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The Office - UK vs US. And The Winner Is?

I've officially given up on NBC's The Office, and for this I am sad. No one wanted this show to shine more than I. I was a fan of the UK version and was antsy in my pantsies from the moment I heard of the Americanized production. I followed each new actor as they were cast and eagerly awaited its premiere. I watched the first few season with a smile on my face and waited for it to finally click. Hope it would eventually find its way. It never did.

Now I don't wish to come across as a snob who will never give an UK import a chance. Many of my favorite (favoUrite) shows from overseas have come to America in a western version and I've managed to be a fan. Although it's unfortunate that some of the best UK shows never seem to make it past the first season, much less the pilot. A perfect example being The IT Crowd. Huge success overseas and imported to America with Joel McCale (The Soup, Community) as a lead was so misunderstood it never even aired. If you haven't watched The IT Crowd (UK), it's on Netflix instant play... make it so. I'll wait.

So obviously I was uber happy when the US version of The Office had instant legs and managed to collect a healthy audience. Me being one of the many eyes who watched it each week.

But each week it got harder to watch. It was as if they were running out of ideas and felt introducing new characters each week might add some much needed flavor. Sadly saturating everything that was good about the original.

Now to its defense, British sitcoms are generally 6 episodes per season. Therefore it's easy to stay focused on the plot and takes the onus off the writers to come up with crappy little side plots. You get 6 great episodes out of 6 in the UK rather than 12 great episodes out of 23 in the US. And if they are feeling sassy, the UK will sometimes throw in a 90 minute Christmas special. There really is a Santa after all.

So all that in mind, that's not the entire reason why The Office has failed me. The biggest reason is the lack of using everything that made the original work. The characters. Here is what I mean.

David Brent/Michael Scott
The moronic manager(s) of this half-hearted paper company. No one really knows how they achieved leadership in the organization and even more, how they maintain it. David Brent (played by show cocreator Rickey Gervais) and Michael Scott (played by Steve Carell) are fairly similar in their presentation. Both are idiots who are ultra-concerned about how they are perceived. They all resemble someone we've worked for in the past, we related to them and that's why they work. But there is one major trait the US version omitted from their boss was Brent's tendency to be a complete dick. David Brent was worried how others viewed him but it didn't stop him from being a total ass in the process. Gervais took a big risk creating a character that you can could laugh at, and hate. Michael Scott only allows you to laugh and feel pity. Is pity a better emotion than hate? In my opinion no. Gervais was brilliant as Brent and though I would have hated to share an office with him, as an outsider I could watch him cause havoc everyday.

Tim/Jim
The voice of reason in The Office world. He allows you to recognize idiocracy with smarmy comments and the occasion look straight into the camera. Martin Freeman played Tim Canterbury in the UK version and though Tim claimed he had no 'mates', you just wanted to be his friend. John Krasinski plays Jim Halpert here in the states and when you manage to get past his tween hair cute you'll notice that he's been given the personality of his comb. His only noticeable trait is self righteous attitude he has towards everyone he works with. In a real office, he'd be the guy who eats lunch alone and would hear about the office bbqs on the Monday after. I think Krasinski is not being utilized as an actor in this role. I also think he needs adult hair.

Dawn/Pam
A great character creation. She is the girl in the office that you'd normally never really look at. But because you work with them on a daily basis, and occasionally you come to terms that you're really not all that, you eventually hit on them out of convience. And because they generally aren't THAT hot... you stand a chance. I'm going to call this one a push. Both Lucy Davis (Dawn Tinsley) and Jenna Fischer (Pam Beesly) handle the role well. Davis was a little more believable in her hatred towards her job but then, who really loves their job? So perhaps pretending you like it might just make you the better actor.

Gareth/Dwight
This one is a no brainer. Every office has that horrific social outcast. The one person who doesn't fit in nor has not a clue to why they don't. Gareth Keenan (Mackenzie Crook) cleverly captured this person and let us watch his torment as he was surrounded by those he just didn't get. He was extremely believable in the role, down to his horrific haircut and oversized suits. Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson) is a sitcomy character that you'd expect to see as a walk-on character on Good Times. Every ounce of realism the original show had has been sucked out with a Dyson via Dwight. Suck power of 10.

The Other Characters/The Other Characters
One major different between the two shows was the usage of background characters. The UK had ragtag group of accountants who other than Keith, you probably didn't know their names. The US has Oscar, Kevin, Angela, Stanley, etc. Not only are they added to the storyline, but sometimes they are the stars of the episodes. I see the desire to highlight lessor characters as the expanded season limits to what you can do with your main people. But here is the saturation issue I brought up before. Let me focus on the people I want to see. I'd prefer not to have to watch a storyline about Angela's cat calendar when I'm wondering if the branch is closing or not.

