The Office

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Jon B NY, May 9, 2004.

  1. Jon B NY

    Jon B NY Stunt Coordinator

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    I've never gotten a chance to see this show, however I heard that the creators of this show love "Fawlty Towers" and based the comedy style off that show, which is one of my favorites. So now I'm intrigued and interested in seeing it. Since you can only buy it, I want to make sure it's a good idea to give it a go. Can anyone compare it to another television show in the US? Plus, which is the funnier season? Thanks a lot!
     
  2. Mark Turetsky

    Mark Turetsky Supporting Actor

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    I think the closest show to compare it to would be Curb Your Enthusiasm. It's got the same sort of off-the-cuff feel to it, where the biggest joke is people's behaviour toward one another. The humour is also bone dry.
     
  3. Ravi K

    Ravi K Supporting Actor

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    Are you sure you can't find it anywhere to rent? I rented the first season from an independent shop, and last week I saw 1 and 2 at a Blockbuster (the devil, I know).
     
  4. Matt Czyz

    Matt Czyz Supporting Actor

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    It's probably more like "Best In Show" and "Waiting for Guffman" more than any American tv show.
     
  5. Mark_Johnson

    Mark_Johnson Stunt Coordinator

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    exactly, it has a very Christopher Guest type feel. Documentary style with interviews and such. A good show with some very funny moments if you give it a chance, especially if you like British comedy.

    But don't believe the hype, or youll be disappointed.
    (nowhere as good as Curb!)
     
  6. Jon B NY

    Jon B NY Stunt Coordinator

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    I use to live in Britain when I was younger so I am very use to (and enjoy!) British style comedies. Fawlty Towers, Python, Black Adder, Bean, etc. They are very blunt and off beat. Awesome.

    I love how it was compared to Curb! That's one of my favorite shows on television.

    And yes, Ravi...Blockbuster is truly the devil. [​IMG]
     
  7. Stu Rosen

    Stu Rosen Second Unit

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    It's really all about the comedy of discomfort -- putting a character in a completely painful situation, and absolutely refusing to take the camera off of him.

    This is by no means a criticism -- I love this show as much as any show I've seen. But it's merciless -- it simply does not let its characters off the hook.

    The creator and star of the show, Ricky Gervais, describes his character as someone who confuses popularity for respect. And the humor in this show comes from watching this character desperately chase the wrong goal of popularity.

    The only problem is that I can't really give you a comparable show to gauge your own interest. I don't think Curb Your Enthusiasm is really a comparable show. For one thing (and I love Curb Your Enthusiasm, too), Larry David, as much as an irritant that he is, is ultimately sympathetic.

    Give it a try -- you'll enjoy it.
     
  8. CraigF

    CraigF Cinematographer

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    I love it! One thing to remember: it is *notnotnot* a sitcom. Just as some people thought Spinal Tap was a real documentary, there *are* people who would not realise that The Office is a comedy. We can't judge your sense of humor. IMO Fawlty Towers is much more slapstick, much more obviously ludicrous with over-the-top characters, and it was a sitcom, so IMO not a good comparison. The Office *could* be an office reality show, there's so much truth in it. Helps if you work in an office, just like for really appreciating Dilbert it helps if you work(ed) in a large corporation. Not necessary, just helps, makes you laugh harder...
     
  9. Jon B NY

    Jon B NY Stunt Coordinator

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    How about Office Space? Anything along those lines? I love that movie.
     
  10. andrew markworthy

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    Nothing at all like Office Space.

    The Office is part of a 'no punchline' type of comedy that's been popular in the UK for a number of years. In one sense it really is 'situation comedy' - the humour is in the situation rather than specific lines or jokes. Perhaps the nearest in feel is The Day Today or The Fast Show, neither of which I think were popular in the USA (indeed, was either show ever broadcast?).

    The Office is ostensibly a fly-on-the-wall documentary about life in a typical nondescript office in the UK. The manager thinks he has got his finger on the pulse, everybody's his pal, etc. In reality he is as big an idiot as you could ever hope not to meet and in trying to improve work efficiency, etc, is (unintentionally) perpetually making other people's lives hell, being (unintentionally) deeply insulting, etc. The other office members are likewise an assortment of unattractive characters whom everyone who has ever worked in an office will have had the misfortune to meet at one time or another. Couple this with the usual BS of office life, the bowel-clenchingly embarrassing 'team bonding' exercises, etc, and you should begin to get the picture.

    Whether you find it funny is open to question. It's safe to say that in the UK it's been critically hugely popular, won loads of BAFTAs, etc. It also has had large viewing figures. But it's a love it or hate it thing. Whilst other popular and critically acclaimed sitcoms (e.g. Only Fools and Horses, Dad's Army, etc) have had fanatical supporters and then an appreciative general audience, The Office has either fanatical supporters or people who refuse point-blank to watch it. I'm in the latter camp, I'm afraid. I can see the programme is well-written and acted, but that's the trouble - for me and a lot of other viewers, it's *too* realistic, and is far too much like working in a bad office. Personally it brings back too many bad memories for it to be comfortable viewing.

    I thus think it's very much an individual response thing. However, if you want comedy in the absurd/Python/Cleese style, try to find a copy of The Day Today.
     

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