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Tuesday, March 29, 2005
Wernham Hogg or Dunder Mifflin?
So. The Office is not Coupling. Possibly thanks to the executive producers, the show was magnificent. The changes for a US audience were minimal and very funny, but the essential documentary nature of the show, the cringe-worthy moments, and the stolen moments when we see more than they think we see were all still there. Another 1/2 hour tonight, hopefully as strong as the first episode. Check it out. I especially like the effort that NBC went to to fake a whole corporate site for the company, Dunder Mifflin, which has "branches in Buffalo, Stamford, Albany, Utica, Scranton, Akron, Camden, Nashua and Yonkers." Here's hoping that the American audience go for the format & don't hold out for the 30 second laugh-track that they're used to. Excellent.
Posted at 3:10 PM by John.
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Anonymous Adam said...
I am baffled by your comments on The Office. "Magnificent"? I don't understand how you can say, "The changes for a US audience were minimal," either - the new Dwight/Gareth character has bee dumbed down to simply "dork," the new Tim and Dawn characters are (so far) prettier and - like "Dwight" - flatter than their counterparts. Many of the characters in the original seemed worth our concern and cringing -- even Gervais' Brent. I feel like I'm watching a remake done by an automated script-chopper and confused, grasping actors. The original The Office worked because it was made by two guys with a common vision for a show, not a corporation.

Finally, as to the "effort" extended by NBC on the DM fake website (I'm picturing two interns, a press kit, Dream Weaver, and maybe one week of time) - a shame that creativity couldn't've been channeled toward, oh, I don't know, an original series?

I hope NBC gets their money's worth, although I'm sure the number wizards at Rockefeller Center have already figured that part out.

Regardless, I am sure that somebody at NBC, no matter how small, actually cares about this program for the right reasons, and for them I am glad, because your post is evidence that people out there like what they have done.

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Blogger John said...

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Anonymous Adam said...
I'm back, tail somewhat between my legs.

Tonight I caught the pilot, and I can see where a lot of your thoughts came from. It was probably as true of a remake of the pilot of the original as one could imagine, U.S. style. I won't go with magnificent, but not too bad.

I also re-watched the "Diversity Day" episode, and I'm still left with the same empty feeling. I get the feeling that the writers are trying to string out a whole BBC season (6 episodes) into a US season (generally 10-20), and so we see little bits from the original creeping in here and there with a new plot as the background.

If I were an NBC exec and were sold the show based on the pilot, I probably would have bought it, too. But if the "Diversity Day" episode is any indication, I just don't think they'll be able to keep up the quality level to near the first (carbon copy) episode.

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Blogger John said...
Agreed - Getting 26 episodes (or whatever) out of what has been a 6 episode arc risks diluting the product somewhat, but we'll see. I think it is a worthy effort, at least, and definitely an attempt to broaden the horizons of the viewing public about what is entertaining. For that alone I'm a fan and an advocate.

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