Thursday, 23 June 2005

The Office (US Version)

Did anyone catch the US version of The Office last night? Thoughts?

For those of you who didn't see it, the first episode was basically a ripoff of the first episode of the UK series. Every character from the UK series has an character who matches them on the US series.

Personally, watching the first episode felt like watching a bunch of friends getting the script to the UK series and acting it out themselves. I thought the acting was terrible (especially the guy playing the David Brent-like character). All of the subtleties that Ricky Gervais put into the role (the little glimpses, the laugh, etc) were completely lost in translation, the guy was just acting like an idiot but there was no uniqueness to the chacter. The magic of Gareth was completely gone, the US guy is just a geeky brownnose without the quirks that Mackenzie Crook put into the role (at least it hasn't shone through yet). Tim and Dawn translated over okay, generally because they are normal characters and how hard is it to play normal characters?

I thought the 2nd episode was better, if only for the fact that it was a new(ish) storyline, and couldn't compare it directly to the UK counterpart. The bit where they all had to wear minority races on their foreheads and then all talk to each other as if they were talking to that minority race was very amusing. The Keith equivalent did an okay job...

Personally, I don't think it's the kind of the show that translates well to an American audience. Ahh well, at least they didn't have a laugh track...

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