It’s frustrating for any US Office fan to hear the phrase ‘The Hangover’s Ed Helms’. He’s not The Hangover’s Ed Helms, he's The Office’s Ed Helms. And sure, The Daily Show had him first, but he wasn’t that big a deal there. He is and always will be Andy Bernard, and he likes a cappella, and he’s very preppy. He's an all-round lovely guy. After the anger management courses, anyway.
So seeing him in super-friendly-cute-and-funny comedy Cedar Rapids naturally brought a smile to my face, what with him playing a naive, sweet, sincere character who works a seemingly dull job – more specifically, playing an insurance salesman called Tim Lippe. That’s right, not a paper salesman called Andy Bernard. No sir.
Anyway, walking out of the Cedar Rapids the other day, dancing embarrassingly through Soho – all movies should finish to the tune of Break My Stride by Matthew Wilder, right? Okay, some movies – my friend and I started the perennial debate on which is better sitcom: Ricky and Stephen’s original UK Office, complete with Tim, Gareth and Dawn, or the American version, with the all-star crew of Jim, Pam, Dwight and Michael?
As you might have guessed already, I was firmly in Jim and Pam’s camp, and here’s why:
1. It’s funnier.
A simple point to make, but it really does make me laugh more. I’m English, and I love Ricky Gervais (in moderation) but the US version makes me laugh a hundred times more. There are more jokes – yes, actual jokes, actual jokes every single minute in fact, and A + B + C storylines to boot – more comical situations, and a much lighter tone. But more on that later.
2. It’s got a much lighter tone.
Whereas Slough’s grim Wernham Hogg (where "life is stationery") really went to town on the whole kitchen-sink bleakness of working for a paper company in the middle of not-quite-nowhere, Dunder Mifflin really relishes the American can-do attitude, filling it with a cheerier charm, and in so doing makes the whole thing much more watchable. You almost want to work there. Almost.
3. It’s far more delicate with the cringe factor.
If you want classic cringe comedy, you watch the original Office. If you don’t want to crawl into your sofa and cry of an evening, you watch the American version. It’s not that Michael Scott isn’t capable of inducing a good moment of fist-gnashing – the Indian wedding episode made me leave my flat, for example – but when it is done, it’s done with a certain about of delicacy, making sure that no-one ever wants to switch the TV off. Brent singing Free Love Freeway? That’s the red button for you, my son.
4. Its main character is far more likeable – and liked.
It’s not just that Michael Scott is a friendlier fellow – it’s also that there's innate talent in there somewhere, and he also loves his team very, very much, and they love him too. He’d jump in front of a bus for Phyllis, hide in a bin for Kevin, kidnap a duck for Toby… Okay, not Toby, but everyone else, sure. Steve Carell’s Scott is like an unloved child, an attention-seeking infant, unlike Ricky Gervais’s David Brent, who is far more obnoxious, hateful and hateable. 5. It’s a little bit more cartoonish.
Naturally, with 24 episodes and season and several series under their belt, writers for the US office need to use some pretty out-there plot ideas. Not ‘one-of-them’s-actually-an-alien’ or anything, but certainly stuff that wouldn’t happen in an actual office in a million years – like the special girls’ bathroom, complete with sofa and magazines, as an example – and this is all thanks to the slightly ludicrous, gentle atmosphere. Just think about Creed’s kleptomaniac, sleeping-under-the-desk dark side. Somehow very funny. If the UK had a Creed? It would be horrific. Just think about it. Yeesh. 6. The supporting cast are much more memorable.
The original was definitely the David and Tim and Dawn and Gareth show, with occasional moments from Big Keith. With the US version, there remains the 'bigger names' but Creed and Meredith and Oscar and Angela also shine, as do Stanley, Kevin and so on and so on... I'd struggle naming as many supporting characters from the UK version, honestly.