Chris 'Finchy' Finch, And...

The US version gave a futile attempt at one of my favorite characters, Finch. Chris Finch (Ralph Ineson) was the man-love recipient of David Brent. He was rude, arrogant and familiar. He came in to the office, stirred it up and left it is a wake of mental filth. The US version used him few times as Todd Packer (David Koechner) is memorable episodes as... ummmm. When I don't even remember what they did with him, but they left out a major source of humor and insight to the mind of Michael Scott. Maybe something that would help us care for Scott a little more. Gimme Finch, gimme gimme.

I can grip about how Brent's boss Jennifer Taylor-Clark's (Stirling Gallacher) creditability was wiped away by Scott's boss Jan Levinson (Melora Hardin) due to the writers' fear of losing another joke source, or just how the US version is so fearful of having any legitimate straight man. If it has a mouth, it needs to be spewing funny. Waste not, want not. Blah blah blah.

Anyone who watched a single episode of the original version might not figure out right away it was a scripted production. They might not figure it out all at. The US version is missing a laugh track and the occasional appearance of Alf.

Yes, I'm being harsh but it took 5 years for these feelings to incubate and finally surface. This was the season when I said I can watch no more. I don't watch much television, so if I'm watching something it better be totally-wicked awesome. Like, The Office (UK)

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Author

Bill Doty

95   comments

Completely and wholeheartedly agree on every point. Well said.
If you gave up on the US version within the first few episodes, then I beseech you to give it another try. I think that most comedy TV shows, the Office included, don't really hit their stride until a few seasons in. Some of my favorite sitcoms (Scrubs, Friends) don't have that wonderful of a first or second season but are still hilarious shows. I actually got hooked on the Office watching the sixth season, and then I went back and watched from season one all the way through.
I gave up after a few seasons. I still pop in from time to time. It doesn't seem to be getting better.
Well said.
Why didn't they leave it as is? Just a bloody good comedy made by the BBC. Why did they have to Americanize it? You don't see the BBC Englishizing Frasier (an excellent comedy ) do you?
ummm probably because they were making it for Americans.....i mean that's just a thought. and i agree with someone else who said they had to fight to stay awake on the uk version. i watched the first season and its so bland. not saying its bad, it has funny moments but the us version is just over the top/ridiculous. and Dwight was WAY funnier than Garreth. why does it matter who's more believeable? isnt the point of a comedy to be funny? i dont know i just thought the uk version was alright but the us version turned the hilarious level up 10 notches
The US version of "The Office" is hilarious. I have seen the first two seasons of the UK's version and had to fight to stay awake.
To even compare the two is sacrilege. The US version has no guts. Its unwillingness to take risk and really skewer a topic is a trait sadly familiar in 99% of our sitcoms. Brent is a comic genius, and backed by Merchant... a show like this is once a generation. Anyone that has worked in a modern setting whether British or American can recognize every character and scene, they occur daily all over both countries in our workplaces. What makes the UK version so good is its ability to show us a depiction of the painful reality of day to day life so familiar to most us and yet still elicit monumental humor.
They didn't Americanize it. Ricky Gervais did. He is the creator of the show don't forget. So obv he wanted to make money off of a great idea. The BBC looks like they didn't want the show. Why else would they make so few episodes? U.S. version is great. Also is rated higher on IMDB and by way more people. Ricky Gervais wanted to get that money not make a paltry 14 episodes and give up on his creation. He makes a ton of money off of syndication rights. You don't like U.S. version then quit watching it. Have fun with your 14 episodes. That's like half a season for American TV.
LOL at the idiot talking about Frasier. No need to make another version of Frasier they made a ton of money. Nobody going to take ANY show from the U.S. and make some lame BBC product out of it. Oh yeah and make 6 episode seasons is a joke.
your obviously an idiot. The Office USA version is not supposed to be real dumbass,it's a comedy show. You should kill your self now. Everybody loves the USA version. UK version is a boring piece of shit
these living stereotypes are fucking tedious. the commenters showing a basic command of language and reasoning ability are all brits. the ones who grunt half-assed arguments irrelevant to the original article are all americans. i want to take pride in my country but my country makes it increasingly difficult. they're throwing tea in the fucking bay again! what the hell?
the moment I read the sentence "I was a fan of the UK version and was antsy in my pantsies from the moment I heard of the Americanized production." I knew this is going to be a subjective rant about how the US version can't compare to your UK version. Whatever. Just don't write articles and compare stuff, when you already have a favorite picked out. Worst comparison ever.
You obviously know nothing about television or the evolution of a television series. You're a bias, typically arrogant brit. I'm british, i love the original version but the US version is so much more dimmensional. All the points you made, we're wrong, not my opinion, fact. Open your mind slightly.
I'm very familiar with television. I keep giving the new version many chances but it's just getting too "sitcomy"

