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Sweeps Day 1: Derek Flint Has Seen The NBC Version of THE OFFICE!!

I am – Hercules!!

Mike Judge, who wrote and directed “Office Space,” would have been a great choice to Americanize “The Office.” Writer-director Christopher Guest (“Waiting For Guffman,” “Best in Show,” “A Mighty Wind”) would have been another fantastic choice. But the man they should have built this pilot around is writer-director Richard Linklater (“Slacker,” “Dazed and Confused,” “Before Sunrise,” “Waking Life,” “School of Rock”), who just did a perfectly spectacular job with the HBO workplace pilot “$5.15/Hr.”

Instead, NBC got Judge’s “King of the Hill” partner, Greg Daniels, to pen the pilot and Ken Kwapis (“He Said She Said,” “Dunston Checks In,” “Beautician and the Beast”) to direct.

Our man “Derek Flint,” who’s been appraising major motion pictures for Ain’t It Cool since the Clinton administration, all but screams "You're fired!":

Hey Herc:

I haven't written anything in TV for a long time because I never see shows in advance like you do, except maybe for this time.

I mostly go to movie screenings, but the other night I was part of a recruited audience for the American version of the BBC masterpiece "The Office" that was held at a testing facility on Lankershim here in Hollywood.

People wonder if NBC's pilot of "The Office" is as bad as last year's bomb "Coupling."

The answer is no ... it's worse. The reason being that the original "Office" is a much better show. There's no way to improve upon it and to Americanize it doesn't do it justice.

Greg Daniels, who co-created the cartoon "King of the Hill," is behind this American version and they should have gotten his partner, Mike Judge, to do this as he clearly had more of a handle on the required low-key style as he showed in "Office Space."

Daniels makes the same mistake that "Coupling" did by basically copying the original so much that you might as well just ignore this and buy the DVDs from BBC Video.

The acting lacks the masterful underplaying of Ricky Gervais and company. A guy from "The Daily Show" tries to fill Ricky's shoes and can't. The American dude comes off as bland, uninteresting and really irritating.

I don't think all that many of the test group I sat with was as familiar with the original British series as I was. Still, it was painfully clear that nobody was liking this much. The lady next to me said she found it "depressing."

Another said it was like a worse version of "Andy Richter Controls The Universe" without the eye candy and dream sequences.

I say leave well enough alone. Since most critics, as well as smart viewers, know the original "Office," the reviews will be scathing.

I hope the American version of "The Office" stays closed.

Derek Flint





Readers Talkback
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  • April 29, 2004, 9:51 a.m. CST

    Does this surprise anyone?

    by williammunny

  • April 29, 2004, 9:52 a.m. CST

    Does this surprise anyone?

    by williammunny

    They should have gotten Judge, Office Space is a brilliant movie.

  • April 29, 2004, 9:55 a.m. CST

    As I make my way through the DVDs of OFFICE Season 2...

    by Roguewriter

    ... I can't help but lament the current programming logic and intellect on display (or not, rather) among the American networks... Remaking THE OFFICE... Heralding FRIENDS' final season, an abomination that has done nothing to recreate the level of quality lost since its fifth season... Canceling ANGEL to revive a soapy bit of horror tripe that will draw a 9 share its opening week and then collapse to about a 4 and be canceled within six episodes... Allowing Aaron Sorkin to depart THE WEST WING and not folding up shop in recognition of the fact that the show's reanimated corpse is an embarrassment to its living incarnation... Gawd, network television is hurting. If it weren't for cable (THE SHIELD, TOUCHING EVIL -- granted, that one's a remake of a Brit show as well, but a good one) and HBO (DEADWOOD, THE WIRE) I'd sell the idiot box and never look back. Shameful.

  • April 29, 2004, 9:56 a.m. CST

    Not necessary to Americanize this show

    by jim

    This is not the 1970's where these shows are all but unavailable to us on this side of the Pond. There are stations over here that carry the show, not to mention anyone can rent it or buy it at their local video store. Hey, do the British "Britify" U.S. shows? I would love to see the British version of Magnum P.I. What kind of accent would Higgins have in that?

