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Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Geek/CounterGeek: Did NBC Make The Office Redundant?

Geek: The Office- Surprisingly Good

Last week, the US remake of the hit British show The Office premiered. When I first heard NBC wanted to develop this, I thought it was a terrible idea. I was sure that they would turn this original, funny and often painful-to-watch show into a typical lame US sitcom.

I was a little heartened when I heard that Ricky Gervais and Stephan Merchant, the creators of the original, would be involved with the remake. After seeing the first episode I think it works well. The episode was very similar to the original's pilot. It was able to keep the structure, tone and humor of the British show but make it more accessible to a mainstream U.S. audience.

I'll be curious to see how it works when it deviates from the plotlines of the original.

CounterGeek: The Office- Been There, Done That

There are two major problems with the US version of The Office.

First, we've seen all of this before, I mean EXACTLY the same thing. Second, the brevity of the UK show was key to its success. The Office ran for two seasons of six episodes and two specials in the UK. The show was brilliantly written and acted and was very funny. They told the stories they wanted to tell and gracefully bowed out, instead of milking the UK audience by rehashing the same thing year after year. We in the US get this remake instead, which I'm sure NBC hopes will run for at least 70 episodes.

Like old crackers, this show is stale right out of the box. How can it possibly improve over time?

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