And I'm not a Brit. I've never even SEEN spotted dick
A few things that need to be said -

Ricky Gervais refused to do any more episodes and was offered millions to reconsider. He openly came out and said that he didn't want to dilute the artistic vision that he had in the first place for a payday.That is the reason that it was so popular and performed so well in DVD sales aftewards - art before money. Respect. Americans - take note. 6 episodes of quality is better than 100 episodes with 60 of them obviously made for no other reason than money.
I have nothing against the American version , in fact I love it. But one thing is absolutely certain - Michael Scott leaving the office and deciding to carry on without him will result in the office losing it's appeal and we can look forward to another horrendously cheesy "friends" type ending with the characters in tears etc , having to end the show because it doesn't make money anymore instead of finishing it once all the comedic avenues have been explored (second Dundies? really? - Pam and Jim got married , had a child - now they are having a second child - it's getting lame)
If you are asking me to choose versions, I would marginally decide I like the US version better - but I love the original version and everyone should acknowledge that without the UK one the US version would never have existed. But crucially , when all's said and done , the US version will be looked back on as completely missing the point and instead of having the smarts to finish it at the end of season 7 (which is probably pushing it anyway - how much comedy can you extrapolate from an office environment?) it will drag out until it becomes a parody of a parody. Which is a real shame because at one point it was the sharpest , funniest show on TV.
The U.S. version is way better....watching UK version now and fighting sleep. Ricky Gervas (spelling) is a great writter but not funny I this role, and the background characters make the show....why couldnt the UK background charaters work....THAT makes it real...u work with ppl daily. Pretending thet dont exist is unreal.
You seem to hold disdain for the American version because they aren't perfect copies of the UK version. They weren't intended to be. If you understood the amish culture of pennsylvania you'd understand that Dwight Schrute is a fairly accurate representation of someone who was raised amish and crossed over into mainstream society. His traits and the way he acts are deeply rooted to his childhood and the way he was raised. Also it has to be said that this article is unbelievably biassed. You took your side and barely analysed the characters, just saying that the British version was better in every case. I mean oversized suits and a daft haircut? It doesn't get more sitcommy than that pal
I totally disagree. Your opinion is worthless
People that like the us office are weak (they can't handle crude humor) and look for stupid and easy to get jokes made by people who act like they are forcing the jokes.
For the most part your synopsis was completely biased. Dwight makes the US version along with all the other characters. The US version is more consistent and the characters foil better, opposed to the UK's version. However, after watching both series I noticed that the american pretty much imitated the UK's original work.(did a great job though)
I liked what they did with the US version when it shook off the ghost of the UK one, but it ran itself into the ground several seasons ago. Good try comparing it fairly to the UK one, though there are many reasons why the original will always be the best.
Apart from an infintesimal number of programmes on the public broadcast networks, any American show must appeal to as broad a base as possible. Ratings are all.

For state-funded BBC programmes, however, not reliant on advertising revenues, the creators do not need to concern themselves to the same extent with garnering mass audiences - by lowering their standards. Hence Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's comments about maintaining artistic integrity when they believed that The Office (UK) should cease after two seasons.

American show will inevitably feel the constant pressure to appeal to a generally lower common denominator. Thus The Office (US) has characters like Dwight, Angela and Kevin - parodies of real people (the above comments about how Dwight is rooted in reality because he is representative of the Amish community (really?) are risible - I wonder what the Amish themselves would say to that). Dwight's funny, certainly, but he's more like a cartoon character than a person the audience genuinely finds credible outside of the show. Great comedy is generally rooted in a semblance of truth and Dwight's equivalent, Gareth, is so much more amusing because he is utterly realistic. Same for Kevin/Keith.

I enjoy both versions a lot but the UK version is a somewhat superior product.

Regards,

Daniel
Apart from an infintesimal number of programmes on the public broadcast networks, any American show must appeal to as broad a base as possible. Ratings are all.

For state-funded BBC programmes, however, not reliant on advertising revenues, the creators do not need to concern themselves to the same extent with garnering mass audiences - by lowering their standards. Hence Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's comments about maintaining artistic integrity when they believed that The Office (UK) should cease after two seasons.

American show will inevitably feel the constant pressure to appeal to a generally lower common denominator. Thus The Office (US) has characters like Dwight, Angela and Kevin - parodies of real people (the above comments about how Dwight is rooted in reality because he is representative of the Amish community (really?) are risible - I wonder what the Amish themselves would say to that). Dwight's funny, certainly, but he's more like a cartoon character than a person the audience genuinely finds credible outside of the show. Great comedy is generally rooted in a semblance of truth and Dwight's equivalent, Gareth, is so much more amusing because he is utterly realistic. Same for Kevin/Keith.