I am not saying that the original Office is anything other than brilliant. It is, it really, really is, managing to be funny as well as acutely well-observed and satirical. It is genius, in fact. I am also not saying that my arguments are in any way new, or that this debate is anything other than personal opinion – comedy is subjective after all – but what is true, and will always remain true, is that the US Office is a better, more enjoyable, funnier sitcom.
It lacks the excruciatingly awkward moments and satirical edge, sure, but if I fancy a laugh, I’ll put on the American Office. If I want to relive certain moments of my actual worklife, I’ll put on the UK one.
Plus Dwight Schrute, you know – that man is funny. Ryan Howard… meh. But Dwight? Thank God and Ricky and Greg Daniels and Rainn Wilson for him and his amazing bobbleheads. What. A. Man.
vibeangus Posted on Thursday April 28, 2011, 01:41
The supporting cast in The Office is not supposed to be an assortment of comic characters, but normal people in a boring workplace, contributing to the important realism of the show. The realistic vibe and the naturalism with which it's executed, makes it far more powerful a show than the US version- which I do like very much.
hellsfoxes Posted on Thursday April 28, 2011, 02:33
Yes it does come down to what you want out of your 'Office' experience. Again, a lot of fair points, but the comedic strengths outlined are reasons I will regularly tune in to South Park, Family Guy, Futurama, Inbetweeners or many other light, fun, likable shows. I personally prefer the conceptual execution of the UK office. For what it was and what it did, it sits with Blair Witch Project as a pioneering lightning in bottle piece that was hugely emulated but ultimately never touched and when I wish to have that singular experience, I'll return to the original classic.
For the comedic benefits outlined above, US Office is an alternative to those other shows which is still awesome.
So US version is funnier? Debatable. Easier to watch at the end of a long day? Yes. More important? No. Better? Hmmm pick your poison.
Good post, cheers.
Benjiiiiiii Posted on Thursday April 28, 2011, 04:02
It WAS better than the UK. Now it sucks donkey balls has for a few seasons. No episode past season 4 is better than the UK version.
bbbbeeeennnn Posted on Thursday April 28, 2011, 06:39
Let me guess, for the same reasons you think that:
-Rocky is "Undeniably Better" than Raging Bull -Disturbia is "Undeniably Better" than Rear Window -and Dane Cook is "Undeniably Better" than any other comedian nameable?
And to be fair you didn't really give six reasons why the American Office is better, you just gave six reasons why it's easier to like. If you were a movie executive you'd probably be the one saying, "Does Michael Corleone really have to have his brother killed? And can't he have a talking dog? You know, to make him more likeable?" Also, saying it is "Undeniably Better" in the title and then saying it's just your opinion at the end of the article is kind of weak.
TomBowler Posted on Thursday April 28, 2011, 06:56
I agree with the assessment that they can be better depending on what mood you're in, but I am a huge fan of the realism UK brings. US is definitely funnier in terms of laugh out loud humour and Steve Carell is brilliant and I would definitely put on US rather than UK if I just wanted to watch something funny, but UK is fascinating to watch in terms of character. I'm just glad that US was so quick to break free of the 'remake' stigma and establish itself as its own show.
And as good as John Krasinski is, Martin Freeman owns Tim/Jim.
And Free Love Freeway is my favourite song of all time.
TomBowler Posted on Thursday April 28, 2011, 06:59
I also agree with Benjiiiiiii that US has been sucking hard of late.
bobthegrinch Posted on Thursday April 28, 2011, 09:26
I have to agree with bbbbeeeennnn on this one. Particularly on the 'undeniably better' in the title followed by 'it's just my opinion' at the end. I understand the need to point out it's your opinion in posts these days as people will flame anything as though it's presented as absolute fact, but don't put 'undeniably' in the title then back down.
fireal1 Posted on Thursday April 28, 2011, 10:20
I would never say one is better than the other but I think it's fair to say the US version has outperformed all expectations in becoming a succesful long-running show and is easily one of the most consistently entertaining and reliable sitcoms there is - Will Ferrell's current guest-arc has made some of the show's best moments.
