The Office: An American Workplace (23/07/2005)

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Another American version of a popular and successful British comedy goes dreadully wrong...

There is a simple and universal truth about British and American comedies and it is this: We British can enjoy an American comedy but if we remake it, it will be pants.  The same is true if the Americans touch one of ours. It is also true that "If it ain't broke don't fix it."

And so to the American version of The Office. Its quite hard to define exactly what is wrong with it, but it does stink.

Firstly the casting is off on many levels. The David Brent character is too physically smooth.  He has none of the eye shifting nervousness or sweating top lip that made him so recognisable as bad managers that we have all known. He comes out with the same lines as Brent but suddenly all of the knowing comedy is ripped from them. Similiar character surgery hs been played with Mackenzie Crook's character.  With both, the slight "nerdiness" has been removed and without it they are nothing.

"Tim" and "Dawn" are not physically different enough from the other lesser characters that wander about in the background and are lost. "Tim" has no witty lines and because the Mackenzie Crook character has lost his nerdiness and neediness the endless ribbing of him has been lost.

Its disturbing to watch this version of The Office and to recognise lines and situations ripped out of their humour and transplanted here. Ricky Gervais no doubt took their money and ran laughing to the bank, knowing that any failures would be dumped at the Americans' door, and who could blame him.

This is dreadfully butchered TV and virtually unwatchable.


Page Last Updated Wednesday, October 12, 2005 at 16:01:29