Under 30

I can't complain but sometimes I still do

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Under 30 Blog's Totally Random Fall TV Season Review: Gearing up for "The Office"

I like TV. I know it's cool to be one of those people who doesn't like TV, and maybe I should be climbing mountains and jumping out of airplanes instead of curling up in front of the tube with my "Deadwood" DVDs. Actually, no, there's no way I should be doing anything else.

Armed with only an overstocked DVR, I am trying to catch the best shows of the fall season. Obviously this is not a comprehensive method but I'm just one man, people.


At the risk of sounding like a total girl, I'm pretty excited to see what happens to Jim and Pam tonight on "The Office." The last we saw Jim kissed Pam and admitted his feelings for her. A pretty typical sitcom moment, sure, but the characters are so likable and the arc of their relationship is so well-drawn that the kiss transcended TV cliche to become genuinely memrobable. Yep, I really sound like a girl.

Unless Carell and company really blow it, this ought to be the breakout season for "The Office." The show became a hit last year after struggling in the early going, but after winning the best comedy Emmy and Carell's growing success in movies with "Little Miss Sunshine" (which I haven't seen despite every single person I know saying it's funny), "The Office" appears poised for "Seinfeld"/"Cheers" success.



To whet your appetite for the season premiere, here's an interesting story from Slate about how the original British "Office" has inspired spin-offs in a number of different countries. Writer Liesl Schillinger likes the American version best, as do I, and he/she perfectly sums up why.

It's not that I don't like the U.K. Office, I just don't like it as much. It doesn't reflect the reality of any U.S. workplace I know. The sexism is too blatant and the inside jokes are often too, well, inside. (The DVD of the British series decodes many of these allusions: "Charlie Dimmock," in case you didn't know, is the hostess of a BBC garden show; the chant "Oggie, Oggie, Oggie, Oi, Oi, Oi!" has to do with Cornish tin miners or West Country rugby teams, depending on whom you ask.)

But, more subtly, the base-line mood of David Brent's workplace—resignation mingled with self-loathing—is unrecognizably alien to our (well, my) sensibility. In the American office, passivity mingles with rueful hopefulness: An American always believes there's something to look forward to. A Brit does not, and finds humor in that hopelessness.


I'd like to add that the American version also boasts the very foxy Jenna Fischer, the receptionist of my dreams.

2 Comments:

Blogger paul said...

Dude, I totally dig that show and that pair of characters too.

1:31 PM  
Blogger Thomas Roz said...

"Scrantonicity." You know that's one of the greatest television sitcom jokes of all time, don't you?

3:43 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home