  • April 29, 2004, 10 a.m. CST

    "Your a cock! Your a cock! Your a cock!"

    by Chillin

    Now why didnt someone mutter this befitting phrase to the guy who suggested they remake this? Just hope this shit doesnt find itself over here in the UK, would be a shame to ruin a good thing.

  • April 29, 2004, 10:13 a.m. CST

    Britify?

    by jimmythesaint

    Great phrase. ITV ever-so-briefly tried to remake THAT 70'S SHOW, but it was awful and died a quick, undignified death.

  • April 29, 2004, 10:19 a.m. CST

    Won't watch this

    by mjbok1

    I've been watching The Office on BBCA, and though it is an entertaining show, I don't think it is the end-all be-all that people make it out to be. It doesn't hold a candle to AbFab in my humble opinion, but that's just my take. That being said, it would be better to just show the original, but 12 episodes would makeup half a season, not a full run.

  • April 29, 2004, 10:21 a.m. CST

    british Magnum PI?

    by GOATBOY500

    Why, Higgins would have an English accent, just as in the original. But he'd also be black.

  • April 29, 2004, 10:30 a.m. CST

    Too bad.

    by mortsleam

    I was one of the few apparently who thought an American version of teh Office could work, especially with Steve Carrell as David Brent. There's so much bleak dark as death humor to be mined from the soul numbing hell that is office life, I could easily see this going on for several seasons. Damn. Should have followed my advice and hired me to write direct and star as Tim. Bastards.

  • April 29, 2004, 10:30 a.m. CST

    Magnum PI

    by DesperateDan

    Isn't Bergerac the British Magnum?

  • April 29, 2004, 10:31 a.m. CST

    Is the U.S.A the whole world?

    by Denki

    Do US networks think Americans can't take anything foreign? Or is it they think the American public don't know there is a world outside the US because they've been drip fed nothing but US made remakes for way too long. Non americans watch american TV, so why can't it work the other way? Why isn't foreign TV easy to find and available through the networks in the US? I keep on hearing the US is a closed society, thinking of itself as 'the world' with nothing of cultural significance of worth outside it's borders. Say it ain't so!

  • April 29, 2004, 10:34 a.m. CST

    Higgens

    by Toby O Notoby

    A bit off topic, but I remember seeing a docu on Magnum P.I. many many years ago where John Hillerman (who played Higgens) said he constantly got letters from England about how they really supported him and liked that a true Brit was showing those Yanks a thing or two. He found this quite bemusing as, in real life, he's from Texas.

  • April 29, 2004, 11:34 a.m. CST

    David Brent

    by Baba-Lou

    "The acting lacks the masterful underplaying of Ricky Gervais and company. A guy from "The Daily Show" tries to fill Ricky's shoes and can't. The American dude comes off as bland, uninteresting and really irritating. " Then it sounds like they copied Mr. Gervais perfectly. God what a bore. I've seen both seasons now and I can sum up any episode as follows: Two co-workers try to share a private joke; Brent buts int show how annoyingly un-funny he is and makes a remark that would get him fired in any office in America; Cut to a lingering reaction shot from Dawn. repeat for 12 episodes. Possibly the only more annoying thing is the behind the scenes footage where Gervaise and Merchant laudh hysterically at their own jokes. If it weren't for Gareth, there'd be nothing to watch.

  • April 29, 2004, 11:35 a.m. CST

    spelling errors

    by Baba-Lou

    sorry

  • April 29, 2004, 11:53 a.m. CST

    Andy Richter

    by pants malone

    Who the balls was ragging on ARCTU? That was a great show, and I miss it terribly. FOX, same goes for the WB, you can suck my art hog!

  • April 29, 2004, 12:12 p.m. CST

    The Office

    by madzander1

    i don't like it when an American network turns a good programme into a bad one

  • April 29, 2004, 12:16 p.m. CST

    Baba-Loser

    by noclevernickname

    Don't be sorry for your spelling errors, be sorry for your stupid opinion on The Office.

  • April 29, 2004, 12:27 p.m. CST

    Shocking News !!!

    by Itchy

    An Americanized remake of a British classic sucks ? No way !! I can't imagine !!! It's bad enough we recycle our own shows, let's leave other country's alone. NBC is just creatively bankrupt. Outside of Scrubs, I can't even think of another show on NBC that actually makes me even smile. The peacock network's best move at this point would be to pony up $20 million an episode and try to reunite the Seinfeld gang to pick up where they left off. Hell, I'd watch a new version of Cheers before any of the crap currently festering in that lineup.

