Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Someone, perhaps a solicitor or survey enthusiast, approached Marah at work and asked her to sign up and receive e-surveys. She did it, thinking it'd be a way to pass the hours at her store. There was also the possibility of winning $50. The questionnaires asked things like, 'What's your favorite sport?', 'What did you think about the Oscars?' and, my favorite, 'What are people talking about in your town?'.

So after the last one, she actually won $50, plus a DVD of the pilot for The Office: An American Workplace. I've been highly anticipating/dreading this show, because I have an inappropriate love for the original British version. My fears were compounded after reading the note attached to the DVD. It was from Greg Daniels, the writer (who does have some impressive credits). The note actually said not to feel guilty about liking the American version, because Ricky Gervais (the lead in the original) approved it. This was, to me, the kiss of death.

So we watched it. And it was... mediocre, but not as hurrendous as I expected. (I think I would've felt the same way even if I'd never seen the Brits'). There are two major problems with it. Steve Carell is way too hammy as David Brent, the clueless, totally inappropriate boss (Steven Colbert would've been perfect for this part). The other thing is that all the romantic tension between the Tim and Dawn characters is telegraphed IN HUGE OBVIOUS WAYS TO THE CAMERA. The subtlety gets killed. All in all, the yankees missed the faux documentary, slice of life style of the show.

On the other hand, there were a few times where we laughed out loud. The guy playing Gareth (Arthur from Six Feet Under) is good. He seems to be the only one who gets that the show thrives on dry and deadpan. And there are a couple painfully funny scenes involving American Gareth in a box, and office birthday cards.

Speaking of Gervais, Jeff sent me this gem. I didn't sift through the site enough to figure out if it's so British that the irony's just lost on me, or if it is 100% balls out sincere. Either way I laughed my ass off.

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