You may not have seen the best comedy series on Netflix, The Office. If so, here’s a reminder of what a seminal masterpiece it is and how it spawned many other great shows.
The Office: An American Workplace as a loved television show is everything it should be: clever; funny; a showcase for future Hollywood royalty; and supremely entertaining. But it is not an original masterpiece. It derives from the British version, The Office and I’m going to convince you of the original’s prowess.
Steve Carell’s Michael Scott is a tour de force in the USA version of The Office; a natural comedian. He embodied the spirit given to him by the more loathsome, awkward Ricky Gervais’ David Brent. Scott is as equally bad with potential lovers, his friends, colleagues, staff etcetera but he is lovable and endearing throughout – sort of.
It’s around the final Christmas bonus episodes that David Brent encapsulated pity, until then people laughed at him, though the audience didn’t feel compassion. Gervais’ European Office showcases his, then, rather unknown acting skills as a believable idiot who’s somehow managed to become the boss. We’ve all had them!
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Viewers don’t hate Brent; you’re just glad he’s not your superior. And, like some people inexplicably slowing down to peruse car accidents, you have a morbid curiosity to see what this grotesquely cute character will say next through the thinly disguised tedium.
Horrible issues like racism and ableism are explored through naive yet pretty ambiguous jokes to expose the idiocies in society through humor. I’m not selling this very well, am I?! Who wants to be embarrassed for two seasons and three – very special – specials.
Well in actuality, part of the hilariously on the nail genius within the production comes from writing partners and producers including Stephen Merchant, who is unusually tall. Along with Ash Atalla, himself disabled. Both will have presumably endured some kind of discrimination, therefore, the hypocrisy of lesser intelligence, or not judging a book by its cover is beautifully outlined by the team.
It’s too realistic not to be inspired by true-life incidents; Brent was certainly based on his creator’s experiences at work. Making overt and unconscious bias conscious, while simultaneously raising awareness. Magnificent.