough. And that he did'nt want to take it further. I know he helps on the US version, and i sure he is surprised to see 6 series already of what i can only describe as the best American sitcom of all time!!
This whole fanaticism is juvenile and petty. The casts of the US and UK versions love each show. Ricky Gervais even wrote and executive produced a few episodes of the US version. Open your minds, people! Most of the US fans KNOW that it's based on a British version. It has gotten the credit it deserves for being a brilliant and hilarious show.
But the American version is also brilliant and hilarious. I've read comments ranging from 'bad acting' to 'direct copy', neither of which are true. The first season may have had its borrowed bits, but that was to get it on its feet. The second and third seasons have proved that it is a show entirely on its own, with scenarios and characters having NOTHING to do with the UK version at all. The acting is just as convincing and real as the UK version.
I've even read that Michael Scott is devoid of David Brent's humanity! In actuality, Michael Scott is shown as far more human than David Brent, who was more manipulative (albeit, poorly) and heartless. The US version still has the cruel elements of the UK version, but it balances these awkward, painful moments with tender, human moments, which makes it more enjoyable and watchable.
As for the humor, each show has its own moments of subtlety, detail, absolutely outrageous moments, awkwardness, pain, cuteness, ridiculousness, and vulgarity. The UK version was groundbreaking. But instead of blindly basing your opinions on bias and arrogance, see the US version for what it is - a brilliant, brighter version that, in its first season, simply used the framework of the original (the characters and basic situations) to get started with.
This is the funniest, smartest American television show in recent history besides Arrested Development. Not since Seinfeld has a show made me laugh so hard and smile so much. These three shows get better with each viewing and are great because there's so many levels of humor, from the apparent outrageousness to the minute details that are noticed after repeated viewings and are often funnier than the surface material.
Then after years from that, I somehow started watching "The Office", I don't really remember why I did that. What I love most about this show is it's raw nature. The camera is kind of shaky yet still brings the best scenes...something that I had never seen before in a TV sitcom. It may seem less professional but adds real life, personal touch with the TV show and the characters in them.
Obviously, Michael Scott is one of my favourite character. Jim, Andy, Dwight, Pam, Erin, Kevin, Oscar, Angela, Creed and even the camera crew include in my favourite list.
What I learned from this show is that it's okay to be weird and different ,that you won't be welcomed as you wanted it to be ( remembering Michael Scott attempts ), that you can't wait and expect things to happen for you, that it's okay to be hated and feel hate to others....it's all dependent on time. People change, feelings change, situations change. All you got to do is be yourself and be true to your heart and everything will fall into it's place.
I love every minute I spent on this show <3
However, I felt much of the time that the characters were rather lifeless. You couldn't really feel for them. They weren't as deep or real as the original BBC characters, to whom you could relate even if you'd never been in an office. The boss just wasn't good enough for what the original set the bar as (the David Brent character going down in history as "most annoying boss"), although he tries, really hard. One never really gets into Jim, who was originally Tim (good one, NBC). Pam (aka Dawn) isn't quite as well-played as Dawn's character. And the hideous syncophant (Gareth) has been replaced by a simply-annoying Dwight.
But what really makes the show a lifeless slug is the running time, which is barely twenty minutes. The whole thing seems far too rushed, and there just isn't enough material to satisfy the typical BBC-Office-watcher. The jokes aren't quite as good as the original, and there are so few of them. The pilot never really goes into anything, although the real show may prove different. However, a good feature in The Office is that NBC didn't spring for a laugh track, which would've ruined the show.
All in all, The Office is a feeble shadow of its British counterpart, but it still manages to please.
First the good points, the US version avoided the laughter track (which would have been the kiss of death) and still retained the dodgy camera-work (some people who hated this style seem to misunderstand that the comedy is supposed to reflect a fly-on-the-wall documentary and slick camera work is not a priority). At least, to some extent or other, the show retains some integrity to the original.