And although it was slightly borrowed from the UK version, the silent moment at the end of s5 where Jim and Pam found out she was pregnant was astonishingly powerful thanks to the performers and the 5-series arc leading up to it, not because of any of the baggage from the orginal UK actors.
thenarrator Posted on Thursday April 28, 2011, 10:23
You can't realistically compare them because from season 2 they're largely different shows, with different plot lines, characters and jokes.
Fans of the UK who haven't seen the US would be good to start with season 2 and 3. Season 4 suffers because of the writers strike but 5 gets back on track.
The UK one is much more existential and about throwing your life away in a job you hate and the US one is a far broader comedy. Not as "deep" but then often more fun/easier to watch.
Both are great.
beebs_ Posted on Thursday April 28, 2011, 10:27
I also prefer the US Office. I don't know if its because we got to know them better over the years, or because they're all great characters from Kevin to Creed, to Stanley and to Meredith.
I think the show did take a but of a dip in quality last season, but I've enjoyed what we've had this year.
Last Michael Scott ep is tonight... I'll be sad to see him go...
JensonJet Posted on Thursday April 28, 2011, 11:24
Seriously, what an immature and utterly pointless article!!! Who cares which character, movie, or TV series happens to be someone's favourite? I don't understand why anyone feels the need to spout hundreds of words justifying why their taste is better than someone elses. For me the original was amazing, but I certainly wouldn't feel the need to explain why it's better than anyone else's choice. Discussing favourite versions of a TV series is probably best reserved for drunken conversations with mates. It's pretty pathethic to turn such a banal subject into an article on a 'professional' website!
Dr Science Posted on Thursday April 28, 2011, 11:44
JensonJet - I think you've entirely missed the point of blogging, whilst also managing to completely miss the irony of ranting about the pointlessness of other people's opinions. Well done.
bobbyperu Posted on Thursday April 28, 2011, 12:39
Better than the British version - It doesn't come close -
dfooster Posted on Thursday April 28, 2011, 12:59
stopped reading at point no1. "its funnier" err no its not and to say the US version has more jokes is totally missing the point of what made the UK office so entertaining in the first place. these are not comedy characters, they are meant to be stereotype office workers. anyone who works in an office will know its the quirks of people that make you laugh, i dont see people sat at work rattling off one-liners all day.
beebs_ Posted on Thursday April 28, 2011, 13:32
They don't rattle off one liners.
While I do love the original office, the US version is probably funnier because of the rest of the staff having distinct personalities that we get to know. It's not all a cringe-fest if catching Gareth/Dwight out.
Barry Posted on Thursday April 28, 2011, 14:31
Loved the UK Office, and we watched the boxset every night (well every night we stayed in) in Uni.
Having said that, I'm awfully fond of the US version, and I daresay that given the choice, I would pick the US version.
I don't like my comedy to be depressing.
SonnyDaze Posted on Thursday April 28, 2011, 16:31
Six reasons why the original wins hands down:
1. David Brent is funny than Michael Scott....FACT. Every single word he utters and every facial expression is brilliant.
2. The UK version has more pathos. The unrequited love between Dawn and Tim is heart rending, much more than the US version romance, and the scene in which Brent's redundancy is finalised brings a performance from Gervais that is astonishingly affecting, from an untrained actor no less.
3. True, the US version may be an easier watch but I don't think that was ever Gervais' and Merchant's intention...it's short life span and consistency make it a work of art that will stand the test of time..it's not just a box-set to chuck on at the end of a day's work.
4. It's better 'cos you'd rather work there and Michael Scott's more likeable? Er....poor logic. I'd hate to stay at Fawlty Towers, wouldn't want to be raised by Peter Griffin and I'd never EVER get on stage with Spinal Tap...on second thoughts I probably would.
