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
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."