  • April 29, 2004, 12:28 p.m. CST

    Why?

    by ChorleyFM

    We all knew this would flop, Steve Carrel seemed a really good choice from what i have seen of the daily show over here and he was the only highlight in Bruce Almighty, but have people seen who they got for Tim and Dawn, how bland and unispiring, Gervais was great but the rest of the cast were brilliant too. Oh and we did remake Whose the Boss?, which actually ran over here for ages for a British TV show.

  • April 29, 2004, 12:30 p.m. CST

    I'll bet fat, middle americans will find it depressing and miss

    by Big Bad Clone

    Yes, Dear is a hit comedy and it's rubbish. My brother got me the Office DVDs for my birthday. I love them. Shit I even cried when Brent begged for his job. That was tv gold. To do a "Coupling" to it would be horrifying. Fuck that.

  • April 29, 2004, 12:34 p.m. CST

    C'mon Limeys!

    by Olsen Twins_Fan

    You've been pretty quiet so far. Every other time there is an Office article, we are treated to a flood of limey comments about how Brit shows are "brilliant," U.S. shows are "shite," every time a U.S. show tries to copy something British, it's terrible, and how the British never try to copy anything American . . . except for rock 'n roll, democracy, shitty pop groups (the Spice Girls - just like an American pop stars ,but uglier), and cheap Tarantino knock-offs (Guy Ritchie anyone?). Consider this a pre-emptive strike: Eat a spotted dick, you self-important war losers. All that being said, the Office is a great show, & a U.S. version is a bad idea. I just don't want to hear the limeys carrying on about it. It's like how gay people can call each other "fag" and black people can call each other "nigga," only Americans can bemoan our own shitty taste.

  • April 29, 2004, 1:21 p.m. CST

    I Saw It Too: A Different Perspective

    by StandandDeliver

    I saw it too, and very much disagree. I thought it was incredible. The show isn't as great as the British version, but it is fantastic nevertheless. NBC did an amazingly ballsy thing by letting this show go forth un-sitcomized, with the same documentary feel. This review is very, very wrong about the script; Couplings' scripts were exact replications. The American Office uses some of the basic story, but the script is different. Many of the situations are brand new, and a couple of recreations (specifically, when the boss fake-fires the receptionist) are even funnier. The two cast standouts are Steve Carell as the boss and the woman who plays the receptionist, who's looks of disgust got some of the biggest laughs. Anyway, I'm an enormous fan of the British show -- I have all the original shows on disc and the two Christmas Specials on bootleg, and I thought it was great, as did the others I was with.

  • April 29, 2004, 1:24 p.m. CST

    Ken Kwapis

    by StandandDeliver

    Oh, and Herc, talking about Kwapis in relationship to his movies is unfair. Kwapis was the main director of the Larry Sanders Show, and developed the very style that Gervais and Merchant used on their show. He was also one of the primary directors on Freaks and Geeks. His TV record is fantastic and groundbreaking.

  • April 29, 2004, 1:26 p.m. CST

    Did anyone expect this to not suck nuts?

    by Grando

  • April 29, 2004, 1:27 p.m. CST

    So who's the rest of the cast anyway?

    by mortsleam

    Those of you who saw it, who did they get to play Tim, Dawn and Gareth? Did they use similar physical types? Have any of them been in aything else? Is Mr. Grimloch playing Big Keith? C'mon, people, that's what these reviews are supposed to be for!

  • April 29, 2004, 1:32 p.m. CST

    Rest of Cast

    by StandandDeliver

    Rainn Wilson from Six Feet Under plays Dwight, based on Gareth. Two relative unknowns, Jenna Fischer and John Krasinski, play Pam and Jim, based on Dawn and Tim. Physically, they're all similar -- though it's impossible to be too physically similar to Gareth.

