Thursday, March 24, 2005

The Office US

Like falling through into an alternate reality: you recognise the situation, the camerawork is the same, the characters are vaguely familiar but all have different names... but it's not funny any more.

Without Ricky Gervais, it's nothing. The actor playing the Brent character (here renamed Michael Scott) tries hard but is too pinstriped to fill Brent's shoes.

And the original Office was all about the supporting cast too: it was as much about Tim as it was about Brent. Here Tim is renamed to Jim, and played well by an actor with more than a passing similarity in appearance to Martin Freeman. But the Gareth character (now Dwight) is wasted. His pompous self-importance here comes over as petulant and whiny.

On the evidence of tonight's pilot episode, not much cop. Maybe it'll pick up and find its stride in future episodes.

One good new joke, though: Scott shows off his "World's Greatest Boss" mug ("says it all, really") before letting slip that he bought it for himself ("I found it at Spencer Gifts").


That joke isn't original. I saw a simpsons episode just 2 days ago where Homer proudly shows his family his "world's greatest dad" coffee cup. Bart and lisa point out he bought himself.

Originality at any price.

BTW, I heard the US version of "the office" had been canned.
ITYM the US version of Coupling, which bombed big-time.