I enjoy both versions a lot but the UK version is a somewhat superior product.

Regards,

Daniel
As you must know, Gervais & Merchant as executive producers understood that the American version must align with American sensibilities and appeal. The characters were not developed to be replicas of the UK version.
I think that British people watch t.v. for too many plot points and storyline. If you want all that then read a fucking book and stop comparing one of the funniest shows ever (the US version) to a boring piece of shit that is the UK version. Television is about entertainment, not about what you get out of a story that you're going to forget anyway because it's boring as fuck. Basically the british people put way too much thought into what's funny, so just let them think what they have is golden. Because here in America the media capital of the world, we don't watch that second rate shit that'll substitute for Lunesta. So its not that most Americans don't get your humor, its just humor isn't that good if you have to try and get it. Think about it while you're drinking your tea bitches.
'we don't watch that second rate shit'... you make, and watch more than any other nation on earth, son.
Superb reply by the yank counterpart. The "boring piece of shit tv" in the two series of the Office Uk you are referring to are once in a life time stuff. It's because out American cousins dont get satire, sarcasm and subtle whit that it had to be remade. Although i like the office us, it is nothing more than a sitcom. The Office UK is art and will stand the test of time.
The last 10 minutes of the Office (UK) are just sensational. That video shows exactly why it is that little bit better than the US version (which is undeniably hilarious). The original displays characters and situations that actually exist in real life. It captures the mundane nature of working in an office. Because of this, the audience is able to identify emotionally with the characters on a completely different level, a level that is so rarely come across in TV or film. I really can’t fault it. Those 2 series and christmas specials flow from beginning to end perfectly.
I'm English & have seen both versions. I think they did a great job of adapting this for the US & have kept the quality amazingly high considering the number of episodes NBC wants per season. I don't know if the UK version could have gone that long & to be honest I'm glad it ended when it did. The UK version is 12 perfect episodes of TV. The US version offers 23 episodes per season of near the same standard. Bravo.
you do know steve carell became famous from the US office right.....nuff sed also it has won a golden globe on its first two seasons and actually carried on due to positive reaction so just shut up bill u suck and u are british thats why you like it more
bill i agree with the previous guys comment steve carell is one of the most well known actors in hollywood due to the sucsess of the US version well gervais never really became to famous and the golden globe thing is also true so u have to admit the US office might just be better than the UK
Hey is famous due to The Daily Show, and... I'm from the USA
well just face it carell is more famous and the office us is better and is you were really from the us you would have some pride in your country and give it another chance
yeah nothing to say i won this argument
Yes, you won with your super powerful comment. Now if you could only those powers for good, instead of evil
wow ur bias dude u just called the office us and the usa evil nice dude....nice
My Vote goes for the Office UK. The first one is usually the best. For me its because these characters were not already known in the industry unlike the US Office series where you have Steve Carrell who is very funny but for me doesn't fit the character as well as Ricky Gervais
well my vote goes to us defnitally its just that little bit better
TALK ABOUT OVER-ANALYZING A TV SHOW, AS IF THIS IS SOMETHING IMPORTANT IN THE FIRST PLACE...YOU DON'T LIKE IT? CHANGE THE EFFIN' CHANNEL...I JUST LOST 2 MINUTES OF MY LIFE READING THIS ARTICLE...
Well since you got here by Googling "the office uk vs usa" I'd say that 2 minutes didn't mean much to you. You silly Canadians.
LOL....touché billy....by the way...funny bret michaels video....i'm stealing it...
It's funny to read you judge both right after you clearly state you never gave the American version as real shot. You can't judge the American version, currently in its 8th season, off the first 7 episodes which, I admit, are the worst of the lot. Maybe you think all the Americans fail at living up to their character because you never actually watched the development. Poorly written review, don't admit you didn't really watch one and then review both.
As a general rule, Americans don't find the UK funny because Americans perceive British comedy as annoying rather than funny and Brits perceive American comedy as boring/dull.
u are a stupid idiot bill doty u are really retarded and im bieng honest this is the worst review i have ever read u didnt even give the american version a chance i mean really... u idiot!!!
If I am "bieng honest" I'd like you to rethink 3rd grade English. On a second note, I gave the office 5 seasons. If they couldn't get it by then... well... yeah.
i agree with everyone that says this is by far the worst tv review i have ever read and if you check on www.imdb.com (THE INTERNET MOVIE DATABASE) the site where millions of people vote for tv shows you will se that the office us has a rating of 9.0 well the office uk has a rating of 8.9 so the us version is not that much better but it is a little bit..... just give it a chance(but not season 8 its complete junk)
WOW people on here are so incredibly insecure it's unreal!

