Originally Posted by sneals2000
I think that quite a few people who had strong views about the US version of The Office not being as good as the UK version WERE very aware of Ricky's involvement - but still had reservations about the new version.
For my money they are two quite different shows. The US version does feel much closer to a traditional sit com to me - which was something the UK version really tried to avoid.
However the US broadcast industry requires much longer seasons and expects series to run for many seasons (which isn't always the case in the UK - though increasingly it is becoming so) - so it was inevitable that the two versions would have to be different.
I think the US version is probably quite a bit warmer than the UK - which at times was pretty dark. I know a lot of Brits watched some episodes almost through their fingers because it was so cringingly bad.
I agree that the BBC and US versions of the show are different but disagree that the US version is anywhere close to being typical US sitcom fare. The magic of the show is that it makes you cringe but laugh at the same time - while peering at the screen between the fingers of the hand covering your eyes.
Sacha Baron Cohen managed to do the same thing in Borat. I had to get used to The Office to really appreciate it. Once I figured out where it was coming from, though, I fell in love with it. But it is different, VERY different, and certainly not for all tastes. One of the big things it has going for it is its very smart ensemble cast who are clearly in on the joke but try not to act like it. Michael's big mouthed cluelessness and Dwight's officious sycophancy tickle me to death, as does Jim's constant, straight faced needling of Dwight.
As a result of the recent posts to this thread about The Office, I finally got around to adding the BBC version to my Blockbuster queue. I am a Gervais fan and expect that I will like the original as much as I have the US version.
I can only hope that the US version of Life on Mars lives up to the original, too. I saw all of the BBC episodes and very much liked the show. Based on the first episode of the US version, I suspect that it, like The Office, will be quite a bit different. I just hope that it will be as good.