5. It's got more belly laughs in 12 episodes and 2 specials than the US version has in it's entirety.
6. It's wrapped up perfectly..
SonnyDaze Posted on Thursday April 28, 2011, 16:36
Unlike my post..
skeletonjack Posted on Thursday April 28, 2011, 16:39
The Office UK is far superior in every possible way. I like the US version, but it doesn't hold a candle to the original.
JonnyLv Posted on Thursday April 28, 2011, 16:44
I'm sorry but I don't understand the point of this article. Why such a need to compare the two?? At the end of the day the US version is a completely different show. It has a different structure, and an albeit similar, but certainly more (dare I say it) slapstick form of comedy.
I would consider myself a fan of the US version. However I'm sure many people would find it hard to argue against the opinion that the UK version was groundbreaking for british comedy. It was like nothing I, or so many of my friends, possibly even my generation, had ever seen before. If you're such a fan of the US Office, (which to reiterate, is no bad thing) then shouldn't you be thankful for the original? Writing an article demeaning it into a competition of which is 'funnier'?... The show wouldn't exist without Gervais and Merchant's version!
And anyway, as you quickly mention towards the end, this is all a moot point, as comedy is based on personal sense of humour. Was this article really all in aid of winning an argument with your friend?
"It's funnier."..."It's a little bit more cartoonish."... I mean really, and respectfully, WTF????
rantnraging Posted on Thursday April 28, 2011, 16:56
great blog totally agree, love the UK office and it was groundbreaking but the US version is funnier ...really hate the fact that british TV people cant get their head around the fact that you can have quality and quantity with sitcoms
My 6 reasons its better if anyone is interested: 1)Dwight 2) Jims pranks (Waaay outdoes tim) 3)Michaels meetings and amateur film career 4) The Dwight - Angela - Andy love triangle (season 4- 5) 5)Michaels Relationship with Jan 6)The dundies
Dunder_Mifflin Posted on Thursday April 28, 2011, 17:30
It's hard because comparing two very different types of comedy is tricky. Both have excellent attributes, but, as a big fan of both, saying one is better than the other has always been hard. I agree with the supporting cast in The Office US getting more involved makes it way more fun for a long running show. Six seasons of Michael's childish behaviour would have gotten boring long ago if the excellent Creed hadn't been around. But then, the boring drones of the original add to the realism. Brent is definitely more cringeworthy than Scott, though being British, I feel it's easier to laugh along with his crude idiocy. And whilst I will always prefer Gareth to Dwight, Jim and Pam make for a more rewarding couple than Tim and Dawn. But it's also the scale which makes the US version so good. The original always had a expiry date because of the sense of humour it possessed, whereas the US show will always have the potential to be funny. Although, with Michael Scott leaving, I'm not entirely sure it should continue. As much as I know I would still watch it, it's always bad when one of your favourite shows replaces its lead with someone else and the comedic style would never quite fit them properly.
However, one reason why the US version is probably my favourite (at the moment)?
Threat Level Midnight
littlechris Posted on Thursday April 28, 2011, 17:52
I don't think I ever laughed out loud at the UK Office, but I do all the time with the US version - the fake fire drill is hands down one of the funniest scenes I've ever watched. Not to say the UK version is bad - I like it, I just like the US version more.
blaydon roth Posted on Thursday April 28, 2011, 18:41
I prefer the american version purley because I hate Ricky Gervais more thans satan,I want to slap the man ,I'm sick of Ironicly true to life comedys like the royal family and the uk office. Don't get me wrong there is a place for such material but not on my TV. The cringe factor has never entertained me and it never will,Being an prick is not funny and those who relish in seeing others squirm. Give me Steve Carell any day over what makes the rest of the world think that we are just sarcastic middle class tosspots.
and if anyone says "it's meant to portray real office life" watch a documentry ,they are actualy real. Sorry to be so heavy but I neaded that... P.S Burn Ricky Burn.
