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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The Office

I've finally just recently seen every episode of The Office; the British version, I mean. I like the American version, too. Steve Carrell is a brilliant comedic actor.

But the British version succeeds in a few ways that the US version does not. For one, the British version is more subtle with the humor (though it can also be outlandish at times), as opposed to the US version which tries almost too hard. And two, the British version somehow includes dramatic story arcs that actually tug at the heart strings.

It's an incredible dichotomy. One moment, you're laughing at the genius of Ricky Gervais (I can't stress genius enough, but I'll try with help of font size and CTRL+B), and the next moment, you find yourself almost choked up when he, somewhat teary-eyed, begs his bosses not to let him go after he's been asked to leave his position. It's honestly tough to watch. And I can't think of another show that is so laugh-out-loud funny but also legitimately sad at times.


Sure, there are those comedy shows that try to get dramatic or try to include a moment of poignancy. But they usually do it with the subtlety of a Full House episode.

"Michelle, you have to go to school," says Danny Tanner, outside of a kindergarten classroom. "It's okay to be nervous, but everyone has to do it at some point."

"Yeah, but everyone else... has a mommy, too," she says, with big puppy dog eyes and a lower lip that couldn't possibly stick out any further.

AUDIENCE
AWWWWWWWWWWWW...


No show pulls it off like The Office.

And not only can it make you laugh and make you cry, (Heh-heh, not that I was crying—listen I'm a big, strong man—I may have gotten choked up but that was it—I never actually cried—I'm not a girl, okay—stop thinking I'm a girl—I'm a big manly man with hair—and arms and fists—that cut down trees—I don't have time to cry—lots of trees that need to be cut down with these guns) but it can also make you think.

This is something that one of the characters said, and it made so much sense to me that I wrote it down right away. So, I'll leave you with it.

"It's better to be at the bottom of a ladder you want to climb than halfway up one you don't."


14 Comments:

At 4:34 AM, Blogger TheMann00 said...

I've only seen the American version, and I love it.

Where can I catch the British version?

 
At 8:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

haha "Ctrl+B" oh Andy you're so witty - MA

 
At 8:35 AM, Blogger American Girl said...

i think 'scrubs' does the same thing...i laugh, i cry.

 
At 9:03 AM, Blogger Matt said...

I agree with American Girl. Scrubs is a solid show that will make you laugh one minute and cry the other. It's okay to cry Andy; girls like that. I don't cry (I get "choked up" like you), and my Fiance probably wants me to cry so I show a "sensitive" side. But hey, I'm a guy and I cut down trees too so she can either join me in cutting down trees or sit on the futon and cry.

 
At 9:44 AM, Blogger Adammmmmm said...

I've seen both. And both are quality shows but in different ways.

Have you checked out "Extras" yet? Now that's a show with some awkward moments and Brittish humor. I figure you have since you mentioned the genious of Ricky Gervais.

 
At 12:08 PM, Blogger Woffle said...

Extras isn't the Office, but it's pretty damn good. It doesn't do the pathos, but it's even more cringeworthy...

 
At 2:51 PM, Blogger Former Intern Andy said...

I've heard of it, Extras, but I haven't seen it yet. I'm without HBO, sadly.

True, Scrubs is a good show also.

 
At 5:34 PM, Blogger omar said...

I've also only seen the American version, and I think it's hilarious.

 
At 8:25 PM, Blogger lovelygreensweater said...

and yet so many people are at the top of ladders that they never wanted to start in the first place.

 
At 9:18 PM, Blogger Katie said...

Ooooh, a new show to watch out. And one that will get me "chocked up!" I may be a girl, but I never cry.

 
At 3:06 AM, Blogger ChittyChittyBangBang! said...

Haven't seen the American version, but I concur, the British version is brilliant.
But then again, I would say that... wouldn't I?

 
At 11:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I lived in Edinburgh I saw Ricky Gervais do a stand-up show called "Politics". Painfully, wonderfully irreverent. If you come across a dvd of the show, I'd highly recommend watching it. Really - beg, borrow and steal as necessary. It's worth it, I promise. I mean, if you see a small child holding a red Che-tee-shirt-looking dvd case with "POLITICS" across the top, grab the dvd, knock the child over (to buy yourself some time... and also because it's fun) and run straight home to revel in your new treasure. The kid wouldn't understand the humour anyway. The time you would assuredly spend in jail for pilferage and violence could then be a period of blissful reflection upon the breadth of Ricky Gervais' genius. Trust me, it'll be great.

 
At 11:34 PM, Blogger 52X Max said...

Brilliant phrase, very reflective...

I haven't actually seen none of this shows (including scrubs) but it sounds pretty cool, and I think that people & arts latin america is starting to air the british version, so I'll try to catch up with it

 
At 6:50 PM, Blogger Syar said...

there's an american version?

it took me forever to figure out that one guy from the British version of The Office was Arthur in Hitchhiker's guide. Just like it took me forever to figure out that gandalf was also magneto.

full house, yay! olsen twins, boo!

 

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