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Matts (1087)

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I work for MessageLabs [] in Toronto, ON, Canada. I write spam filters, MTA software, high performance network software, string matching algorithms, and other cool stuff mostly in Perl and C.

Journal of Matts (1087)

Friday March 25, 2005
06:55 PM

The Office review

[ #23849 ]

So last night we watched the new American version of The Office. My wife and I posted a review to the BBC web site, but just in case it doesn't show up there here it is in full:

Having watched the first episode of the American version of 'The Office' last night when it aired, it is, as most Brits will expect, quite horribly Americanised. The humour is more forced, not to mention censored of anything that might upset the delicacies of right-wing Americans, and there is no fooling the audience into thinking this might actually be a 'fly-on-the-wall' documentary. The characters have the exact same lines - spattered with a few American references for those who might otherwise find the British dry humour confusing to the American intellect - but the overall weakness is in the lack of believability of the original premise when transferred to the American workplace. A feather in Marchant and Gervais' hats - or bank accounts perhaps - but not funny. And tritely insulting to those of us over this side of the pond who would rather have been exposed to the original. The failure of 'Ab Fab' to materialise into an American sitcom starring Meryl Streep and Roseanne Barr was a blessing; 'The Office' should have gracefully followed suit.

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  • the pilot episode for the american series is, as you say, almost entirely based on the first episode of the original series. but reportedly later episodes are more/all new, so it will at least be less of a rehash. i'm not defending the show, just saying it may be better to judge it on later episodes.
  • I don't watch the crappy American versions: I stick with the originals, as God intended. :)
  • I agree it was not all that funny, and it was at times forced, but ... first of all, the censoring thing I don't see at all. You completely misunderstand the "right-wing" in America, as the American right wing -- that is, people like me -- comprises much of South Park's viewership, and I've never seen a show on broadcast or non-premium cable as offensive as that. Maybe you meant "middle America," but the show is not geared toward them anyway. And that NBC is showing the series alongside Scrubs, which has
    • I think you've misunderstood the use of the word intellect here. My wife and I (it was a shared review) meant not to say "Americans are stupid" as that would be itself stupid. We meant only to point out the subtle differences in the thought processes behing humour between the UK and the US. This was of course a massive generalisation, but we felt that the US version of the Office was dumbed down to appeal to the American masses. It required less thinking than the British version.

      Of course it was a review,
  • The biggest difference between the British version and the new (horrible) Amrican version is that at least in the British version, you might imagine working with those people. There's no way the American version's fictional office would ever have come together, let alone survive. So, it's a parody of a parody of an exaggeration... way over the top.

    And as a result, it's not funny. We laugh at Dilbert, because "that could be us". We laugh at the british "Office", because "that could be us". I cannot la

    • Randal L. Schwartz
    • Stonehenge