Two days ago, the first episode of NBC’s remake of the popular BBC series ‘The Office” was broadcast. As a fan of the original BBC series, I had a bad feeling about this remake. Yesterday evening, I watched the NBC pilot on my Tivo, and it turns out I was right…

Disappointingly, the story was a direct rip-off of several original The Office episodes, the main difference being that a couple of the more British jokes were translated into their US equivalents. The characters were not necessarily terrible, but nothing like their British counterparts. In particular, Steve Carell’s performance as the boss Michael is unconvincing. I always thought that the original series’ boss character David Brent (played by Ricky Gervais) was absolutely brilliant and the unreplaceable centerpiece of the entire show, and watching someone else attempt to play that role definitely proves this. Gervais character came across as eerily realistic, while of course being completely over the top. Michael’s character is over the top as well, but seems more like a typical sitcom character than an actual person, destroying the the whole appeal of the documentary-themed show.

I might watch a couple more episodes as I’ve heard that the later episodes will have some original content, but I’m not holding my breath… If you haven’t watched the original series, do yourself a favor (maybe I should say “favour” :) ) and buy the DVD collection. I did a The Office marathon myself about a week ago and am almost ready for another one.