DannyRussell Posted on Thursday April 28, 2011, 19:47
The US Office is a TV show aimed at making the modern day TV viewer entertained week in and week out, theres few people out there today as funny as Steve Carell! but the UK Office was an original, even ground breaking closed ended series, and for lack of a better word Gervais's first masterpiece
mrskopps Posted on Thursday April 28, 2011, 19:56
The nerve of this!
clearwriter Posted on Thursday April 28, 2011, 20:41
Love this article and didn't think I could love an empire blog; the argument for Bella as a feminist character put me right off.
I love the American Office dearly. Where the original I think is genius comedy and perfect in almost every way, for me the American Office just trumps it in terms of likeability...hell love-ability, with the characters.
Jim and Pam are the only ones I don't love as they come across as too perfect sometimes, like they're better and smarter.
clare84 Posted on Thursday April 28, 2011, 21:48
Love them both but disagree with a couple of the points made. I don’t know how you can say 1 is funnier; of course this is a matter of opinion! The US Office is lighter but the UK version definitely has the most laugh out loud moments for me. Also I have to speak out in support of Brent! Now I’m not saying I’d want to go for a drink with the guy but ‘obnoxious, hateful and hateable’? Think this is a bit harsh! Granted he’s a bit of a tosser, but I’d hope anyone who has watched the Christmas episodes would have a little more empathy for the man! He just totally lacks any self-awareness while trying too hard to be everyone’s mate. Scott is just as clueless and desperate, but again the lighter nature to the comedy saves him. GO TEAM WERNHAM HOGG :o) x
admiralbastard Posted on Friday April 29, 2011, 09:37
what a dreadful article.
Senton Posted on Friday April 29, 2011, 09:47
So basically by losing the brilliant mundane grimness its less intelligent It's funnier? or so its got more toilet gags and easier basically dumb jokes
So it's just your typical big, dumb, cheery, blonde, unoriginal American sitcom and you think that its better? You don't really have an argument after that do you? :)
eruptus Posted on Friday April 29, 2011, 09:48
Seasons 2-4 were good, some of the episodes were great. Nowadays US Office is a bit too cartoonish when it's supposed to be a mocumentary. The characters are acting like idiots for the sake of laughs, Jim & Pam have nothing to do now that they are married and have a kid, there are too many love-triangles, Andy is singing in almost every episode (how often would that happen in real life). UK Office is short, but they didn't ever run out of ideas, that's why they didn't have to introduce ridiculous and cartoonish plotlines.
Senton Posted on Friday April 29, 2011, 09:52
This has got to be one of the worst blogs before, everyone disagrees with you in the comments page lol. To make such wide sweeping statements such as being funnier- a matter of opinion is really quite amateur
matthewforan Posted on Friday April 29, 2011, 12:28
Only two words are needed to sum up why the US version is better "John Krasinski"
BobLoblaw17 Posted on Friday April 29, 2011, 16:13
So in short, "The US Office is better because it bows to the conventions of almost every other US sitcom out there".
RandyChimp Posted on Friday April 29, 2011, 16:21
This entire article is complete and utter toss!
The point of the Office was to be a fake documentary, in a realistic office environment. In realistic office environments, people aren't jokers, people aren't all loveable, people aren't all classicly handsome/beautiful, they're normal average people! You aren't meant to hate David Brent, you're meant to pity him. What's he done to make you hate him? The character isn't constantly mean spirited, he's smug and arrogant, sure, but that's because he's insecure, like most people in the real world!
The US Office is overblown nonsense that's gone on far too long. Why would a documentary crew stay in one place for so long?
You're wrong, it's the first official time an argument by someone else can be officially wrong, since opinion is everything, but in this case, yes, you're wrong.
kpenga Posted on Friday April 29, 2011, 19:25
you just listed why the remake is more popular with audiences. in the end it makes the original looks even better (if that's possible)
wilmz68 Posted on Friday April 29, 2011, 19:43
It's a bit like saying a student is far more superior than the teacher!
wilmz68 Posted on Friday April 29, 2011, 20:08
Or...there's one opinion......and there are others. It's sad to think that the only opinion that counts is the one who's working for media. In this case, this one prefers shit!
