Just re-watching the original UK The Office. Holy shit. The American version was so toned down. The level of mean-spirited humor and abject awkwardness is a lot more intense.
- mark 11-03-2013 5:25 am

well, they only produced 12 eps so the characters didnt have much time to evolve but the american version had more of a communitarian spirit.
- dave 11-03-2013 8:38 pm [add a comment]

Yes. Even with more time, it would have been tough to wind down David Brent to a Michael Scott level of dickishness. I suspect in developing the US version they aimed for a higher level of likeability so they could sustain it for a longer run.

The initial version of Michael Scott (slicked back hair), was probably a little too much of a dick for the US, but was still pretty mild compared with David Brent. Both Brent and Scott had a huge level of insecurity, but Brent was much more likely to lash out with cruelty when he was the butt of a joke.

I remembered Brent as a likeable character. And he has his moments. But he's a truly awful person.

- mark 11-03-2013 9:14 pm [add a comment]

yeah, i assume the american audiences need the michael scott character to be more likeable. he was more of a buffoon than an outright dick.

at least a couple of ex-pat brits ive heard on podcasts (where else?) have said americans, in general, have a more positive outlook on life than britons so its not surprising that these two characters and the tenor of the two shows reflect that.
- dave 11-03-2013 10:06 pm [add a comment]

speaking of nbcs thursdays comedy block, its a shambles at the moment with parks and rec the only hold out from the previous regime. i understand that despite their critical acclaim the ratings werent especially good for any of these shows much beyond the early years of the office, but now they have a bunch of lowest common denominator shows with neither ratings nor cultural cache. they did sign on for a new tina fey sitcom starring the offices ellie kemper but its a long slog back to respectability.

- dave 11-03-2013 10:10 pm [add a comment]

I found the UK show upsetting and the us version not much better. I do go back and revisit them both for their craft but it's always as painful as it is gratifying.

- bill 11-03-2013 10:56 pm [add a comment]

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