Most likely when other Brits heard there was to be a US version of The Office, we groaned. The UK version was an absolute classic but like so many UK comedies, it was far too short with just 15 episodes over 2 seasons and a double Christmas special.
Despite my scepticism I gave the US Office a try. The first season was shorter than the following seasons. It was a kind of "feeling out" season where the characters found themselves and much of the dialogue was taken from the UK version. It didn't all work but there was enough to suggest that this could be a great idea, so a next season was booked in.
From season 2 to season 7 on The US Office, I would say the show was a solid 8 out of 10. The characters like Dwight got better. Andy Bernard was introduced for an extra dimension and everything just seemed to click with the supporting cast.
The boss, Michael (played by Steve Carell) is infuriating in his selfishness and stupidity. It was unrealistic that he could get away with screwing up so much, but ultimately that is what made the show work.
Steve Carell left the show in season 8 and at first it was an exciting relief.
With Will Ferrell Taking over for a while before a range of other actors interviewed for the bosses job when Will Ferrell's character went into a coma. Eventually Andy was made the boss and his character was a much watered down version of Michael Scott.
It was Michael's lack of self awareness that made the character great. In the same way that Gervais's David Brent was also unaware of his reality. When Andy took over the show lost a big part of what held it together. Dwight helped save things by becoming more prominent, but when Michael left it was the beginning of the end.
To be continued when I finish the last seasons...