I am an American and have watched every single episode of both shows. They're stylistically different, so they're obviously going to appeal to different demographics. The British version is more toned-down, subtle, and believable. The American version started out somewhat low key, but has become increasingly slap-stick as the seasons go by. I really liked how it flowed for the first couple of seasons and I actually really liked Steve Carell, but his character (Michael Scott) became more and more cartoony, just like Dwight's character. Also, the show is just being stretched waaaay too thin at this point, I mean we can't really have another episode highlighting Angela's relationship with the closeted gay state senator can we? I will say that the U.S. version made a good addition with Andy Bernard, but even that ship has sailed.

Also, for those bashing the blogger for his review - seriously? It's one man's opinion, get a life. Besides, before attempting to besmirch his viewpoint for being biased as a Brit, remember that you have your own biases (presumably as an American), and that if you haven't watched the UK version then you're a wanker and shouldn't even be commenting on this thread in the first place.

BTW, to my British friends out there, has anyone seen "Party Animals"? I just watched the one and only season on Hulu a couple of weeks ago and it was brilliant! I don't think I've ever gotten so attached to characters on a TV show so quickly. Little did I know it had been cancelled after one season, so when I tried to find the 2nd it was a sad day :( Also, interesting tid-bit: the actor who played David's (Ricky Gervais') boss in the Office, Neil (Patrick Baladi), was one of the main actors in Party Animals. I guess this was a roundabout way of getting to the point, but is he a big star in the UK? I've only seen him in those two shows.

Also, for any Ricky Gervais fans out there like me, if you haven't seen "Extras" yet, do yourself a favor and watch it a.s.a.p. Personally, I think that it was better than the Office (UK or U.S.), especially since it actually had an underlying message by the end that was really moving and visceral. Ricky Gervais is a comedic genius, and for those above who self-righteously (for whatever reason) claim that Steve Carell is more famous: (1) what on earth would that prove? Snooki's famous for crying out loud, and (2) you do know that Ricky Gervais hosted the Golden Globes THREE times right? Do you live in a hole in the ground? He had the highest ratings EVER for a host of the award show, and for good reason. His biting, uncomfortable, and all the while hilarious jabbing are what give life to the otherwise drab and ho-hum hollywood events. He needs to host the Oscars. No more Billy Crystal, PLEASE!
The biggest hurdle in enjoying the UK Office as an American is that it's sometimes difficult to understand what the characters are saying when they speak in low tones (which they frequently do as opposed to a show like Fawlty Towers where American ears can understand every word). I have seen every episode of both versions and to me, it's not even close, the US version is much better.

I enjoy British humor just as much as US humor. Monty Python and Little Britain are both as funny as any US shows I have ever watched. But to the Brits here who try to rationlize that the UK version of the Office is superior to the US version and that Ricky Gervais was funnier than Steve Carell, that's just pure jingoism on your parts. Some entertainment from Britain is better than it's American counterpart, but this example sure isn't one of them. If you think the UK version is better, you must also believe that Cliff Richard was a better singer than Elvis and Princess Di was hotter than Jackie Kennedy.
I have watched both shows, and no offense but the US Version is the better show. In the UK versions defense, Ricky Gervais did a great job as David. The US took 'The Office' to new heights.

I thought the British cast constantly talked in a low tone that was sometimes hard to understand what the characters were saying. Gervais was great, but the rest of the British cast were awful. Most of the UK characters have little to no personality. The writer trying to claim that Gareth was better than Dwight already makes this article an automatic FAIL. Dwights character is very believable because I know a guy that acts just like Dwight. The UK version lacks emotion, and the personality of the US version. The writer's assessment that the US version wasn't edgy is ludicrous. I could see the brilliance in what Ricky Gervais had with the writing, but the UK actors were awful. If the UK actors auditioned for the US version with the acting jobs they put on in the Brit version, they would've been laughed out of the building. With the exception of Gervais, they all sound like they're just reading lines and not even acting. You want good British acting? Watch the UK version of "Law and Order". I actually enjoyed that over the US version. Also, check out sci-fi shows like Doctor Who or Outcasts.
I'm glad the last few comments are acctually inteligent and thought-ful comments.. Unlike the anonymous people commenting general racism towards the English like 'yeah, go drink ur tea bitches uk version is boring as SHIT'

I mean one guy acctually said to bill 'if you had any pride for ur country ud give the us version a chance'. That is retarded, its a TV SHOW.. I mean if thats the case, as a british citizen I better stop watchin Family Guy or American Dad, because by me watchin family guy that means im not proud of my country? Is American Dad a cartoon that ONLY AMERICANS can watch? Ur so fuckin ignorant u probably think so. Thats the problem with people like you mate, you turn a simple discussion about a TV SHOW into "pride for your country". Grow a fuckin brain! Get a life and stop turning simple discussions about t.v into full blown arguements about how much u love ur country

