VTAW – Drinking with You

By JoCo June 26, 2006

Uh oh. I think Len has sold out to the corporate fat cats. Either that or he just really likes “The Office.” I’m a big fan of the BBC version of the show, but I find the US one mostly a reminder that we just don’t know how to make good television in this country (or rather, we can make good television, but most of us are not smart enough to appreciate it – RIP Arrested Development).

But I digress. Where was I? Something about an image…


Len says

I actually like both versions of the Office. I think that they are making Steve Carrel more sympathetic than they ever made Ricky Gervais. I do however feel that the office romance in the US version is a little "sweeter".

BTW, dead on with Arrested Development. And remember Police Squad with Leslie Neilsen? They took that show off the air becuase they felt the American public didn't have the attention span to get the jokes.

Mack says

I totally thought of the Office when I heard this week's song. I am a much bigger fan of the British version, but the song definitely made me think of the American version. Weird.

Alex Holden says

I'm a Brit and I hated The Office. Extras was better, but still not brilliant.

Americans certainly do know how to cancel good television (RIP Firefly).

Jennifer says

Dude, seriously? Because I am a huge, huge fan of the original British Office -- love it to tiny, uncomfortable, awkward bits -- and yet the American version has totally grown on me.

I watched the first couple of episodes when it first began airing and I, too, dismissed it as a weak copy and not nearly as brilliant as anything Ricky Gervais could come up with. But over the holidays I had a new iPod and the prospect of craploads of time to kill in the airport, and since it was, at the time, one of the few video things available on iTunes, I loaded up a couple more episodes, still ready to be disappointed. The pilot, being pretty much a shot-for-shot recreation of the first episode of its British counterpart, was as uninspiring as I remembered.

And then I saw "Diversity Day," which had me embarrassing myself at the gate, I was laughing so much.

Look, I'll be the first to admit that the American version is not nearly as ruthless or consistently brilliant as its predecessor, and that the first season does have a few weak spots. But man, it is far and away so much better than 99% of the crap that is on TV these days, hands down. The cast has really found its groove and has finally come out of the shadow of Gervais et al. The characters, while founded on the same archetypes, have come into their own and no longer feel like watered-down derivatives.

Please, JC: consider giving it another shot. It really is a terrific show. Or maybe you have given it several shots, and are still disappointed. In which case, never mind. Heh.

Vintage Daisy says

Nope - totally with JC on this one. Original British version was the best thing I've ever seen on TV. American version just looks like actors acting.

Orkendark says

I'm with Jennifer, US version grew on me big-time. I watched almost all the episodes in a 2 day period, so I may have just hit a certain immersion level with it... but I grew to like the US characters at an almost equal level to the UK counterparts.

The Pam/Jim relationship was definitely more simmering than the Dawn/Tim one.

David Brent was more out of touch with reality than Steve Carrell.

In both things though, it's pretty close. I look forward to the continuation of the US series to see what they do.

Paul says

I've heard talk of another network -HBO or one of the big three- picking up Arrested. It's probably just a rumor, but I have my fingers crossed.

Lauren says

My brother looks like Ricky Gervais, with the hair and the beard-y thing. Only thin and tall.
...OK, so he's more Dante-from-Clerks-ish, but still. That is the only connection I have to the Office.

The art is lovely. I can't draw realistically to save my life.

Vintage Daisy says

There was interest in "Arrested Development" from a couple of cable networks but ultimately the producers of the show decided not to continue with it. It's a GREAT loss - it was a brilliant show. :(

Kevbo says

Oh I love the US version too. It's become delightfully different from the original in the UK. I can live with your difference of opinion Jonathan. Don't lose sleep over this. Okay?

The song made me think of The Office... and my own office. :(

Arrested joins what the Trio network once called "Brilliant But Canceled."

Rachael says

Did you know Jenna Fischer (who plays the receptionist on the US version of The Office) has "re: Your Brains" as her profile song on myspace? That's how I found you, so the US version isn't that bad after all. :)

Arrested Development is absolutely one of the best shows in the history of ever. If it'd have been marketed properly, or even just seen on a network like HBO, it'd have done so much better than it did on FOX.

MrGreg says

I also found you through Jenna Fischer's myspace blog, and I ended up buying "re: Your Brains", so hopefully now you like "The Office" exactly $1 more than you did before.