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October 6, 2015

This UK critic likes the American version of The Office

by Bob Sassone, posted May 20th 2007 3:09PM

Dwight SchruteI finally watched the original, British version of The Office, and it's quite good. I still like the American version more though. That has nothing to do with the quality of the British version, really, it has more to do with the pace, the rhythm, the American-ized problems that the show focuses on, and the cast. Though I do think it's just funnier too.

This UK critic agrees. Though he thinks the Ricky Gervais original is a masterpiece and that some of the darker nuances have been lost in the American version, he thinks it's more entertaining and hasn't had that feeling that it had to burn out after a dozen episodes. He loves the fact that after three seasons it's still "remarkably fresh," and likes that Michael Scott is a different sort of annoying boss than David Brent and appreciates the real drama in the Jim/Pam relationship.

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Oh btw:In addition to "stuck up" humor I also ment very D R Y humor at
that. You people and your humor accross the pond is very bland
and...well it's somewhat boing and stupid. When I watch a "British"
show I thank God I'm an American. God Bless our humor, country, and
our "telly" =)

July 21 2007 at 4:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm an American. I do like the U.K. version but think are "humor" is more up to par. I watch some/most British show's but get the idea that your all a little stuck up! Get the clue people. We do everything better. Period. You look up to us and it's clearly noted. Please dont hate. We're just better at what we do. Thank God we broke away from you red coats when we did. We fucking rock. Thats all. ta-ta and have a spot of tea and all that good shit!


July 21 2007 at 1:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Is there an Oggmonster in the US version?

May 21 2007 at 12:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think snife is a self-important tool who takes himself way too seriously and his comments laughable, but he did get one thing right.

The Dwight character is becoming a parody. The Michael character, less so.

Still, I've always hated the obvious, over-the-top characters on any show. Kramer is a perfect example. When it becomes a "no real person could exist like that," it pulls you out of the moment and induces an eye roll where a laugh should be.

Dwight is almost there.

May 21 2007 at 6:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm a Brit and I'm glad other people are starting to come out of the closet on this issue. To say that you like the US version of The Office more than the UK version feels almost like treason because you instantly get the defensive, snidey comments from any other British people who invariably have seen half of the first episode and made their minds up from articles in the media.

It boils down to this: US television is superior to ours. You have more money, better talent, better ideas (at the top end of the scale, obviously there's a lot of crap out there too). Even Gervais couldn't wait to get out there as soon as he got successful. British people feel insecure about that and jealous, and it's that age-old animosity towards America because you guys take what we do and do it better. Personally, I applaud it. But most British people are cynical miserable souls and love to hate the Americans and their optimism and positivity.

The Office is one of our only halfway decent shows in the last twenty years. Seriously, come over here and try and sit through a week's worth of television. It's all bilge. Repetitive, derivative bilge. You wouldn't last, you'd die of either depression for what this country's creativity has descended into, or sheer boredom. It's shocking, the low quality of television in this country.

So when something decent gets through the ridiculous net of mediocrity that the producers and script editors hold around the industry (trust me, I work there), then it's held up as a great bastion of British culture and people get very precious about it. You can't blame us, I suppose. We don't have 24, The West Wing, The Sopranos...we're looking across the Atlantic with eyes of jealousy and resentment. Well, not me. I have eyes of admiration. :)

Plus, Steve Carell and Ed Helms rule my world. :)

May 21 2007 at 3:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"i think you've missed the point of the UK Office as so many people do"

Making that statement fulfils the axiom "While all answers are replies, not all replies are answers" to a tee. You don't actually state what the point of the UK office was. Is your point that the characters are not supposed to be relatable? Even if your statement that the US characters are caricatures was true (which I don't believe) does that invalidate the relatability? People watch Babe the Pig and relate to his struggle; would relating to slightly exaggerated versions of people you deal with on a daily basis in an office be any more ridiculous?

You seem to think that because the entire core of the humour of the US version isn't horribly awkward situations you cringe through that it is inherently inferior. You also seem to think that when the UK version had the talking head scenes and when they talked to the camera it was brilliant but when the exact same thing is done in the US version it's a "convenient plot device to give forced insight." How is the character insight given by the on camera interviews in the UK version better in any way? It's the exact same device.

I don't understand this extremism that some people hold to regarding this show. I love both shows. They're as different as they are brilliant.

May 20 2007 at 11:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Snife wrote that the opinions of the posters before him were wrong, so I was mocking him.

May 20 2007 at 11:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The two Offices are like apples and oranges. I found the UK version a super black comedy that usually made me feel sad for David Brent even though I wasn't supposed to, and the faux documentarty style was more realistic. The US version is very much a typical American sitcom aside from the documentary style that is sort of there. It has longer legs on it than the UK version since the UK series are shorter runs. I end up looking at the shows as two wholly different entities. They both have their charms. I resisted the US version for a long time, but I found I can just turn my skeptical brain off and just sit back and laugh at the corporate world I gladly left some years ago.

May 20 2007 at 11:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"much more fleshed out and relatable."

Unfortunately i think you've missed the point of the UK Office as so many people do. I cannot understand how you have even think this - the US office characters are characatures of office workers, the UK office characters are like real people, in the spirit of the faux documentary style that the UK office pulled off to perfection but that the US office uses simply as a convenient plot device and to give forced insight into the characters.

Every US Office joke is laid out for you - anybody will get them, and while they may be funny they are not clever, thats why I called it Lowest Common Denominator - many people simply don't get the genius of the UK Office, it took until season 2 before it really became popular in the UK for that reason.

May 20 2007 at 10:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm a Canadian and while I loved the UK version, the US version's characters are just so much more fleshed out and relatable. They're both fantastic shows and they will both be remembered fondly in the years to come. Also, to say that the US show is LCD humour is so far beyond ridiculous it's downright trollish.

May 20 2007 at 9:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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