Sorry to the decent Americans out there reading this. I know ur not all like this but damn, some of the more childish americans. I really just wanna knock some sense into them! oh and by the way anoymous. It was the brits who invented t.v in the first place so think about it while ur eating ur transfat bitches
Btw. I have never really watched either office that much.. I've seen one or two episodes of the original, i've seen one or two episodes of the u.s version.. I thought they were both meh. Downloadin UK version now, gonna watch that then I will start on the U.S version. But basically what im trying to say is, this is meant to be a simple friendly discussion comparing the two. Don't turn it into a childish arguement!
Stuart,

the "my country is better" nonsense goes on all over the world, it's not an American invention. the Brits love to play that game as well (example: "the brits invented television, so think about that while eating your trans fats!"). i wonder who it was who said that?

i think your outrage at calling out others for behavior that you yourself take part in, should maybe help you realize, that you've got to relax, son.
US Version sucks balls and im American
uk version is wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy better LOL this shouldnt even be a debate
The Office (UK) wins this debate by the length of three trips to the Moon and back. The Office (US) is borderline unwatchable.
UK is made in an obvious way where everyone seems to just blurt out the way they feel. In the US version you have to infer the way someone feels about a certain things/characters. Each is directed in a way to appeal to the general audience of their own country.
Seriously the UK version was horrible. Bad acting and trying to be funny had me cringing through my eyes. So hard to get through the first episode. First episode of each version made me feel sad for the UK version. Felt so bad about the UK version I went back to watch the first episode of the US version to make me feel better.. .and it was still hilariousness as ever.
THE OFFICE U.S IS WAY WAY WAYYYY WAYYYYYY BETTER !!!! WITHOUT A DOUBT
IF YOU WOULD EVEN THINK GARETH TOPS DWIGHT OR EVEN BRENT OVER MICHAEL YOU ARE OUTSIDE OF YOUR DAMN MIND LIKE SERIOUSLY. im just being for real here!
wow this is some report like seriously WOW!! WEAK WEAK WEAK!!, were talking about real actors here who play certain characters, the UK show is aight, but please when you compare separate star roles like that the US office most most most def tops the UK's!! yall trippin for real
the man who wrote this article is probably from freakin UK or lives there
I agree with the person who said he had to fight to stay awake watching the UK version... Steve did a WAY better job as Michael Scott than David. The US version is PERFECT I loved it and it kept me laughing it's sad to hear that season 9 is the last season. The only thing I wasn't too crazy about was the fact that Michael moved and left the show for a while :( but still GREAT show.
There shouldn't be a winner at all. Wins the one who works the best. Who contributes all his time and effort to work ( I mean while you are in the office) .
But in mean time, US version is the best for sure=)
I am watching UK office right now, 6 episodes in, and I have watched seasons 1-7 of US office. I live in US. Great show, but it just feels a bit alien to me. Some parts are difficult to understand, I will hear many British expressions and it takes me a few seconds to realize how funny they are since most of them I hear for the first time. I really don't mean to sound like a jerk, but faces, expressions, clothes and setting took a bit of getting used to. I mean I run into one person from UK a month if that, there are certain facial features and expressions. Right away I found that I had more sympathy for Pam and Jim than I do for Dawn and Tim. Pam was just absolutely adorable, while every time I see Dawn I can't decide if she's attractive or not... should Tim like her or is she more like Phyllis? (Exaggerating a bit on that one, but you get the idea i hope).

Point is, I am absolutely biased. US comedy is closer to me, setting and culture is closer, humor is easier to laugh at. Even though I like UK office so far, US made one to me is much better. I can only imagine it is the same for most of you, depending on which culture is closer to you.

PS: Review is heavily UK biased... VERY
A really, really poor comparison. No real points, poorly articulated opinions, and disgustingly blatant bias, especially as represented with the opening fucking line of the article "I've officially given up on NBC's The Office".

I'm a fan of both, with preference probably leaning towards the UK version for the reality of it's situational humor as opposed to the US version which felt a bit more revolved around character to character dialogue.

But all in all, a really shitty article. I'm not a regular on this site, but I'd recommend getting more intelligent writers, less you want to border on mediocre.
Oh, it's a Blogger. Nvm then. Good luck with your future articles.. Because if they harbor the same bias, and continue to fail to acknowledge both sides, I'd say you need all the luck you can get.
You know, I guess it comes down to culture. I've watched both through and through, and in the end I could rewatch both shows a hundred times over, and I'd enjoy the US version better each time, because the humor is comfortable for me, where as the UK one feels alien.