  • April 29, 2004, 1:52 p.m. CST

    Denki.. an reply to your question

    by Russman

    Quick answer: It's not the type of humor that Americans like.................... Long Answer: Please remember that the US Population for the most part is stupid, ignorant and ethnocentric. Not every single person, but the majority are. Then again, you probably already know this and you probably already know that Americans have a very short attention span too. Our use of English and our society often reflects that. The British use English different than us (I'm sure they would say they use it correctly) and when you add that to the accent and the faster pace of speech it can shock some of us. You see it makes us have to think about what they're saying. So whent there is a British TV show, using all these familar words (and some new ones) in a completely different way, most Americans get dizzy or sleepy and just write the show off as "not funny". May TV executives are the same - and know that most of America is the same too and since the main reason we have TV is to advertise stuff, they are hesitant to put it on - if no one watches, advertisers won't want to pay to air their spots in the show or will do so at a discounted rate, meaning that the Network makes less money, which is the number on mortal sin in America. But I'm sure you know that too. So shows like True Calling get picked up, renewed and get a two hour season ender and how shows like Friends get to stay on and on and on and on. Hope this helps. Down with Bush in '04.

  • April 29, 2004, 1:56 p.m. CST

    "The Office: An American Workplace" http://www.imdb.com/title/t

    by Declan_Swartz

  • April 29, 2004, 2:16 p.m. CST

    Office take two

    by Baba-Lou

    I've been trying to figure out how to best respond and I figure why bother? Look, the fact that I watched all 12 episodes should tell you that I did not dismiss this off-hand. I started to like Tim (even when he became a shit to Dawn)because I've been in that position where you get a promotion and have to start "policing" your friends. And the scene in the last ep. where David is pleading with his bosses to not make him redundant has some real heart to it. It's just that centering a series around a such an unlikeable chracter (while nothing new)is a tricky bet at best. When it works (Blackadder, Fawlty Towers)it can be great. this, simply, is not.

  • You know, the people who say shit like this are usually the most ignorant of all. I'm sure you rate yourself as one of the "enlightened ones."

  • April 29, 2004, 2:34 p.m. CST

    Meanwhile, back in Iraq...

    by fitzcarraldo2

    Hey america, do your newspapers report stuff like this? http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3653223.stm

  • April 29, 2004, 2:50 p.m. CST

    Thanks for the info, StandandDeliver

    by mortsleam

    Glad to see they gave the creepy intern guy from Six Feet Under a shot.

  • April 29, 2004, 2:55 p.m. CST

    Olsen Twin Nonce

    by dreg

    Listen nonce why drag this into an America is great speach, everyone is talking about a TV show. I fail to believe that most Americans are as thick and as gullable as you. Just as I know my country is very much less than perfect I can guarentee yours falls on the same line. Democracy is a word that is bandered about by some as if they have a great insight into it's meaning. If you read some books on Americas road democracy I think you'll find how you arrived at the place you are now. A pleasent little journey littered with the dead of hundreads of thousands of people who where there long beore you arrived. Marvelous that you talk about democracy when Bush cheated thousands of Coloured voters out of there rights in Florida to get the Presidency. And dont talk about the Brits being losers son, not advisable seeing the current situation at the moment, I'm sure most people reading this forum (Brits and Yanks) will think most of your comments as stupid as I did. No crawl back into your brain cell and let your far supperior fellow americans carry on the chat, there's a good boy.

  • April 29, 2004, 2:59 p.m. CST

    Wolf at the door has a point

    by dreg

    Certainly agree with that comment by the way us Brits have as many crap shows as you guys, and the very fact that they have high ratings proves the theory. Just as you guys have idiots like Olsen Twins Fan we have our fair share of self important munters too.

  • April 29, 2004, 3:47 p.m. CST

    "Stupid and Ethnocentric?"

    by vikingkitty

    What a moronic statement. I work for a large university with loads of international students. I'll place the Americans against them any day of the week. In fact, while I was still an undergraduate, I worked as a resident assistant in the International House. Again, none were as polite and non-ethnocentric as the Americans.

  • April 29, 2004, 3:55 p.m. CST

    D'Reg, I don't want this turned into an "America is great debate

    by vikingkitty

    But you're a dumbfuck. And for the record, America is a constitutional republic the uses democratic principles.

