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UALPHLCS
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The Office

Mon Apr 09, 2007 10:42 pm

First off, is the US version of the Office broadcast over in the UK?

Secondly, for those of you who have seen both which do you like better?

I have a feeling the American version will be liked better by Americans and vice versa, simply because there are pop-culture references that just don't translate.

However, I loved the UK version. But I find the US version while being just as funny isn't as uncomfortable. David Brint, (the Boss) is so unlikeable, he makes my skin crawl sometimes. On the other hand, Michael Scott was made more sympathetic at times. Actually, maybe pathetic is a more apt description.

One of the other huge differences is the short story arc of the UK version versus the US version. What do you think? I think the US version has successfully avoided the "Ross and Rachel" trap, with Pam and Jim. This recent episode was an advance in that story line. The UK version being short didn't have that to worry about. However, the UK version being so short has left me wanting to know more about the characters, while the US version with more time, has expanded the character base so you know more about all of the co-workers in the Office.

Pros and cons of both. On the whole, I like the US version better, but as I said I think it maybe because there were things going on in the UK version I just didn't understand as and American.

[Edited 2007-04-09 16:12:12]
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luv2fly
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RE: The Office

Mon Apr 09, 2007 11:10 pm

I have not seen the UK version though when it comes to the US version I would rather watch paint dry then watch the Office.
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
desertjets
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RE: The Office

Mon Apr 09, 2007 11:18 pm

FWIW I've never seen the UK version, even if it is on BBC America I've never caught it between the reruns of "Whos Line" and Benny Hill.

Quoting UALPHLCS (Thread starter):
On the other hand, Michael Scott was made more sympathetic at times. Actually, maybe pathetic is a more apt description.

I think pathetic is the more apt description for Michael. He isn't an asshole or a mean evil person, he is just utterly incompetent as a human. Plus you have Dwight as his comic relief. In many cases Michael makes Dwight take the fall for him, turning Dwight into the asshole.


TBH I didn't like the Office when it first aired, and it was not until that it got into the 2nd season that I really warmed up to it. In some ways it seems closer to the concept of Office Space than a BritCom... it certainly targets the formers audience.


Oh, Dwight macing Pam's ex at the beginning of last weeks episode was fricking hilarious. I almost fell out of my sofa laughing.
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IFEMaster
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RE: The Office

Mon Apr 09, 2007 11:55 pm

Here's my take on both versions:

I knew the UK version first (as I was still living in the UK when the first season aired). To me, Ricky Gervais' 'The Office' will always be the one and only. Even though David Brent is a complete and utter tit, he is far more believable than Michael Scott as the inept, self-obsessed boss.

Having said that, the US version is still good. It's just different. When I saw the first episode, I thought it would bomb, because they basically copied the script, almost line for line, of the first UK episode. However, by season 2 they had established their own characters and story lines (for example, the Oscar storyline, the Michael & Jan storyline etc.), and now the only thing that is comparable to the UK version is the name.

Last week's episode, by the way, is one of the funniest yet. Dwight macing Roy, then Angela getting turned on by the recounts of his heroics. Daryl noticing Michael was wearing a ladies suit, and then seeing the pink lining and the 'Miss-Sterious' label'. Just brilliant.
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Banco
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RE: The Office

Tue Apr 10, 2007 12:40 am

Quoting UALPHLCS (Thread starter):
First off, is the US version of the Office broadcast over in the UK?

They showed the first couple of them, but I don't know whether it's still on. It may well be on one of the hundreds of smaller channels we get.

Quoting UALPHLCS (Thread starter):
David Brint, (the Boss) is so unlikeable, he makes my skin crawl sometimes.

Interesting that you thought Brent so unlikeable. I don't think that's the intention at all. Brent is pathetic, yes, but he isn't ever deliberately nasty, he's just a man out of his depth.

Quoting UALPHLCS (Thread starter):
I have a feeling the American version will be liked better by Americans and vice versa, simply because there are pop-culture references that just don't translate.

Quite right. But I think it's more than that too, the humour in Britain and America is rather different, which is partly why from what I've seen, the American version is much less buttock-clenchingly cruel. I don't think the Brent character, who is such a failure, goes over well in the States.

[Edited 2007-04-09 17:40:49]
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IFEMaster
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RE: The Office

Tue Apr 10, 2007 12:51 am

Quoting Banco (Reply 4):
I don't think the Brent character, who is such a failure, goes over well in the States.