Apologize for the rash responses at first, I just couldn't understand how someone would put forth such a level of bias for no seeming reason.

But yeah, It's just cultural comfort.
The US has a long history of taking brilliant UK TV shows and diluting them into the quantity over quality arena. With the exception of a handful of US based TV sitcoms most are boring and predictable (ie Two and a half men, etc.). The US mainstream market caters to a very base audience that requires predictable scenarios with predictable outcomes. The US version of The Office is not its own vehicle as the entire situation including characters has been transplanted from the UK to the US. The US version does not translate how cringe worthy Gervais made Brent. Everything he says and does makes you want to look the other way as you can't believe how over the top this character is. I would like to enjoy more US based comedies. Unfortunately, the pickings are slim to non existent.
I like both. I'm from America so I ended up falling in love with the American version first, and when I found out that it was a remake of a UK version I watched the UK version as well and thought it was also great. It's two different approaches to comedy. I don't know what your problem is with Michael Scott, because Michael Scott could also be a dick. You must not have seen very many episodes or something.
Your comments about the character of Jim are DEAD WRONG. You clearly have no sense of humor and no ability to accept what is amazing.
Watched every us ep. Having a hard time sitting though the slow as molasses boring story line in the uk version. Tried becoming a fan twice now. You guys acting over there is terrible. Looks like it was shot on a handycam
Your spell checker mustve been high or drunk or something
I have not seen the UK version, and I rarely watch the US version, but I know three things for a fact:

1. I like the US version quite a bit (don't watch the new episodes though)

2. This article is incredibly biased. The article basically just says, "This person has a bad haircut, which makes him more realistic. UK wins!"

3. Only a few people who have commented on this article are actually being reasonable. The Brits are being the most reasonable, because they aren't treating their opinion as a fact and treating everyone else who disagrees to be insignificant and stupid.

May we all have a reasonable discussion?
I want to apologise before I say anything just in case it sounds biased, which it will probably be.

I have only seen one episode of the british Office, but I have seen all of the first seven seasons of the American version and I must say that I enjoyed the American one more than the british one. However, that said, I had only watched one episode. If I had watched the other 13, i may have grown to like it. In my opinion, if I had to compare the two, I would choose the British version, although I did not enjoy it very much, simply because it retained its artistic integrity and the creators did not sell out for more money. I didn't like the one episode I liked, but just because one doesn't like something doesn't mean that it's bad. But I absolutely love the American Office because I watched more of it. So, if I had to make a decision, I would choose the British version over the American version.
Your comments on the charaacters are not well though out. I could not possibly disagree more on your comments on the Jim Halpert character and the Pam Beesly character.
The UK version wins hands down. Gervais is a much better comedian, just watch his stand up comedy. His wit, intelligence & delivery is far superior. Steve Carell is better for Disney comedy movies.
I love the office US, but everyone knows you shouldnt expect it to be better. The UK one is by far better, even if Brent, erm.. I mean Gervais wrote the US version with merchant. It's a different market in a sense, So if you are from the UK you should probably expect a more slapstick version from the US.
You're an Idiot! The UK version is boring and dry, the American version is upbeat and fun! Even the cameras color is warmer and more interesting! Thats all i have to say.
Its different humour. Personally I think the US is a little easier to watch. And I love what they did with Dwight!
Americans don't get British humour because they lack the intelligence. British people find American remakes humourless because they are just that. Ricky Gervais wanted to make money out of stupid people by taking the show to America and thats just what he did.
The US version is boring predictable lollypop humour. It would have been funny when I was 12. I get the 'jokes' before there delivered and the majority aren't actually funny at all. Its just dummed down comedy so they can reach the massess. I assume the US office loves also love the last 15 seasons of 'The Simpsons' as well??

The UK feels real, its awkward and beautifully painful. The story is simple because life in an office is simple even boring! I actually care about the characters because they feel like real people.

If they didn't want comparisons then perhaps they shouldn't have called it 'The Office' ey.
The UKs concept is based around the mundane life of an office job.
The US is another sitcom that happens to be based in an Office setting

I hail from Australia were we have a strong English/American cultural blend. So back off!
I didn't really like the UK version of the office. I do like what I have seen of the U.S office.

It's a humor thing. I like mine slightly more obvious sometimes. For me the UK version was horrifying because it is EXACTLY how it can be in a UK office environment. I've had a boss very much like David Brent. I watched two or three episodes and it HURT. Twas like stapling my eyelids to a binder*. For me that's not entertainment. For millions however it was. Maybe for some there was catharsis in just showcasing an awful boss and at last exposing him and the weird work culture to the ridicule they deserve. I understand that but give me the U.S version any day. The US office is a departure from reality, for me, perfect escapism! It's funny and clever and yes the characters are different but that's good.