  • April 29, 2004, 4:01 p.m. CST

    Has anyone tried to burn copies of "The Office" using DVDXCopy P

    by vikingkitty

    I've noticed a few DVD's recently that have some kind of blocking software, apparently.

  • April 29, 2004, 4:20 p.m. CST

    Fitzcarraldo, in answer to your question-

    by Stan the Bat

  • April 29, 2004, 4:23 p.m. CST

    -of course they don't.

    by Stan the Bat

    And as tempting as it is to blame the whole thing on corporate-controlled McMedia, the fact is that we have as much conscientious journalism as most people are interested in consuming. We have the media outlets- and the government, apparently- that most of us want. God help us all.

  • April 29, 2004, 4:24 p.m. CST

    Gervais played the yanks!

    by Goat13

    A couple of months sgo a pogramme aired over here in the uk that looked at how the americans had tried to translate many shows from england to their own screens. There was 'one foot in the grave' that became 'cosby' and flopped. There was steptoe and son which did well and the one with alf garnet did well over there too. But coupling didnt. They eventually got around to asking gervais and merchant what they though of how the translation of the office was going. The reply was...'We dont care. We made a sitcom to the best of our ability and to us its a masterpiece. If they fuck it up then we can say 'we have ours here mate thanks and its just fine'. Besides we got a fucking huge cheque so who cares'. I believe it was $8 million. Those guys were over the moon and could not really care what the americnas do to the office. So im sorry guys but if the shows creators dont care coz they're laughing all the way to the bank then why should anybody in the uk even need to voice an opinion. The office, fawlty towers, alan partridge, blackadder and porridge say everything you need to know about english humour. We have plenty of shit shows and so do the yanks so why dont we all just take it with a pinch of salt and move on and wait for the next great sitcom. Although i must admit im curious to see what they have done. Besides im sure one day they will make a sitcom that everyone will love and the talkbacks can just praise. But we will have to deal with all the shit first. You know what they say...'If you want the rainbow, you have to put up with the rain' You know which 'philosopher' said that? Dolly Parton...and people say she's just a big pair of tits!

  • April 29, 2004, 4:26 p.m. CST

    uh, did you see a different version than i saw?

    by jackylint

    Because the pilot that I saw had only about two of the same jokes as the british version. Most (ie almost all) of the dialogue had been changed. And who the hell cares if they remake a british teevee show. It's not like they're making us forget the ricky gervais version. YOU CAN STILL WATCH THE OTHER VERSION, IT'S NOT GOING AWAY. Seriously, i just get irritated when people say 'it's the exact same show as coupling'. no. It's not. The plot is similar, but do you want me to go down point by point explaining what is different? If you'd like, I will. Next time try paying attention. You obviously didn't want to like this show from the beginning. Good, objective opinionating!

  • April 29, 2004, 4:47 p.m. CST

    Ricky Gervais is barely involved with this version

    by Big Bad Clone

    I'm sure he may have some input but really doesn't run it. He's said it in interviews not putting it down as rubbish but just saying he's just consulting on it. I'm sure Stephen Merchant is involved in name only if anything. If this airs, I'm sure I'll watch it. BTW I looked up this versions Dawn and she is a stone fox. Wow.

  • i think, in this way, AICN has been duped again. but then again, maybe it will suck.

  • April 29, 2004, 4:54 p.m. CST

    Gervais Loves It

    by StandandDeliver

    Both Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant are on record numerous times saying they loved the American interpretation of the Office, thought Carell was great, and that the show was very funny. Gervais and Merchant chose people to helm the show who were all influences of theirs, people like Daniels (The Simpsons), Kwapis (Larry Sanders), and Peter Smokler (who shot Spinal Tap and Larry Sanders). The Office which is supposed to be so "uniquely British" sure was influenced by a lot of American projects.

  • April 29, 2004, 5:13 p.m. CST

    A producer credit doesn't mean much...

    by Roguewriter

    Sure, Gervais got a "producer" credit on the Americanized OFFICE... the industry operates on two principles: 1) shit on the writers, and 2) offer everybody and his brother a producership if it'll help sell the slop. Being a "producer" doesn't necessarily equate to being personally involved with the primary business associated w/ executing a program... It just means you wooed somebody well enough to get them on board. And in Gervais's case, I'm sure the $8M meant more to him than the producer credit. Why would he care what the Americans do to their version? His is out there already, it's marvelous, and it's only gonna get better with time and comparison.

