THE UK OFFICE vs THE AMERICAN OFFICE: THE MOST USELESS POST EVER
I’ve been flying a lot the last few weeks so I decided to use the time to watch some TV shows and movies that I previously wasn’t all that interested in. I did this so I could duck out on talking to my unit’s CO and XO as much as possible if they were around because they annoy the living hell out of me. Also a I didn’t want to have endless conversations with the Air Force guys because I get testy after about 2 minutes of talking about kicking ass and taking names yadda, yadda, yadda. Instead, I hid out and watched movies and TV on the laptop and that’s when I decided to do this dumb post.
I admit this is a stupid nonsense post and I’m really only doing it to see what the English folk think and I have a couple of questions that I would like to get an answers to so really the post is just an excuse for that and to be snarky for the fun of it. I realize this is an unfair comparison to do because the UK Office only had a two season run of six episodes each and a wrap-up Christmas special that took place three years after the show ended. The American Office has had a six year run with all but the first season having full order of twenty-two episodes or more so it’s not an even comparison. In the interest of fairness I’m just going to use the first 3 seasons of the American Office as a basis for this comparison. I’m throwing out the last three seasons because from the fourth one onward the show went off the rails and became a complete nonsensical farce. Yes, there were some funny episodes in those seasons but over all I stopped being interested in the American Office around then. I still watch reruns of the Office sometimes because they are almost as common as Seinfeld reruns on TV.
What I’m going to do here is compare major characters, some shared story lines, declare winners for each category then name an overall winner at the end of the post.This is a binding statement of fact for the record so all discussion will be over once and for all. Also for the record, I am totally ripping off the show Deadliest Warrior for the format of this article.
Just in case you’ve been living under rock since 2001, the plot of both shows is that they are mockumentaries about doofus office workers at fictional paper companies that have the worst bosses in the history of the world. There will be many spoilers in the comparisons so if you have not seen either show and were planning on watching them, read at your own risk.
Michael Scott (Steve Carell) vs. David Brent (Ricky Gervais, creator and writer)
These two characters are nearly the same on both shows. Other characters had major changes done to them but Brent and Scott are nearly carbon copies except for two major differences that will be dealt with in a moment. Both Brent and Scott are dumb, have major league cases of insecurity, are completely oblivious, socially awkward, needy, sneaky, lazy, think they are cool and good bosses, are arrogant without a shred of anything to build the arrogance on and both are world class jerks.
The two major differences between Brent and Scott are where we find the criteria for the winner. Both Scott and Brent are as slow as molasses in January but Brent is a bit smarter and somewhat more capable then Michael Scott. Basically, Michael Scott is Brick Tamland from Anchor Man and this becomes more and more apparent as the American Office progresses. I fully expect Michael Scott kill somebody with a trident in an episode soon. David Brent is proof positive of the Peter Principle, that people rise to the level of their incompetence. One minor but important difference between the two characters is that Brent is a whole hell of a lot meaner and angrier than Michael Scott who is just pathetic and ineffectual.
The other major difference between the characters is that David Brent stays grounded within reality while Michael Scott has exploded through reality like Wile E. Coyote on rocket skates. At this point I think of Michael Scott as a high functioning Asperger’s syndrome sufferer. The writers of the American Office have made him almost unrecognizable as a human being. He’s a caricature of a human being.
WINNER: David Brent because he seems more plausible and realistic. He’s just a dumb, lonely, needy character but real.
Jim Halpert (John Krasinski) vs. Tim Canterbury (Martin Freeman)
I’m calling this one upfront. Jim Halpert is the winner. I fucking loathed Tim Canterbury. I thought he was a tosser and a twat, a bully, coward and a whiner. Fuck him, he’s a pussy. Jim Halpert just seems like a regular guy. Sure he screws with with Dwight but Dwight deserves most of it and it is never as mean spirited and stupidly juvenile as what Canterbury does to Gareth Keenan.
Winner: In a rout, Jim Halpert. Fucking Tim Canterbury deserves an ass kicking for being a relentlessly whiny, dreary, douche bag man-boy pussy.
Dawn Tinsley (Lucy Davis) vs. Pam Beesley (Jenna Fisher)
Bear with me, this one is a bit complicated and because I’m entirely shallow it also has a lot to do with appearance.
