Saturday, August 14, 2004
Thursday, August 05, 2004
Tuesday, August 03, 2004
Monday, August 02, 2004
The pilot episode of the American version - I think I should delete the word "pilot" and insert "only"; surely they won't show the other remade episodes if they have made them - has a near identical set to the original version; a near identical script (though some of the 'near the knuckle' references from the original have been written out); and a cast of characters who in a bad light, with your contacts out and your cataracts in, almost look like the original actors but it just gets everything wrong. Steven Carell, who fills the shoes of Ricky Gervais, attempts to play the David Brent character (renamed as Michael Scot in the American version) as a wholesale rip from Gervais performance - tic for tic; sly glances to the fictional documentary camera; and even the attempt at the best fake laugh this side of an audience at aDavid Baddiel* Stand Up Show. However, it just doesn't come off. And the guy playing Gareth? For some reason, the makers of the American version thought that they would get an actor who looks like the lovechild of Garrison Keillor and Olive from 'On The Buses' fame to play the part. That is the most interesting part of his performance.
And what does Ricky Gervais himself make of the American version?"I've watched the pilot. It's good. It's quite faithful to the original."But it's weird for me because I can't look at it objectively. I think anyone who's seen our version will find it weird. But it's not aimed at us Brits, it's aimed at 250 million Americans who've never heard of The Office."So I don't know what will happen really, but neither do I care. It's nothing to do with me. We handed over the rights and now it's up to them. I wish them luck."
David Brent couldn't have excused it away better himself.
*As Baddiel is a fake comedian, I thought I would link to a pic of a fake David Baddiel.