Thursday, April 07, 2005

The Office - NBC Tuesdays

As some of you may already know, this is a British invasion. Ricky Gervais created and starred in this show a few years back in England and, due to its cult success on BBC America, he graced NBC with an American version. So, will yet another great British TV show fail in the US? Balderdash!

Granted Gervais does not star in the US version of the show, but it still manages to come really close to being as good as the original. That is a huge tribute to Steve Carell, who has taken Gervais’ character and Americanized it. He is still painfully awkward and inappropriate at all the wrong times, and he still has no clue why his actions aren’t acceptable. The timing and painfully long silences remain, as well as the office crushes and the boss’ need to be liked by his employees.

If you have never seen the show before, Carell plays Michael Scott, regional manager of a paper company. He is the most politically incorrect character since Archie Bunker – thank God in this overly sensitive country we are in! Heck, I’ll even call this the best sitcom next to Arrested Development, which nobody watches for some reason. Does that mean this funny, intelligently written show will fail? I mean, every other TV show we’ve tried to steal from England has bombed! Do we just ruin them, or is the general American public not ready for them? I know Gervais won’t let his baby be destroyed, hence his executive producer title, but I am going to plead with you to watch this show so it doesn’t disappear. After all, Arrested Development is only around because of its Emmy’s and Ron Howard’s money. Otherwise, it would have been yet another great show that was cancelled.

4 out of 5!


purdygirl said...

Pat, Pat, Pat....of course the American public is not ready for high British humor.

That said...having watched the Brit version, the American version just isn't quite as good. Although the last episode in which Dwight commandeered the conference room was pretty funny...they're getting their tempo.

The best joke from the Brit version is from the first episode:
Tim keeps calling Gareth on his holstered cell saying...."cock"....

Bill Purdy said...

Even though the writers copped the Dwight's Workroom situation from the British version, I found myself laughing out loud at this episode more times than in previous ones. I think I've had to adjust to a slightly different sense of timing in this episode that makes this version come across less, I dunno, genuine, and more jokey than the original. But really, that's OK. It's still pretty darn funny (in large part because Steve Carrel is a freaking genius).

Last I heard, The Office has tanked since NBC moved it to Tuesday night. Who knows if it'll make it out of ratings hell long enough to develop a consistent rythm? I really hope it does, as I'm kinda wondering how it's gonna work out with Jim and Pam.

Pat Angello said...

Call me a sucker, but I still think decent shows can survive. Everyone I know hates reality TV, so why is it doing so well? Argh!

Carell is a bit more zany than Gervais, but it seems to work. And I think it can be funny without the word "cock" on the cell, although that was brilliant. The painful failure of the "surprise" was spectacular!

BTW, the best line from Arrested Development this season came from Michael when he met the parents of George Michael's girlfriend Ann. Upon seeing how stunning her mother was and hearing they got married at an early age, he told the dad, "yeah, i understand, you gotta lock that down early."

Everything you ever wanted to know about Pat Angello - sorry!