Tuesday, February 07, 2006
The Place: NBC. The time: Thursdays at 9:30. The event: The Office. The greatest invention of all time? TiVo. With out TiVo I would have been faced with a very tough challenge when 2006 started, watch CSI which is among my favorite shows on TV or keep watching The Office which is easily one of the 5 best new shows to come down the pike in years. First things first, I loved the BBC version of this show, and I own every second of it on DVD. And in the beginning I thought this was another poor attempt at ripping off a brit classic by the sad sacks over at NBC. But, after a few rough patches in the first few episodes they broke free of the old show and started to do their own thing. I haven't gotten to the point where I would say the US version is as good as David Brent and his coworkers but I also think they are not trying to be the same. The US version is outstanding in all of it's own ways. The cast is impeccably assembled starting with the head man in the office Steve Carell as Michael Scott.
Carell is great as the self centered, dimwitted, unaware front man for this motley crew. He takes all of the dead pan expertise he displayed on The Daily Show, as Brick in Anchorman and even in his most recent movie the 40 year old Virgin. The writers are somehow able to almost make you feel sorry for Michael as he makes a total ass out of him self, just as you would for David over in Slough.
Where this show really has begun to shine is in the development of the cast of charters surrounding Scott. I think John Krasinski's Jim has already surpassed the Tim of the BBC as the guy in the office most people pull for. Likewise most of the other office dwellers have pushed themselves to the fore in a more complete manner than their British cousins. Skillfully played by Jenna Fischer, BJ Novak and Rainn Wilson who still makes me think of Six Feet Under each time I see him. Where as I feel the British show spent more time trying to make us look at Brent, or at least his lampoons in each interaction with the staff, I feel like the US Office could more fully function as a show if the head man was to be out for a week.
As I stated before, I am just glad I have TiVo, because I really don't know what I would have picked if I was forced to. The added bonus is that I tend to leave the episodes of The Office on there to watch again and be saved on DVD to enjoy a marathon at my choosing. Never you worry you greedy NBC joyless tie wearing dicks- I still plan on buying the season set when you put it out.