Both receptionists have their strengths and weaknesses but what I think sets them apart is that Dawn has more of a back bone then Pam. Although both did let their previous boyfriends walk all over them before they got with Canterbury and Halpert. Now that I think about it, maybe Dawn doesn’t have more of a back bone since she stayed with Lee, who was an utter cock, far longer then Pam stayed with Roy who was just an immature goober.
So what does it come down to then? Is it the juggs? Nope, that’s a wash. Both sport big cans. Is it the body? Ummmm..maybe a slight edge to Pam but that’s debatable. Pam is better looking. Usually a higher class English accent on a woman with a semi-low voice works for me but Dawn has an annoying mush-mouth that swallows words. Also Dawn is blond which is a demerit for her.
Winner: By the slightest of margins is Dawn Tinsley. Ask me tomorrow though I might have a different opinion. I just think that Dawn has bit more gumption and follow through. She dumped one shit bag for another fast when she finally made a choice to be with Tim “the cocksucker” Canterbury.
Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson) vs. Gareth Keenan (Mackenzie Crook)
This one is tougher since I find Dwight’s self involvement, rigidity and his comments about his family to be hilarious. Case in point, “I come from a long line of fighters. My maternal grandfather was the toughest guy I ever knew. World War II veteran. He killed twenty men and then spent the rest of the war in an Allied prison camp.” I also like Gareth and his complete cluelessness (which Dwight isn’t, just mostly clueless) and I think Gareth’s awkwardness is hilarious.
Dwight and Gareth share the same desire to exercise power over others. They both think they are way smarter than they are. Both have interests in the karates but aren’t practitioners and both volunteer with organizations that give them a sense of power and authority. Dwight was a volunteer Sheriff’s Deputy and Gareth is with the Territorial Army. (WTF is the Territorial Army BTW Englishers? I read up on it and I’m still confused.) They both talk endlessly about those hobbies. Lastly both are crushingly naïve and goofy as hell.
Winner: Gareth Keenan by a nose (sorry couldn’t resist.) Here’s why. If you put about 10 pounds of muscle on Gareth, give him a crew cut and dye his hair darker and if Gareth had a Boston accent, he would be my unit’s XO. I always like to throw admin under the bus especially since they’ve joyfully thrown me under under the bus lately.
The Merger Storyline: The American Office wins this one due to getting to know the Stamford people and for introducing Andy Bernard (the nard dawg!) and Karen Filippelli. The extra episodes made the merger more interesting.
Secondary Characters: American office wins but that’s due to having more episodes that give the secondary characters a chance to shine. Toby, Oscar, Kelly, The Temp, Kevin and especially Creed are hilarious. Where the UK office wins is having everybody hooking up constantly.
Women of the Office: UK wins hands down in a runaway. Jennifer Taylor-Clarke, Dawn, the new receptionist (never caught her name), Rachel, Donna, David Brent’s potential girl friend, all win the day with their ability to make my pants tight.
Chris “Finchy” Finch vs. Todd “Pac Man” Packer: Chris Finch wins mostly because he was in more episodes. If “Wacky Pack” was in more episodes, I believe he would win. Finchy also scores major points for banging the birthday chick in the parking lot and not caring about her knees hurting because of the gravel.
The secondary love story Rachel (Stacey Roca) vs. Karen Filippelli (Rashida Jones): Rachel wins because she has a better body and personality and she seems very very easy. Karen has a four star “get away” face but she is rather bitchy.
The Big “Love Story”: The UK wins going away that’s because they wrapped it up in 14 episodes and didn’t draw it out in four seasons. I couldn’t care less about this story line. Rachel and Karen are hotter then Dawn and Pam.
There were some other categories but I decided to take them out to keep this from getting to long. I think I might throw them out in the Chang-Back. So here it is, the final word, on this long simmering debate which is the “better” show: The UK Office or the American version.
The winner is: The UK Office. The reason being, it stays well within reality unlike the American version. The use of adult language, situations and themes help cement the win for the UK version by taking a more realistic approach. I do however think the American office is funnier over all but the UK Office is better.
There we go final word on the situation.
Hey DGDB! Call me, stud. …grrrrowl…