For anyone who has been annoyed by a boss or fellow employee, it is easy to relate to the new NBC show, The Office.
Based on the British comedy of the same name, The Office tries to copy the magic of the original series, but misses the mark on occasion.
I guess this is what happens when the United States tries to recapture the brilliance of a British television show.
NBC, two years ago, tried to redo the hilarious BBC comedy Coupling without much success. Within a few weeks of premiering the U.S. version was pulled off the airwaves.
The United States has been taking shows from BBC and trying to “Americanize” them without much success, and The Office is the latest attempt.
However, The Office succeeds where the other British remakes have failed.
It is funny and has its charms because of the show’s star Steve Carrell, known for the films Anchorman and Bruce Almighty.
Carrell, who plays the boss, Michael Scott, successfully captures the humor of the original series’ boss David Brent, played by Ricky Gervais.
He is quick-witted, has a dark sense of humor and gets on his fellow employees’ nerves. He does not seem as cruel as Brent, but Carrell does easily get on ones’ nerves.
The first episode that premiered last Thursday is a copy
of the original series pilot.
The Office shows daily happenings of employees at an average paper merchant office.
The jokes and most of the lines in the U.S.’s The Office were used on the original series, all the way down to Tim putting Gareth’s stapler in Jell-o.
It helps that the first episode was written by the original writers of the British The Office, with a few American jokes thrown in.
But the problem with The Office is not the great jokes and funny concept that was successfully brought to the BBC, but the actors that try to capture the original series’ memorable characters.
This time around, Gareth is played by Rainn Wilson and is named Dwight. The character is not a member of the territorial army, like in the original series, but works as a volunteer deputy-sheriff.
Wilson is bland and boring, and comedic timing falls flat.
Tim’s character (renamed Jim for the new series) is played by John Krasinski and does not stack up to the original, Martin Freeman. Krasinsky does not offer the sweetness of the original Tim, but he is still cute nonetheless.
Jenna Fischer plays Dawn (renamed Pam in the new series) and lacks the charm of actress Lucy Davis from the original series. Fischer just seems completely out of place.
The supporting characters just can’t seem to match the comedic touch of Carrell.
Overall, the show has hilarious moments, but I still prefer the original and Brent’s sense of humor.
Already out on DVD in a box set, or by individual season, the original The Office just can’t be beat.
The show could have gone much longer than just two seasons and a Christmas special, but Gervais decided to leave the series when it was at the top.
Thank goodness us Americans can get the original series on DVD or the show can be seen on BBC America.
The American version of The Office will be shown this week in its permanent time slot on Tuesday nights on NBC at 9:30 p.m.