  • April 29, 2004, 5:24 p.m. CST

    Uniquely British . . .

    by Olsen Twins_Fan

    Benny Hill. 'Nuff said.

  • April 29, 2004, 5:26 p.m. CST

    I am not getting involved in the America - AntiAmerica debate, B

    by FluffyUnbound

    I do have to take issue with the premise that the actors in English sitcom speak "proper" English. One problem Britcoms have in the US is that the changes in some local varieties of the "English" accent over the last 40 years, as well as the explosion of English slang [which is almost as varied as African-American slang] makes a lot of the dialogue almost incomprehensible for Americans. And it's not ethnocentrism or provinciality, it's a matter of hearing and distinguishing the individual words. I know that for myself, unless I turn the volume WAY up, some London-speak slurs together to become one big, blurred word, like rapidly spoken Spanish. We aren't talking about the English from old Eaglion studios films. We aren't talking Burton or O'Toole, either. Modern, "hip" Britspeak has become a patois. A Parisian can't understand a Cajun, either.

  • April 29, 2004, 6:45 p.m. CST

    I've Also Seen The US Version.

    by Asterios

    It's not bad! Sure, it's not as great as the original, but it also hasn't been given time to find it's own voice. Carrell is even funnier than TDS fans would expect him to be (they made his eyebrows really creepy), and I also dug the US "Gareth" - whoever the actor was had a fresh take on it.

  • April 29, 2004, 7 p.m. CST

    Made in Canada(the Industry)

    by lazy13

    If you want to see an "Americanized" version of the Office check out some old episodes of Made in Canada starring Rick Mercer, known as the Industry in the states. It's a fantastic show which takes place in the office of a fictional television and movie production company.

  • April 29, 2004, 7:12 p.m. CST

    Cheers to you all!!

    by Redbox

    I think Olsen Twins_Fan has proven, to us all, what is really important in this world. What we should remember and tell our loved ones and someday our children. To cherish the fact that idiots and lackluster intellects exist in all cultures, all over the world. May they always inspire us to great heights in comedy. To my English brothers across the sea "Here's to you, ya make great TUBE!" Cheers!

  • April 29, 2004, 7:57 p.m. CST

    I think you could do with a new dictionary

    by Regman

    Did you look that up in a dictionary Vikingkitty? If so I suggest you read what your friend Olsen Twin Fan wrote re-read what I wrote then look it up again. For someone calling me a dumbfuck, and who delights in telling the forum they are a university graduate you aren't that clever are you. I have no love for any kind of patriotic pride in a country, it's dangerous and destructive, and I definetly didn't mention in my post anything that should lead you to the conclusion that I have some kind of ethnic delusion of grandeur. I believe you should speak to your pal Olsen about that. After all he was the one that claimed to have given democracy to the world after all.

  • April 29, 2004, 8:15 p.m. CST

    Thank you "pants malone" for sticking up for ANDY RICHTER CTU.

    by FrankDrebin

    For example, Andy's awful boss has cancer, so that makes him a courageous fighter, but he's also still just a jerk = Seinfeld's bubbleboy episode. Or, Andy's dating a woman who's horribly anti-Semetic, but she really hot, so he decides to keep seeing her, but balance the scales by doing good deeds in the community, but ONLY for Jewish people = the episode with Seinfeld's anti-dentist girlfriend... Richter said recently that, carreer-wise, he thought he'd be sitting on his yacht by now, America's best loved comic. Instead, he's comic-relief to the Olsen Twins.

  • April 29, 2004, 8:20 p.m. CST

    How about a British HAWAII FIVE-O? ISLE OF MAN!

    by FrankDrebin

    Or a British ANIMAL HOUSE? BLUTARSKY'S INDISCRETIONS.

  • April 29, 2004, 8:21 p.m. CST

    Why can'

    by cornstalkwalker

  • April 29, 2004, 8:25 p.m. CST

    Why does there always have to be a remake

    by cornstalkwalker

    the original "The Office" is what they should be showing. Or at least get Ricky Gervais to make a new show. He is such a big part of why its so funny.

