Can we all just agree that The Office UK is better than the US version?
This is controversial
There’s always been a hotly discussed debate about which version of the widely acclaimed ‘The Office’ is better, but there’s only one winner for sane individuals. Below are just some of the points why Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s sitcom cannot be compared to the US version…
The USA copied the original
The American version was inspired by the original. It might have had the same writers for the first couple of series, but it’s like borrowing someone’s homework and copying 99.9% of it. The US version is far more glamorised, and was a bit of a rip off early on before they established their own ideas. They copied phrases word for word at times, even using the same gags during season one, such as the stapler in jelly scene.
Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s subtle touch reflect Britain’s cynicism and tone in British society.
The main difference is that for the British Office, you have to concentrate to be able to get the ingenious, and witty Brent lines, whilst the US version is literally spoon fed, dumbed down to the point of insult, assuming you’re that brainless not to understand the joke.
Realism and relatability
The characters work for a paper company based in Slough, a large shithole as well as a large English town. It’s easy to understand why they used the depressing theme song, ‘Handbags and Gladrags’ to be played in the background.
This hardly sounds attractive or inspiring but it isn’t supposed to be. Unfortunately this is the reality for a lot of working people occupying dull office jobs across the UK, and only adds to the realism within the ‘mockumentary’ style comedy, compared to the upmarket US model.
There’s a high chance that we’ve encountered a Gareth, a Tim, a Chris Finch, or a David Brent whilst at school, through work or university.
David Brent is a bigger dickhead than Michael Scott will ever be
The Wernham Hogg boss is portrayed as a narcissistic, insecure and delusional individual, lacking in any sense of social intelligence and self-esteem.
Brent is desperate to be loved and respected, however his oozing of arrogance, creepiness, and painfully bad jokes all result in him being resented by his work peers. In certain scenes, you don’t know whether to laugh or cover your eyes and squirm uncontrollably in disbelief.
Whereas, Michael Scott in the US version portrays himself to be quite likeable. David Brent is only there to be mocked, his only slight redemption is during the final Christmas episode when he finally stands up to his ‘mate’ Finchy and goes on a successful date.
Dawn and Tim’s relationship is played out better
Dawn Tinsley is one of the more likeable characters in the comedy sitcom, she counteracts her tedious receptionist job by pulling pranks on Gareth with Tim, casting lingering glances at the latter throughout.
In some ways, the British version is like a love story, with comedy elements papered over it, despite all the gags and the wincing, you’re always compelled about what’s going to happen between Tim and Dawn.
The UK version is more uncomfortable to watch
Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s version prolongs the cringe-making moments, making us anguish to the point that it’s almost a form of torture at times.
Whereas, the US version’s seem to cut away before any real moments of embarrassment or awkward pauses.
It was short and sweet
After David Brent was made redundant, it was definitely the right decision to stop ‘The Office UK’ after just two series, fourteen superbly executed episodes and more importantly, preserving a faultless masterpiece.
That can’t be said for the American version that has instead dragged on and on; with about 200 episodes produced before it finally drew to a close. You only have to look at other comedy examples such as The Simpsons, to see that this ends very badly.