The Office (UK) Forums

BBC Two (ended 2003)

british vs american

  • Avatar of rabbai

    rabbai

    [41]Aug 7, 2006
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    It is quite sad reading American reviews saying that the American version is funnier.  Why do you think they made an American version in the first place?  It is beacuse mainstream America is so insular thay cannot relate to anything outside their own narrow experiences of the world. 

    The British version is superior ..... Period.

        

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    HomerGriffinFry

    [42]Aug 18, 2006
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    The British is the Best.
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  • Avatar of RadSnake

    RadSnake

    [43]Aug 19, 2006
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    I think the British one is much better than the American one and I am an American.
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    sophistiquated

    [44]Aug 31, 2006
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    American. The first season of American had almost identical plots to the UK version (the pilot scripts were identical), but with the second season, it became its own show. They started to come up with new plots (Such as Michael burning his foot on a grill) and incorporating the other characters as well. Plus, the US one has 28 episodes now as opposed to 14.

    Honestly, this is a stupid argument because Ricky Gervais is the executive producer of the US one too, so by saying the US one sucks, you're saying that Gervais sucks. He does play a part in the US version.

    I have seen all the episodes of both versions. I'm not saying I prefer the US version because I am from the US. I love the UK one too, but some of the references are lost on me.
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    jimbo_001

    [45]Sep 4, 2006
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    sophistiquated wrote:

    Honestly, this is a stupid argument because Ricky Gervais is the executive producer of the US one too, so by saying the US one sucks, you're saying that Gervais sucks. He does play a part in the US version.

    I'm not saying Gervais sucks because the UK version is great (and he plays a bigger part in that) but the US version is basically identical to the UK version, down to the characters (with different names) and even the jokes (stapler in the jelly) so maybe Gervais' input into both isn't a good idea if it's the same show with different actors.

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  • Avatar of alsaker85

    alsaker85

    [46]Sep 10, 2006
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    jimbo_001 wrote:
    the US version is basically identical to the UK version, down to the characters (with different names) and even the jokes (stapler in the jelly).

    That was in the pilot. The pilot of the US one was not very good, and pretty much just copied the original version. After that though, it branched out and became a very different show.

    (I'm American and a fan of the US version, so I am a bit biased, although I'm not anti-British humor: I use to love Red Dwarf).

    I have no problem with you preferring the UK version, but if you want to judge the US version, you really should watch a season 2 episode first (since the pilot is not a good representation of the show as a whole). You might not like the US version, but if you'd watch "Booze Cruise" or "Bring Your Daughter to Work Day," you would see the US version definately has its own identity.

    Edited on 09/10/2006 5:43pm
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  • Avatar of jimbo_001

    jimbo_001

    [47]Sep 23, 2006
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    alsaker85 wrote:

    jimbo_001 wrote:
    the US version is basically identical to the UK version, down to the characters (with different names) and even the jokes (stapler in the jelly).

    That was in the pilot. The pilot of the US one was not very good, and pretty much just copied the original version. After that though, it branched out and became a very different show.

    (I'm American and a fan of the US version, so I am a bit biased, although I'm not anti-British humor: I use to love Red Dwarf).

    I have no problem with you preferring the UK version, but if you want to judge the US version, you really should watch a season 2 episode first (since the pilot is not a good representation of the show as a whole). You might not like the US version, but if you'd watch "Booze Cruise" or "Bring Your Daughter to Work Day," you would see the US version definately has its own identity.

    I tried a season 2 episode too and already knew the ending - it was one about something horrible in David's office that someone planted and I knew it was his buddy because it's a basically identical plot that happened in a UK episode aswell.

