Wednesday, March 30, 2005

The Office

And now for something completely different...

we've been watching The Office on NBC and lamenting the inability of american tv to capture the magic of the BBC. however, we have been pleasantly surprised by what we were sure would be a doooooooooooooomed endeavor. from watching the ads over the past few weeks we were sure it was going to stink out loud and the truth is, it is better than we had feared...

the supporting cast of "unknowns" is really making it work and hooray for "unknowns!" good for nbc for taking a chance on some folks who haven't been in every single pilot season for the last 10 years...

however, we are still bemoaning the choice of steven carrell. sure, he's funny, but he's missing something, something that ricky gervais had down cold -- and truth be told, i can't imagine that it would be that hard to capture... so why isn't someone directing him to do it?

carrell is missing the excrutiating vulnerability that gervais brought to the role. there was the ever present sneaked peek to the camera, the constant breaking of the fourth wall to check in with the audience that gervais did. and behind that was a screeeeeeaming terror and fragility that immediately explained all the stupid bravado.

but more than that, it enlisted you, the audience. no matter how much -- or little -- you thought of the guy, you understood (if not outright identified) with his fear of failure and/or fear of being in over his head. so when he would go on to perform some ridiculously offensive prank or regurgitated comedy routine not only were you offended like those around him, but you were tortuously embarrassed and ashamed and looking for a way out with him. brilliant... visceral... and oh, so missed...



oh, and nbc, i'm available for coaching. just did a smash up job in new york. can do the same for you, too!

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