NickHilton Posted on Friday April 29, 2011, 20:10
I don't agree or disagree with you.
I just wish to God people working at Empire would proof read their online posts.
Kevtb Posted on Friday April 29, 2011, 21:05
The UK Office is simply a much more original, better written, clever show. The only thing The US version has going for it is, like you said, lighter tone, more likeable, bubbly Americans, and less cringe. If that's what you prefer, fine. But it's clear you were never a fan of what makes the original series soo great in the first place.
The US Office is good. It's grown on me from the days when I first refused to watch it. But it's no different than any other sitcom when you get down to it. It's not 'The Office'. It's an American sitcom that happens to be set around an office (half the episodes I've seen don't even take place at the office)
clarkkent Posted on Friday April 29, 2011, 21:29
This article isn't helping things. Both shows are FANTASTIC. The difference is the shows themselves, they're their own entities that SHOULDN'T be judged against one another because they were never supposed to. Other than a couple of the basic relationships and central conceit of the show, they aren't really even in the same universe. It's like comparing CRASH staring Sandra Bullock with CRASH staring James Spader. Yes, they're similar, but they're different products intended to do different things for different people. The American show is funny and sweet and downright weird, while the British version is edgy and does things no one did at the time of production.
That said, The American show has done some dark stuff, character's suffering breakdowns, contemplating suicide, dealing with racial, sexual and political divides while other characters have become addicted to speed. And i DEFY anyone to watch the swansong of Michael Scott in the final episodes of Steve Carrel to show that the US office sometimes IS superior to the UK version.
But it's apples and oranges, one isn't better than the other because they're different things, comparing them does nothing but further entrench peoples opinions one way or the other. They're both FANTASTIC shows, but they're also DIFFERENT shows.
alkamal Posted on Saturday April 30, 2011, 05:02
"Undeniably funnier"? Do you like setting yourself up for a fall or something? In fact, do you even know the meaning of the word "undeniable"?
Out of the handful of people agreeing with you, comment #24 by 'blaydon roth' illustrates clearly the type of people who prefer the US version. You, sir, are in good company. You might want to proof-read your own posts too before clicking 'send'.
If it makes you laugh "a hundred times more" (really? all 150 or so episodes?), you really must have a broad, 'shitty-sitcom' taste in comedy. Why on earth would you want to admit to that? It's like admitting you have a low IQ or something, and then boasting about it online.
"5. It’s a little bit more cartoonish."
Seriously, what the hell?
presidentcletus Posted on Saturday April 30, 2011, 10:30
You are all wrong... Both Offices are great shows, the UK version because it has a very sombre, natural feel to it and because the cast is absolutely perfect, the US version because of Carrell and Wilson and the fantastic guest performers, also, Rashida Jones is a goddess. But they're both not as good as the original office... Yes, that's right, the original. I am of course referring to the segment on The Day Today about a 'normal' office. It changed everything!
jaysonski Posted on Saturday April 30, 2011, 20:08
i much prefer the american for lots of reasons, 1. the American is without (usually) the total egomainiac wankshaft Gervais, the more i see him the more the line blurs between him & david brent. The American show's characters are much warmer & accessible, Michael Scott is without doubt a complete div, but over the seasons they have fleshed out the character incredibly well to 'show' his childlike charm Also Dwight Schrute, this character is genius, like the xmas special where Jim starts a snowball fight & the one where he opens Schrute Farms B&B to Jim & Pam, brilliant!