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  • Avatar of BojaNgleSoup

    BojaNgleSoup

    [48]Sep 24, 2006
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    Watching two or three episodes of a TV show is not a good way to judge it. Especially when it is a "remake" of another show. I must admit that the first ep. of the US version was not very good compared to the british version, but the other episodes are hilarious. Keep in mind that this is a remake so some plot points are going to be copied, don't just say the british one is funnier just because it had the idea first, base your judgment on the series as a whole. And seriously, can anything get as funny as the first season 3 episode of the US one? I love Gervais, especially on EXTRAS, but the American one just squeaks by.
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  • Avatar of corimashley

    corimashley

    [49]Sep 30, 2006
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    I think the British version is the perfection of British comedy, at least to my American eyes. It is so funny, fresh, and original (I can't stand most American comedies -- "Two and a Half Men"? Gag.). The interaction between Tim and Gareth is so hilarious. Ricky Gervais is appalling in a you-can't-look-away-even-if-you-wanted-to sort of way. Anyway, I refused to watch the American version because I thought it would be a sad copy of the British version (American "Coupling," anyone?). I was happy to watch my BBC DVDs over and over again.

    But then my roommate in grad school asked me start watching the American version at the beginning of the second season. And after a few weeks, I grew to love it for a whole host of different reasons. I went back and watched the first season, and I'll agree that it was a very rocky start. But it's growing into its own show, one different from the British version but not in a bad way. The characters are based on British characters, but they really are becoming their own people. The interaction between Jim and Dwight is hilarious but in a completely different way. Anyway, now the American Office is one of the highlights of my week. I absolutely love it. So...I vote for both. For different reasons.
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  • Avatar of tramlaw301

    tramlaw301

    [50]Oct 1, 2006
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    The British Version will forever get the credit for being original but I like the American Version better.  I just relate to it more.

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  • Avatar of Nick_Cave

    Nick_Cave

    [51]Oct 13, 2006
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    WE LOVE YOU RICKY!!!
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  • Avatar of tr3ndyUSA

    tr3ndyUSA

    [52]Oct 19, 2006
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    well well well the battle rages, i havent had this convo b4 **rolls eyes**

    many a drunk'n night has this war been waged..

    and the verdict is in...drum roll plz... brittish!!!

    yes its true, but i love the american office (hear me out)

    it keeps getting better and better

    a friend of mine showed me an epp the other day and i litterally fell out of my chair laughing

    dwight standing on a desk with a sign saying "im a liar"

    insert piss in pants here... )

    Edited on 10/19/2006 2:17pm
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  • Avatar of wlmcdonough

    wlmcdonough

    [53]Oct 29, 2006
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    At the height of a ratings success Ricky killed off the British version and left it alone after the Christmas specials, forever to live with a cult status. Cutting it in it's prime was a clever move, maybe not financially but artistically, I admire Gervais for this because the temptation to make more with the earnings must have been high.

    Here is the main difference with the US version because the American networks won't leave it alone until the ratings fall and people no longer want to watch. When this happens the reputation of the US show will be a tarnished memory while the UK show still shines.

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  • Avatar of JamieMcBain

    JamieMcBain

    [54]Nov 13, 2006
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    I find it really hard to pick and choose as to which I like more, so I guess I would have to say both.
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  • Avatar of youcatastrophe

    youcatastrophe

    [55]Nov 16, 2006
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    Alright. Here are my observations: I've watched the British Series all the way through (including the Christmas Special) many, many times. I've also seen all but one or two episodes of the 3 current seasons of the American Office. Both are funny. Both shoot for the same kind of awkward humor. But after thinking this through, I personally feel that the British Series is better through and through. Sometimes when watching the American version I often ask myself if the Producers have forgotten that this is supposed to be filmed as a documentary. Everything seems so polished and sit-com-esque in the American version. The British version just seems to really achieve that raw, almost improvised, feeling that the American version appears to lack. For instance, I find that Dwight's character (even though he is very,very funny) seems very forced and unrealistic. His mannerisms see so exaggerated. That's actually what it comes down to; the American series just seems exaggerated and unrealistic most of the time. When watching the British version, I forget people are acting. Both shows are funny. I started watching the British Version a little over a year ago. I wouldn't have known about the British Series if it wasn't for the American version.
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  • Avatar of ogrep

    ogrep

    [56]Dec 4, 2006
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    nmcdowall wrote:
    There is no way you can say the American version perfected the original! For starters how do you improve on perfection itself. Secondly, I think you Americans are watching the US version through rose tinted glasses because it is American.

    This has been said before, but the American version has been made into to much of a sitcom, and it wasn't intended that way.


