Just finished The Office (UK) on DVD: a question.

Very good. I honestly like the USAs take on Dawn / Tim (Pam / Jim) more than the UKs. I just think there’s more meat on the bone here. The UKs Office just didn’t build up the (non vulgar) sexual tension as well as the US currently is.

I can’t compare David Brent & Michael Scott. The general idea is the same, but while Brent is a *total * “berk”, Scott shows little flashes of talent from time to time and actually gets some work done. I wonder how Brent gets dressed in the morning! (Ha! I suppose David doesn’t cook his feet on a George Forman grill, but still…)

I didn’t like the way the UK show had a much less rounded out cast. The segments involving the supporting office staff were pretty good, I wish they had fleashed that out more sometimes; as much as they could in, what, 12 espisodes? (I haven’t watched “the special” yet).

I love the British humor though, having grown up with a lot of that influence in my house. Brilliant. And I lament that you can do & say SO MUCH more on UK TV than on US TV.

All this leads me to my question: Can someone, anyone, please explain the janitor?? WTF? I kept waiting to learn we was an escaped fugitive or former child TV star in exile or something, but they never explained it.

For those who need a reminder, from time to time, the office janitor (the male, not the cleaning lady who had some minor dialogue), would walk into a scene. He would see the camera crew, then just freeze like a deer caught in headlights. He’d stand there, looking awkward, staring at the camera until the next scene.

Did I miss something with this character?

He’s Stephen Merchant’s father. Merchant is co-creator of the show with Ricky Gervais. It’s just a weird cameo.

I’m sure it’s hillarious if you’re in on the joke.

I thought it was hilarious, and I wasn’t in on the joke!

Oh I thought it was funny, but in the last episode in particular it just threw me for a loop. There was a really long pause, and I thought he was finalyl going to speak.

Then I started to wonder if I’d missed something.

You MUST see the specials. Then decide on the handling of the Tim/Dawn situation, as well as Brent and others.

I had watched the BBC version before the American version came on. I have tried to watch the US, but I just can’t STAND IT. I won’t go into why I will always consider the BBC version far superior (genius), as that has been discussed on these boards before.

Agreed. The specials are what really stand out in my mind from this series. Absolutely took my breath away. If you haven’t seen them, you haven’t really finished the UK Office at all. Watch them! You won’t be sorry.

Another strong recommendation for the specials from me.

I too like both versions very much and (aside from the first episode) go in fairly different directions.

My take of the cleaning guys is that while everyone else pretty much goes about their business like they’re supposed to, the janitor is the guy (there’s always one) who’s just totally mesmerized by being on camera.

Yeah, I was going to respond to your comments until I saw you hadn’t seen the specials. I will say that one thing I liked about the UK version over the US version is the fact that the actors playing Tim and Dawn aren’t particularly good-looking. I think the US actors are so attractive that it detracts somewhat from their story in a way I don’t know if I can explain precisely. I think it just emphasizes that in the UK version, they really click on a deeper level. Something like that.

Anyway, yeah, the janitor just freaks out any time he sees the camera. It always made me laugh because it served as a reminder that this is supposed to be a documentary.

Ultimately I think you tend to favor whichever version you saw first. As good as the American one has gotten–and this past season was just spectaular–the Brits will always hold me heart most fondly.

But yeah, I second, third, and quadruple the Christmas Special recommendation, RumMunkey. It’s pretty essential, closure-wise.

Ok, we so disagree here. Lucy Davis is hawt! Mind you, I’d saw off a leg to get a kiss from Jenna Fischer too!

I will get to the special(s) ASAP, then (one… two? -one in two parts?)

Anybody got a link to the threads here? “UK” and “TV” are too short to be included in searches here and “office” returns too many results. I’d love to catch up.

Since you touched on it - the lack of the (supposed) documentary style is a big gripe I have with the US version. In fact, the janitor’s reaction to the camera fits perfectly with the intent of the BBC version - how a real person might be react, especially one who’s not in the office all the time during the shooting.

The US version has mutated from the pseudo documentary style to just another sitcom shot with less-steady cams. Although a bit nitpicky, from the first show, based on the different angles of the cast while in the conference room, there would have had to have been like 5 cameras in the room ! Just loses all realism.
And just way too many “fortunate” placements of the camera (in the lunch room before the characters get there).

It does give you closure - and since it exists, it should be watched, but it isn’t necessary. The romantic in me wanted to just curl up and die during the final episode…everything was there, it was just there in a very British way (or what I think of as a very British way at least)

No, she’s not unattractive…she just doesn’t have that stereotypical hot woman quality. She’s more…I don’t know…unconventional, maybe?

Just one, but if memory serves it’s 90 minutes or longer. So that’s, like, half a new series. (Lazy Brits.)