However, I think one of the differences of the two shows (comparing is inevitable sorry)is how human these characters are. They are clearly flawed characters trying to get through life which gives an understanding as to why they are who they are. See, in the UK version of The Office, despite the ego and the manipulation you can almost feel the amount of pain David Brent goes through in his effort to impress people and feel comfortable being himself in his own skin. We can see Gareth Keenan's social inability and how his botched attempts at frustrated flirting end up as sexual harassment, Dawn Tinsley's stoic long-suffering, unsatisfying love-life and unfulfilled ambitions and Tim Canterbury's lack of confidence and fear of change to push forward to try and better himself are all poignantly on show in very subtle ways.
The US version seemed to reduce itself to a set of stock characters. For example, Michael looks too conventional and his part is played too one-dimensionally for his role to work so he appears just stupid and nerdish rather than looking beyond the eager to please ego to find a man constantly seeking validation underneath the delusions of grandeur. Jim seemed far too cool and confident and in control of his surroundings to really endure the pangs of anxiety when office chaos occurs and Dwight just seems like a nasty piece of work as with Gareth you could tell he was overcompensating for his own insecurities. Yes, different shows perhaps but some things needed to stay the same for the humour to work.
I also think the Pam/Jim romance was overdeveloped too soon. There didn't appear to be internal struggles going on between them so when they were to realise each other's feelings for each other the pay-off would be considerably smaller (in the first episode alone Pam was humorously embarrassed by Jim's ability to guess her favourite yoghurt flavour - corny at best, lol).
The fact that the US actors seem like they are acting badly rather than normal everyday people acting up in front of the camera doesn't go in it's favour either.
The UK version thrived on the fact that you were going to feel very uncomfortable watching the show, that was the genius behind it. The long protracted silences, the embarrassing events, the over-inflated egos getting their bubble's pricked time and time again all completely lost in the US version. The pace was also deliberately quickened too (probably to keep time with adverts) so hitting the pain barrier was kept to a minimum and therefore the effect was lost. It gives me the impression that the US producers were scared that if it got too uncomfortable to watch that the audience couldn't handle it and therefore would be turned off...a shame really.
All in all, at least the US are attempting to make a show that isn't frightened to deal with everyday average people in an everyday environment but it has a long way to go yet. I still can't decide whether we English overall are too sadistic as a nation or whether the Americans have accepted mawkish sentimentality as the norm but one thing for sure, this show in both versions displays how a situation can be interpreted in two entirely different ways by two totally different countries.
If you loved the original, definitely give this a go.
All the unique characters have depth and are well developed.
As to all the people who don't like it because its based on the U.K. version, get over it. It has been taken to a completely different level. The characters in a spin off are not supposed to stay the exact same, otherwise a spin off would be pointless.
The characters are constantly evolving, and they are never constantly the protagonist or antagonist, so they are all at some point endearing. The characters are wonderfully bizarre yet real.
If you don't find this show funny, then you need to get a funny bone. Writers, keep em coming.
The first season was a little spotty, especially when translating the British show verbatim. However, once the writers came up with original story lines and situations the, American, office really took off. The second season was an incredible achievement and is just carrying on where it left off in the third season.
Steve Carell is well suited to the role of Micheal Scott, lending his character a certain pathetic quality that even Gervais's David Brent did not have at times. The supporting cast is equally as good, especially Rainn Wilson as the assistant (to the) general manager, Dwight Shrute. Wilson deserved, at least, an Emmy nomination for his troubles.
If you dismiss the show out of hand then you will definitely be missing out on one of the best shows on TV right now.
Carrell is Michael Scott, the dim-witted boss of paper company Dunder Mifflin's Scranton, Pennsylvania branch. Rainn Wilson is Scott's odd second in command Dwight Shrute, a man who prides himself on knowledge of survival techniques and bears. Jim Krasinski is Jim Halpert, a salesman who has a crush on Pam(Jenna Schafer), the receptionist. These are only a few of the major characters in the ongoing, hilarious saga of Scranton at work.
Several story lines can take place in the course of a single episode, giving the show more chances at laughs. In one episode, for example, there are conflicts between members of the Party Planning Committee, Michael's usual antics of procrastination, and the secrets of two characters's affair. These just make the show more original than ones that have a single narrative.
Funny and intelligent, The Office is one brilliant spoof you should not miss.