  • April 29, 2004, 8:37 p.m. CST

    regarding COUPLING...

    by Captain Katanga

    Just so none of you over there in america are confused, let me make this clear: more or less everyone in England regarded Coupling as utter horseshit. This programme was not a huge success like The Office, which is a masterpiece and deserves its acclaim. Coupling was an embarrassing rip off of Friends, and so it was ironic when you guys remade it hoping to replace Friends. Coupling is the WORST of british comedy, it didnt get huge ratings, and i pray you dont think we all love it over here. Just thinking about the PATHETIC jokes in that show makes me angry! Thank god for my Office dvds!

  • April 29, 2004, 9:26 p.m. CST

    There's no way the US version will match the comic powerhouse th

    by WarrenPerso

    ...and my single-barreled yoghurt rifle agrees with me.

  • April 29, 2004, 9:49 p.m. CST

    Cream of the Crap

    by I Own You

    Few American shows are good, many are crap. Few British Shows are good, many are crap. Americans are lucky in that they get to see the few good British shows. Why do American networks copy good British shows? Because they're too frightened of losing money on something untested or new (CSI Utah, anyone?). Creative departments should run TV networks, not finance departments.

  • April 30, 2004, 4:08 a.m. CST

    Doomed to fail just like Arrested Development

    by Under__Whelmed

    I can appreciate the US version if it has it's own voice, and does not just rip off the original. Steve Carell is great. I have serious doubts for it's success even if it is good however. American Audiences made Home Improvement the #1 show at one point don't forget. American SitComs have been discussed in the US press as of late as a dead format..with nothing new to offer.....while an amazing show like Arrested Development does just that, yet flounders. Then again this website is supposed to be somewhat elitist and yet the talkbacks are often about crap shows, and A.D. has yet to be mentioned officially. If A.D. that is a similar format, only much quicker pace cannot grasp the short attention spans of American Couch Potatoes, then a dreary "the Office" rehash sure won't. But hell....lets roll out another show like "the Swan" What a f*ckin' joke.

  • April 30, 2004, 4:27 a.m. CST

    Coupling

    by DarthScotland

    It annoys me when people try and speak for the whole country. Just for anyone who cares myself and ALL of the people I know found Coupling to be very enjoyable and were dissappointed not to see a fourth series. Have a nice day.

  • April 30, 2004, 4:37 a.m. CST

    Ken Kwapis

    by DJLetterbox

    ....is probably best known for directing *many* episodes of Malcolm in the Middle.....and is a really nice guy.....I'd withhold judgement until I see this myself..

