Monday, March 21, 2005

The Office Redux

So, for a while now I've been annoyed that NBC is remaking one of my favorite BBC shows: "The Office." Part of that is because I think the original is brilliant and should get credit, rather than an American remake, part of it is that I think Ricky Gervais, the BBC lead, is brilliant and will be awfully hard to replace, and part of it is that it was nice to have something really funny and creative to share with people. So I've been complaining about this remake to several of my friends.

But maybe I was wrong.

I've had a chance to watch a few clips of the show now (here is a good one, about fifteen minutes long and very funny) and I am actually kind of pleased. They seem to be trying to keep a lot of what makes the original work so well: no laugh track, documentary style, long awkward pauses, and so on. I've actually been pretty impressed. My worries still stand. One of the things that was great about the original is that they didn't beat it to death--the whole show listed only like 12 or 13 episodes because they stopped when they felt they were running out of good ideas or when it wasn't as fresh anymore. In America, where a single season is 22 episodes and where a hit is expected to come back for more, I worry that they'll just go over the top and it'll just get overly absurd (as opposed to the just-absurd-enough-to-feel-embarrassingly-real level the BBC version had). I'm also not sure how well this cast will gel compared to the BBC version: the relationships on that show seemed so real and true to life. But I'm definitely going to give it a shot. I'll start directing more people to it than away from it, I think. Thursday night at 9:30 eastern will be the pilot, and then I believe it'll move to Tuesdas. Give it a shot! And either way, you should still check out the BBC version (I hear that the pilots are similar and then they take kind of different directions).

Click here for some more short clips (go to videos). Or watch some clips of the BBC version here.

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