I'm also going to admit that I'm not going to bother to watch all of the US Office series. I don't want to see people get married I can believe that for the motive of money things will go on and on and get flat for me. British show's have the double edged sword of six shows a season, it might sometimes increase quality (though often not so much as you'd suspect) but it's also because there just isn't the money here to kick shows off in the same way.

I like that there are a lot of different views expressed here. Kudos to the blog writer for sparking debate. I hear what you're saying and respect your right to enjoy different things to me.

*Except for the Robot dance... that was painfully awesome!
You are comparing the shows too closely together instead of respecting that they are inherently different. If you stepped back and watched the US version of The Office without comparing every single factor to the UK version, you would surely have a greater appreciation for it, for it is a fantastic, clever show. In addition, you are not taking into account that culturally there is a distinct "British humor" that, while prevalent in some ways in the US show, could not have been as straight out because the American audience would not have perceived it as well, nor would many have completely understood it. This goes both ways. There is an American humor that is portrayed in the show, and it is very much based on cultural references. That is one of the reasons the show is so funny. It took the jokes that were made on comedy talk shows and put them directly into a live-action setting, rather than an animated show. You shouldn't decide you do not like a show just because it is not what you expected it to be.
One specific critique of your article that I cannot ignore is your perception of Jim. It is extremely flawed. You obviously do not understand his character.
A couple of things, the IT Crowd has three series, not one like you said. Plus, in the UK we don't have lots of series for every show because shows get crap if you drag them out forever, so we have a short series and only a couple of them and then we move on to something else. It's not a case of they got cancelled, that rarely happens. Of course, there are exception, Doctor Who being the best example, but my point is that we like our comedy shows short and funny not dragged out and crap.
After watching all of the UK episodes and up to season 8 of the US, I believe the following.

The original was Gervais's reaction to working mundane horrible jobs for twenty years, and as a result ended up being a cynical comedy full of pathos. The characters of David and Garath are hated by their colleagues, Tim is the voice of the frustrated, downtrodden every man and the other characters fall by the wayside because office life is mostly colourless and has that dulling effect on people. It skewers that horrible greyness that defines the lower middle class working life, and resonated with millions.

The US version, on the other hand, is much brighter, more hopeful and has more heart. Micheal Scott truly loves his colleagues and that love is reciprocated. Jim is more collected and confident than his British counterpart, and possesses a brighter outlook that permeates his entire character arc. The other cast members are fully developed in line with this sunnier tone, and create a show with more heart.

Overall, both shows will appeal not just to different people, but different moods. If you want to mock the absurdity of self imposed misery, watch the original. However, if you want something lighter, brimming with hope, then watch the US.

Or stop comparing them altogether. They are not separate at all, but instead both set in the same reality. Don't believe me? Check out the opening scene to the first episode of season 7, then the video cameo in the final two episodes of the same season. David Brent and Micheal Scott embrace one another. Can we not learn from their example?

(picks up guitar and starts strumming)

"Free love on the free love freeway..."
I'm sorry, but there's just no contest. The US version was a slightly sanitized and the writers took no risks, it became the traditional 'sitcom' that Gervais and Merchant tried so hard to avoid. The UK version has a subtlety not present in the US version and, every so often made me feel uncomfortable and embarrassed and it is this strange but effective mixture that made the UK version so innovative. The US version just doesn't strike that chord, well written though it certainly is. If I were to summarize the difference between the two it would be attention to detail; in the acting and directing, the writing and the music.
Really it's just a difference in taste for the UK and USA.

Americans prefer a little more outlandish and outrageous antics in their comedy and the English like something a little more down to earth and sensible.

That said I appreciate both of the shows and when I feel like watching something more grounded I watch the UK version, when I want something a little ridiculous and a bit more heart warming I watch the US version.

Quite honestly they're very different in tone and both shows are targeted at two somewhat different audiences.
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I completely agree with all comparisons written. Every single character on their own win hands down vs the US versions. English humour is light years ahead of simple dumbed down US humour. However, despite my reluctance in watch in the Office US, i have started watching and very pleasantly surprised. The episode where Dwight was asking each employees disease for the HC insurance was comedy genius.

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You deleted your amazing, grammar-hindered comment. Please post it again... please???
I just finished watching the UK office (saw it many years ago, but felt it was worth re-watching) and I have to admit, it is definitely funny. Granted, the UK humor is subtler, but it is definitely raunchier too. One thing I noticed is that Brits love to say Cock!! That sort of dialogue would not make it past the censors in the U.S..,,which is too bad. But that being said, the American version did get much better after the first season and was really funny. The sad thing about the American version is that it went on too long, and the writers seemed to be out of ideas. When a show has to add new characters to add some "variety" to a show, perhaps its time to call it quitsl

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