  • April 30, 2004, 10:17 a.m. CST

    Reality Humor is as awful as Reality Shows

    by clubsidetv

    I bought "The Office Season 1" DVD when it came out, and it was painfully unwatchable. It's scripted reality, and we know these people in our lives, why do we need them thrown back in our faces as "entertainment" (which is what TV is all about). "Gee, I just spent a day working with assholes, let's watch a show about it and we'll laugh and laugh." I bought "Season 2", both to be a completist and to see if they went anywhere with the concept, and no, it's more of the same. I usually don't like "embarassment" humor, which is what you get with "The Office", but there are times it works, the best example I can quickly think of being "The Job". The difference was the situations were larger than life, and the characters were interesting, whereas "The Office" is played out situation-for-situation in the real world thousands of places with even more annoying bosses, ignorant co-workers and pointless shit. There is no observational humor of the workplace (the best example of this was brief bits in "Moonlighting" ["We want it all, no work... and pay!"... Water-cooler roulette...]), the characters are so normal they're boring, and in the end, I personally watch TV to see new things ("Angel", "Alias", "Enterprise") or well-done takes on the everyday ("That '70s Show", "Arrested Development", The CSIs, L&Os, "Crossing Jordan", "NYPD Blue", "Las Vegas"). We all have our frustrations, such as shows like "Angel" or "Farscape" that are too smart and too good for a market that anticipates less-than-100%-epsiode-viewing, or the short life of really good sitcoms like "Seinfeld". Oh, and while I'm at it, I've passed up the opportunity to rail on two shows I loathe that others prattle on about throughout these talkbacks: "The Shield" is gawdawful, full of plot-holes, unresolved storylines, despicable characters, and is just plain pointless. It is utter, unmitigated crap. A friend who loves it wouldn't shut up, so I bought the DVD and watched 'em all, and ass soon as I started picking apart the grade-school writing level, inexplicable plot dangling and the rest, I raised his expectations. He also loves"The Sopranos". This show has no reason to exist. The idea of series television is to get us to want to follow the exploits of characters over time. You can't do this when all the characters are pieces of shit that deserve to die. The show is the closest thing to real evil ever to continue for more than one season. I want the characters dead. I can live with "Goodfellas" because it's over in two hours, "The Sopranos" goes on and I just want them all killed. A horrible premise, and an utterly horrible show that is popular only for being different, which is just not enough to make a show worth watching. Whew, I'm usually so positive in these talkbacks, I probably watch more classic and modern television than anyone (no idle boast, I'm talking 12 hours a day every day), and there are plenty of shows I look forward to week-in-and-week-out. But here i rambled on about awful, and I mean that not in a "LETZ FLAME!!!" way, but in a critical consumer way, awful shows "The Office" (not funny, real life is full of these assholes, why waste airspace), "The Shield" (badly written pointless dreck) and "The Sopranos" (evil, sad-that-people-respond-to-it crap about people who deserve to die not be explored). And what am I left with here Friday night approaching? "Miss Match" is off the air, so nuthin'. I'll be watching "Jeremiah" DVD and downloads (for the full season 2) and re-runs off the ReplayTV. "The Office" remade. Never should have been made. Reality is all around, I want something new and fun that celebrates life and radiates exctement. I want the "Fun" part of funny.

  • April 30, 2004, 11:17 a.m. CST

    Last night's episode was good

    by Lord Shatner

    They go to a club and Garth is practically raped by a woman who wants a threeway with him and her husband. Garth complains to the camera about "loose women" at clubs and the spread of VD

  • April 30, 2004, 10:45 p.m. CST

    Query for "Olsen Twins Fan"

    by Numorpheus

    Quote (Olsen Twins Fan): "Consider this a pre-emptive strike: Eat a spotted dick, you self-important war losers. " Um.... Which war is this we're talking about? Can't think of a war the Brits have lost in over 200 years... But of course, the USA has NEVER lost a war. EVER. Especially not one that began with a V. Or ended in ietnam.

  • May 1, 2004, 4:54 a.m. CST

    clubesidetv...

    by DocPazuzu

    ...is, in fact, Pat Boone.

  • May 1, 2004, 5:09 p.m. CST

    I hate the term Americanized

    by ejcarter9

    It came into vogue with the Doctor Who movie from '96 and hasn't gone away. Someone PLEASE shoot this term in the head and bury it in an unmarked grave.

  • Coupling was utter bollocks and to have it even mentioned in the same space as the office is just fuckin stupid. I mean they should be really evil and remake two pints of lager and a packet of crisps for the US market(it couldn't be any more crappier than the brit one)and hey brit coms aren't the be all and end all of comedy the Yanks have made Malcolm in the Middle, Scrubs and the excellent Larry Sanders show so there not all that bad. One point not all us Brits think you yanks are stupid but it has taken you a while to catch on to sarcasm and irony a staple of many great british comedys, and in Britan we mostly have the same view on Londoners as you think we do on Americans. Oh and if they show it on BBCA check out Little Britan and Nighty Night the two best recent Brit comedy shows. Oh what a Kerfuffle.

  • May 4, 2004, 12:42 a.m. CST

    Couldn't disagree more

    by tambone

    This is the snarkiest, snottiest and just plain wrong review I've read -- and unfortunately, since it's the only one out there now, folks are quoting it like it's America's consensus. Derek Flint is entitled to his opinion, but he gets the facts wrong (about the script, Ricky G's involvement, Kwapis's pedigree) and quite frankly, he's completely off the mark on this show. I saw the American show, I'm a huge fan of the British show, and I thought this was a smart, funny, and inspired version. I hope Derek Flint's smear won't pollute nervous network minds and this gets picked up. It's good. Really, really good. And I hope that when Flint tries to create something original in his life that some snarky web guy gives it a fair shake.