There are some TV shows which just affect you. Shows that stay with you long after they’re finished, like for me, Friends or Breaking Bad. The US Office is one of those shows.
I had been a massive fan of the original UK Office for a long time – since it came out really. The story of Tim and Dawn is one of the great TV romances and, no matter how many times I watch it, the Christmas special still makes me cry. And whenever I hear Yazoo’s ‘Only You’ I can’t help but get all nostalgic.
My love for the UK show meant I was put off the US version – I didn’t want to taint the utter perfection of David, Tim, Dawn, Gareth and co. How on earth could this new cast compare? Would it be funny? I was so worried and reluctant for such a long time. Something I have come to regret…
Once you get past the first series (which is identical to the UK’s series) the US Office starts to become a show in its own right. And whilst the general themes are the same and the same events happen (albeit drawn out over series rather than episodes) you should view the US Office as a different show entirely to its big brother across the pond.
Trying to create a new David Brent was always going to be tough. How do you recreate an icon? The answer is to cast a bloody good actor who can take on the role. Steve Carell was perfect. He didn’t just play Michael Scott, he became Michael Scott. Balancing his personal and professional life, you really empathised with Michael – it was endearing that he was constantly being knocked yet he never gave up as he forever struggled to get back on top. (That’s what she said.) Which fortunately he did in the end. I don’t think I’ve ever cried so much in a comedy as I did in the episode ‘Goodbye Michael’. If you’ve seen it, you must know what I’m on about!
The ‘Tim-and-Gareth’ relationship is expanded and wholly developed in the US Office with Jim and Dwight. The latter relationship builds upon everything Tim and Gareth created so well all those years ago. As an aside, I think Dwight K Shrute is one of the greatest characters every created. Ever. Rainn Wilson deserves all the awards!
Jim and Pam. Their journey is heartbreaking, joyful, touching, and most importantly, feels real. We’ve been in those situations, our friends have been in those situations. Work romances, unrequited love, someone saying ‘no’… it is devastating. And testament to John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer, they tell teh story of Jim and Pam so very well – they are simply superb in this series. I think we’ve all welled up at some point in this love story!
The series is a masterpiece in my eyes. Everyone knows someone from the office, so when watching the program it feels like you know the characters – they’re your mates, and that is what makes it brilliant.
Have you watched the US Office? What did you think about it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!