Eomer_King Posted on Sunday May 1, 2011, 11:50
The US Office is fantastic but the original is utter genius. The comedy is layered, cruel, subversive and very, very clever. Brent's ability to induce cringe-worthy moments at will and the sheer scale of his ridiculous faux-sage outbursts ("What's worse? Cheating science or cheating friends?") are unparalleled. There's not a moment goes by when Brent isn't attempting to massage and boost his own ego (the nadir being the motivational speaking episode). The results are horrific yet utterly compelling.
spinninglikeplates Posted on Sunday May 1, 2011, 14:31
Ali Plumb, you have no idea what your talking about. you muppet!!!
Senton Posted on Sunday May 1, 2011, 17:21
This Ali Plumb is shit, he's already used the word undenialby in another blog and his other blogs include hollwood karioke and south african accents he contributes nothing but poor grammar. And 35 of the 46 comments are opposing your argument which state as fact DICK!
spacemonkey95 Posted on Sunday May 1, 2011, 19:11
If you're going to pick up on someone's grammar, try not to spell "undeniably" incorrectly. Just a suggestion.
replicon1 Posted on Monday May 2, 2011, 11:29
I'm sorry, I thought Empire was film site. Is the movie industry so lacking at the moment that you have to spark a debate over 2 TV shows?
Cyberleader Posted on Monday May 2, 2011, 12:27
No the UK version is better. Why? It's from the Uk innit. Further more...darkness? Yes please. This is an satirical comedy not a feelgood sitcom. More jokes? Yup, I bet they crowd 'em in...Just wish it was more, y'know, SUBTLE. As for Ricky Gervais VS Steve Carrel? OH C'MON! Ricky Gervais anyday.
Cyberleader Posted on Monday May 2, 2011, 12:45
Ferrel, even...(add another shudder just for effect)
introducing111 Posted on Monday May 2, 2011, 18:57
couldnt disagree more, is ali american?
goonerhip Posted on Monday May 2, 2011, 21:24
Bluehawk Posted on Tuesday May 3, 2011, 01:14
Ed Helms and Steve Carell will always be from The Daily Show. Stop denying it for personal reasons. You could say Steve is from The Office these years, because he was the main actor. But Ed Helms is still a secondary charactor on The Office, while he was a main correspondent like John Oliver on The Daily Show. The Daily Show is big, recognize.
brucejackiejet Posted on Tuesday May 3, 2011, 14:38
First off - yes it is all opinion, certainly when it comes to which is funnier. Second - For me, the US version wasn't at any point a credible mocumentary. I remember the first time I switched over to the UK series and for a good while I assumed it was a real documentary, because it looked like a genuine office. In contrast it's immediately clear with the US one that you're watching a sitcom. Consequently this is where it really suffers for me. I never get any of those "I know a person like that!" or "Yep, that reminds me of our fire drill/Xmas party" moments, and that's why it doesn't make me laugh half as much as the original. Third and finally - Ultimately for me the US Office missed one vital ingredient which was heart. Yes it was bright and colourful and crammed in a lot of jokes, but as a consequence of removing all the grittiness, melancholy and tenderness from the original it felt strangely empty. I understand why the jokes are supposed to be funny, but it's so far removed from reality that I don't care about any of the characters and the whole thing is instantly forgettable. Random metaphor but to me it's like comparing a McDonald's Happy meal with a homecooked one - the salt and sugar will give you an instant satisfaction, but it's always the homecooked meal that leaves a more lasting impression.
benskelly Posted on Sunday May 8, 2011, 21:47
Bruce - It's clear you really haven't watched much of the US Office or you wouldn't be saying it lacked heart. There are MANY episodes with a great amount of heart and bittersweet feeling - the wedding episode being a prime example. You evidently watched two episodes in the first season and feel you can make the comparison until the end of time. This is proven by the way you use past-tense to refer to a show still running.
Middenway Posted on Tuesday May 10, 2011, 22:26
I love the US Office, seen every single episode so far and I've got all the blu-rays, but the UK Office is still better. It never goes over the top and the Christmas Special was just the perfect way to end that show. It's good that the US version is lighter and more cartoonish. It allowed it to become it's own show. But the original is better.