It's clear that Steve C. (I don't want to butcher the spelling of his last name) either took tips from Ricky Gervais or studied his performance. They even readjust their tie the same way. Albeit, the first two seasons were a little weak as the show gained steam and attempted to match its predecessor, but that's no reason to shrug it off. From the third season onward, the "American" Office has come into its own with story lines that introduced new characters and shook the formula of a nerdy boy awkwardly pining for a pretty girl.
Every fan should be happy to have new episodes of a great show that would otherwise be off the air. For a true fan of the Office that should be enough, but since it's labeled "American" some immediately set out to find the wrong. Cheers to the people that were capable of giving the remake a chance and didn't base their opinion on what country it's filmed in. All I ask of those whom originally ripped the "American" version is to go online and watch the seasons with Ed Helms as Andy, a kiss-ass with anger management issues. The feud with Dwight and he (once the branches merge) has become my favorite storyline of the show, culminating in a duel. It's classic.
Boy, do I like it. This is the best mockumentary comedy since The Larry Sanders Show. Steve Carell is fantastic, and everything is wonderfully underplayed. I just worry that the show is too intelligent for American audiences, and won't last long as a result.
I'm hoping the network will foster this one like Fox has with Arrested Development, pushing it where it can, not expecting big audiences right off the bat, and allowing it to grow. I doubt if the show will grow beyond a cult hit, but hopefully that will be enough to keep it on the air for at least a few years.
So if you like season 2 of US Office you will like all following seasons just the same. My favorite season is the fourth but that doesn't mean the others are not as good.
it may seem right how English people are but not Americans. also, sometimes a boss sets the tone for an office. and seeing how he is such a clown, it baffles me how people would be so reserved in his office.
there were some bright spots, but the British version was so good that its hard for me to get over it and accept this version even though I am American and want to like it. I will give it a shot though.I need to find a good series to watch and seeing as I thought the original office ended way too soon, cripes after only 2 seasons??come on!
The episodes are good, but none have been standout so far. I like them all about the same.
Ryan and Jan are very bad and annoying.
I think this show is not an 8.8.
Many episodes are too awkward.
It is not very funny but it is still good.
I like the Office.
Having watched a 9 year 'documentary' in several months really puts a perspective on life and just how short it is. Watching the last episode and seeing everyone's reaction to seeing each other again really hit home, and how you should appreciate the time you have because it goes by so fast. You could even see how the characters aged slightly over the years although the makeup probably made it seem less than it really was I would think.
In the end, I'm really glad I took the time to watch the series in its entirety...between the bouncing relationships, clever/brilliant pranks, it was all very enjoyable :)
Why does NBC think it has failed to attract an audience after spending millions launching, re-launching, re-re-launching and buying awards to this pale excuse for a sitcom.
It makes you long for boringly filmed sitcoms with a stationary camera. At least you could pay attention to the jokes.
But it is terrible. The characters are wooden, cut out caricatures of their British counterparts...and unfunny ones at that. Both Brian Baumgartner (Kevin) and Steve Carell (Michael Scott) bring the show down almost from the outset. The character of Kevin looks like he was written under the same analogy as above....copy Keith but make him even 'funnier' (i.e. make him even more gormless). And it doesn't work.
The editing is almost non-existent with inappropriate cuts and the look of the whole thing is just a failure...like someone said, it is meant to be filmed in the style of a documentary but it just looks like a low budget film school project.
The only glimmer of success I can see comes from Gervais (the absolute genius behind the original) and Greg Daniels whose jokes, although very similar to the original, still offer a few new laughs.
My biggest complaint though is against the acting and the line delivery. The jokes themselves are funny, but the way they are delivered (badly) takes the edge off it all. In one particular scene, Carell's character steps over the line to demonstrate how to insult someone and verbally abuses an Indian woman. Although this sounds harsh, if Gervais had delivered the line it would have been spot on and hilarious in a dead pan way. However Carell's delivery of the joke was a shambles and to be honest, came across as racist and not remotely funny.
Please NBC, don't put this on the American public anymore.
but with that in mind they deserve the highest score i can give them.