On the contrary, when The Office (UK) was aired on BBC America and subsequently a couple of other channels, it was a massive hit. It subsequently won a Golden Globe. Most people I know here who have seen it think it's superior to the US version and just love how out of control David Brent is.
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Banco
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RE: The Office

Tue Apr 10, 2007 1:10 am

Quoting IFEMaster (Reply 5):
On the contrary, when The Office (UK) was aired on BBC America and subsequently a couple of other channels, it was a massive hit.

Sorry, I should have expanded on that thought rather more. What I mean is that for a long running version of The Office, he's too much of a loser. In any case "massive hit" is somewhat relative, it didn't make it to be one of the highest rated comedies, did it? It was a critical rather than a ratings success.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
IFEMaster
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RE: The Office

Tue Apr 10, 2007 1:24 am

Quoting Banco (Reply 6):
Sorry, I should have expanded on that thought rather more. What I mean is that for a long running version of The Office, he's too much of a loser. In any case "massive hit" is somewhat relative, it didn't make it to be one of the highest rated comedies, did it? It was a critical rather than a ratings success.

Correct, and I think the fact that Gervais and Merchant quit while they were ahead was a smart move.

The relativity of their success here, though, was probably only limited by the fact that the channels it was aired on have a limited audience - they are subscription channels. I think that if it were to show on a free-to-air channel, it would be hugely successful.
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UALPHLCS
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RE: The Office

Tue Apr 10, 2007 2:23 am

Quoting IFEMaster (Reply 7):
Correct, and I think the fact that Gervais and Merchant quit while they were ahead was a smart move.

However, Ricky Gervais is still involved in the American version.

Quoting Banco (Reply 4):
Interesting that you thought Brent so unlikeable. I don't think that's the intention at all. Brent is pathetic, yes, but he isn't ever deliberately nasty, he's just a man out of his depth.

The main difference between Michael Scott and David Brent in my opinion, is the show has set up Michael as almost totally inept, but he redeems himself. Michael on occasion shows how good a salesman he is and in the scene at corporate which some of the Brits might not have seen just when you think he hasn't come prepared he shows you he did do his homework.

Michael doesn't try to weasel out of embarrassing situations, in fact as I think about I think Michael is more endearing because he has LESS self awareness than David. When David was in trouble he'd dig himself deeper. Michael just forges ahead cluelessly. So David does come off as cruel, while Michael is just ignorant.

Quoting IFEMaster (Reply 3):
Daryl noticing Michael was wearing a ladies suit, and then seeing the pink lining and the 'Miss-Sterious' label'. Just brilliant.

I loved it when Daryl called Michael, Hillary Clinton because of the pant suit. I nearly died laughing. BTW did you notice at corporate the woman sitting next to Michael wearing the same suit. Funny sight gag.
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IFEMaster
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RE: The Office

Tue Apr 10, 2007 2:44 am

Quoting UALPHLCS (Reply 8):
However, Ricky Gervais is still involved in the American version.

It's academic; he isn't actively involved other than on an occasional consultancy basis. He's listed in the credits as an executive producer I think, but as far as I'm aware he doesn't really get involved all that much.
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bananaboy
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RE: The Office

Tue Apr 10, 2007 11:41 pm

Quoting UALPHLCS (Thread starter):
But I find the US version while being just as funny isn't as uncomfortable.

Think you hit the nail on the head there. I can laugh (a little) at the US version, but much preferred the acute discomfort felt watching the UK version.

Mark
All my life, I've been kissing, your top lip 'cause your bottom one's missing
 
UALPHLCS
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RE: The Office

Wed Apr 11, 2007 12:47 am

Quoting BananaBoY (Reply 10):
I can laugh (a little) at the US version, but much preferred the acute discomfort felt watching the UK version.

Whoah! We get into the deep dark masochism of BananaBoy.

Creepy. Big grin
A little less Hooah, and a little more Dooah.
 
bananaboy
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RE: The Office

Wed Apr 11, 2007 1:23 am

Quoting UALPHLCS (Reply 11):
Whoah! We get into the deep dark masochism of BananaBoy.

Creepy.

... you have no idea.  Smile

Mark
All my life, I've been kissing, your top lip 'cause your bottom one's missing

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