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BBC's The Office


March 21, 2005 03:33 PM PST

The Office on BBC is the funniest set of shows/DVDs of 2004. Funnier than Napoleon Dynamite? Yes. More memorable lines than Dynamite? Yes.

Rent and watch at least the first DVD before you even think of watching the upcoming American version which starts Thursday. From what I've seen of the previews on the web of the US version, it looks horrible. They seem to be characterizing the boss as an obnoxious boor, and that's not true to the original. They appear to be channeling Lumberg from Office Space rather than David Brent from the original. I don't know why they don't just play the UK version here.

The beauty of The Office is that it is funny, but is also quite tragic. David Brent manages to be a horrible boss that you actually have empathy for - it's a fine line that reflects really amazing character development. The last few episodes are more sad than anything, and it's not until the Christmas specials that the characters are redeemed.

I'm really worried that the US version will totally ruin the experience of the UK show if you haven't already seen it, and that would be a shame. So check it out on DVD. I'll let you know how the new one is.

Comments (13)

Paul, March 21, 2005 07:43 PM:

Is there only the 2 DVDs (Series 1 & 2)?

J, March 21, 2005 10:23 PM:

I think so. There are two 6 episode seasons/series. They wrap things up in a christmas special which I guess is the third DVD.

John, March 22, 2005 09:23 AM:

Man I don't know. I gave this thing a shot about a year ago. I didn't make it past the second episode.I could give it another try.

J, March 24, 2005 07:46 PM:

You and Go found it too British, but I don't see that at all. I'm not a huge brit humor fan - I think this is pretty universal. I guess it takes about two episodes to get a feel for the characters.

Then again, I tried to get into Curb Your Enthusiasm, and while I understand why it's funny, I'm just not into it.

John, March 24, 2005 09:18 PM:

Its actually one of the few British comedies I don't like. I'm a pretty big fan of lots of obscure English stuff. I got the impression it might be one of those things that are funnier in a crowd.

Paul, March 26, 2005 01:07 AM:

Damn!!! I got both DVDs (12 episodes) from netflix tonight, and I'm currently on episode 8... this is brilliant! I can't stop watching....

Paul, March 26, 2005 03:33 AM:

Okay, finished all 12.... oh man, I'm tired.

J, March 26, 2005 11:16 AM:

Glad you liked them! The last few are kind of sad, but the Christmas specials are more upbeat. How about when you see Gareth in the motorcycle sidecar at the end of the bar episode? And the IT guy that talks about Bruce Lee. Classic.

We actually bought one of those little monkeys on ebay that Brent points out to everyone that comes into the office. He just points and smiles at it until someone says something.

"Free love on the free love freeway..."

Bryan, March 29, 2005 07:50 AM:

The only videos I have on my laptop are all The Office episodes. So before all my stuff got shipped it was either those or CNN for english language shows. Needless to say, I am starting to memorize a lot of the dialog. And I've learned the spaceman, princess diana, and freelove songs on the guitar now. Racial.

Actually, Chizzy just bought me the Ricky Gervais stand-up comeday DVD the other day. Some of it is pretty good, but David Brent is an impossible act to follow.

J, May 13, 2005 10:39 PM:

Check out Bryan's rendition of Free love on the freeway. Awesome.

Paul, September 28, 2006 01:40 AM:

I've just finished watching season 1 of the American version, and it's really good!

Sniffy, September 29, 2006 01:18 PM:

I'm halfway through season 2. Color me surprised. This is actually an American interpretation of a European show that is every bit as funny as the original.

Wheelson, October 6, 2006 02:43 PM:

I never thought the US version of The Office could be good. But it has surprised me. With last night's episode and the Call of Duty bits, it officially went into way cool territory.

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