Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Office (US) - Season 1 (2005)

The Office (US) - Season 1 (2005)

The first season of the US version of Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's brilliant comedy 'The Office' gets off to a shaky start, initially mirroring the UK show before branching off into its own stories. Stylistically it's the same - a faux documentary following the goings on in a fictional paper company and focusing on its inept manager Michael Scott and the hapless employees who have to put up with him.

Unfortunately, at least in this first season, it doesn't even come close to the hilarity of its British cousin. It is funny, but not quite in that painful, uncomfortable way that makes you squirm in your seat. And Michael Scott just doesn't seem to have the same pathetic humanity that David Brent embodied so well - it's hard to feel any pity for Scott, as he just comes across as a buffoon. I think the same is true of all the characters really, there was something endearing about the originals that this version just doesn't capture in quite the same way, though it does try. It's well made and features good performances, but the subtle differences in writing and interpretation of characters prevent it from being great.

'The Office' is good, and worth watching; I'll be sure to check out the second series as well and see if it gets better and finds its own voice.

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