3 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
The Office (2005–2013)
It's the sincerest form of flattery.
28 December 2008
I won't be alone in my dread of the likely outcome for sitcoms adopted and adapted by one side of 'the pond' from the other. After-all, the industry's forty-odd year record in these ventures is a vast exploded minefield. And the BBC's 'THE OFFICE' had 'HANDS OFF! written all over the studio's master-copies. Its style is, initially, EXTREMELY subtle and not for those with a short attention-span. No offence, 'guys', but penny-drop humour has long been an entirely British preserve (or should that be 'jelly'?). So when I heard that the format had been sold to the US I expected the results to be as unintentionally cringeworthy as the original was deliberately designed to be. How wrong I was. The things that make 'THE OFFICE - an American workplace' so successful are the very same strengths that make the best American TV productions the best TV productions in the world, namely resources and attention to detail. Okay, so it IS rather more ......'surreal'.. than the original BUT that's a teeny-tiny price to pay for allowing it to find enough great story-lines and bladder-testing hilarity to pack out (so far) 5 full seasons. And those Scranton characters - though necessarily in the same career 'ball-park' as their Slough counterparts - are nevertheless sufficiently damaged by their own environments and experiences to be no pale imitations. Perhaps the lesson (in comedy as in life) will at last be learnt; LOSERS ARE FAR MORE INTERESTING THAN WINNERS! So, UK's 'THE OFFICE' or USA's 'THE OFFICE - an American workplace'? Well, just a cigarette-paper between the 2 in my opinion BUT (and I somehow can't believe I've arrived at this conclusion) I'd give it to the latter - and not just because Michael Scott reminds me of the White House's current incompetent (sorry, incumbent).
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Drawing on a darker background.
5 November 2008
Surely made to inform rather than to entertain, this impossibly powerful animation is the creation, not of a studio at all, but of men & women (and at least one small child) afterwards secure (or possibly frustrated) in the knowledge that their most important work has been done and is not ever to be matched. What they have produced is a masterpiece of anti-war story-telling Shakespearean in its simplicity. For GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES speaks loudly for the innocence always exploited in all conflicts in all places and in all times. No Disneyesque surrealism or anthropomorphising here, just two human-beings at their most vulnerable shown as it has played out countless millions of times from our start and as it will continue to play out until our eventual end. Heartbreaking, soul-searching,... MAGNIFICENT!
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The Misfit (1970–1971)
Now's not the time.
17 August 2008
It's very unwise to critique a production after 3 or 4 decades particularly in the negative. THE MISFIT earned a deservedly loyal following during its original run with the two principle actors crafting likable and believable characters. With a budget mirroring the restraints of a then still cobwebbed nation and story lines designed to raise emotions & memories rather than hackles & questions it was a comedy-drama of a sort later termed 'gentle'. Okay, it was largely for those of 'a certain age' who were able to identify with the traumas of a known world somewhere lost and an unwelcome one somehow thrust upon them, but those viewers who today melt into the contemporary will no doubt tomorrow find themselves losing a battle to explain its attraction to a new generation.
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