    I love the British, and original, and near perfect show. I am an American. I love the American, and very different, and based on the British, and near perfect version. I have lived in London. I live in California. I am not patriotic. I am anarchic.

    Both versions of the show had me gripping my seat for the intense moments of the various relationships/interactions, and both had me in great pain from laughing so hard. The American version is easily my favorite currently running TV series. The people behind the American version stood on the shoulders of gods and thusly made something godly, for this reason I feel that the American version is slightly better, though both are near perfection, and fall short in only the most exquisitely human way of perfection in the realms they are confined to.



    Also, what is said in the directly above positing by "youcatastrophe", is something have to agree with slightly, the British have excelled in that area of rawness, but the comedy floweth forth so readily, and with all the new dynamics introduced with this merging of Stamford in just the last couple episodes, the possibilities are abundant and near endless for comedic playing with, this show could go on for centuries I feel like (if only they can figure out the perfect way to deal with the Jim/Pam (Tim/Dawn characters) relationship.

    Edited on 12/04/2006 2:39am
    Edited 2 total times.
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  • Avatar of insane_beaver

    insane_beaver

    [57]Dec 6, 2006
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    Everyone will pick the one they're used to.

    And some people should open their minds a bit.. I'm sure more than 1 saying a version is over another hasn't even watched a full episode of the opposite..

    Well, I've only watched the american version.. and it's great, I love it.
    That's all I can say ..

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  • Avatar of jacksback21

    jacksback21

    [58]Dec 17, 2006
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    The american version is good, and completely surprised me, Steve Caroll does a great job.

    But overall the Brit version is original and Gareth and David Brent are fantastic, its like a completely different level.
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    vstherevolution

    [59]Dec 20, 2006
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    rabbai wrote:

    It is quite sad reading American reviews saying that the American version is funnier.  Why do you think they made an American version in the first place?  It is beacuse mainstream America is so insular thay cannot relate to anything outside their own narrow experiences of the world. 

    The British version is superior ..... Period.

        



    Sad? People are stating preference, and because they're American, and enjoy their version more after watching both and making comparisons, you make a big generalization and act as if you can end this debate with your bulls**t prejudiced attitude and almighty period.

    I just finished the British version, and Ricky Gervais is flawless as David Brent. Steve Carrell's Michael Scott is more like a misbehaved kid in an adult's shoes that repeats stupid and outrageous things he hears in a lame and unoriginal attempt to be funny. But David Brent is often even more forward than Michael. He has a much more natural flow to what he does than Michael Scott's always offensive awkwardness.

    The depth of character in the US series however goes above and beyond and uncovers many layers of the new and more diverse cast. Instead of 4 or 5 hilarious characters backed by incredible writing, there are more episodes and more characters focused on within the episodes, characters that are frequently as enjoyable and humorous as the main cast -- like Kevin, Stanley, Creed, Kelly, Toby, & Andy.

    The US version is great and has proven it's longevity, but the original UK version is a masterful and legendary piece of television. Imo, both versions were perfectly cast and are equally as enjoyable in the end, so it's too difficult to choose between them.

    Edited on 12/22/2006 6:32am
    Edited 2 total times.
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  • Avatar of darlingdarcy

    darlingdarcy

    [60]Dec 24, 2006
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    I too find it insulting that people would assume Americans would only like the American Office better because it was from their country. I'm American and I love both versions. I also like a variety of other foreign material, like the Italian film "I'm Not Scared" and Roman Polanski films and Korea's "Two Sisters."

    I do find the British version more relatable. However, the BBC version doesn't develop very many side characters, while the NBC version does a good job of fleshing out supporting characters like Oscar and Creed ("And a merry Christmas to you too!"). However, I did get turned off by the fact that the NBC version used many of the same jokes and scenarios as the BBC version in the first four American episodes. However, after that the show truly came into its own, it continues to excel in its third season and really develop the characters in different ways than the BBC Office - Michale Scott is definitely a different style of boss, and a different personality altogether, than David Brent. He's much more childish, and where David teamed up with Gareth a lot and only occasionally mocked him, Michael is almost always condescending to Dwight and is always looking for someone cooler, whereas David already thinks he's the coolest.

    Edited on 12/24/2006 3:37pm
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