Comedy is a very complex art, as not everyone responds to the same types of it. There are those who consider it unworthy to see something that tends to the absurd and silly, or there are those who do not like the whitest and most suitable comedies like in the old sitcoms. Of course, there is an audience that cannot go through a darker and more uncomfortable type of comedy.
Perhaps, due to characteristics, it is easier to succeed with a whiter than with one that is more acid and satirical. We could launch hypotheses about it, but we have a contrasted example related to one of the most successful sitcoms of all time. While the American version, more emotional and polished, became a sensation, a la ‘office‘ English gets to be the cult phenomenon.
the good boss
Namely, the least seen but still the most claimed. At least, anyone who has seen the version with Ricky Gervais tries to put it above his successor (despite the fact that each one has very commendable virtues as well as being different). It is done, above all, to try to get people to give it a chance. And these are in luck, becoming one of the recent additions to the Prime Video catalog as well as being available on Filmin.
The series begins with the same premise as its heiress on the other side of the pond, making a false documentary that follows the ins and outs of a paper wholesale company through a section chief with a lot of ego and a desire for prominence. We also find a varied cast in which recognizable faces such as Martin Freeman, Lucy Davis or Mackenzie Crook appear, with characters with more complex and sharp edges than those of their counterparts.
Gervais created and wrote the series with Stephen Merchant, trying to satirize the reality TV that was becoming a phenomenon on British television and also give a rabid look at the most sterile and toxic work environments. If something makes it especially brilliant as well as more difficult to sell, it is its ability to not contain the knives it tries to throw.
‘The Office’: Until the last consequences
It’s no secret that the reason Steve Carell’s character in the other version is so different in the first season than in previous seasons was because he was trying (unsuccessfully) to replicate Gervais’s character in this one. It doesn’t come out, as they are different character actors, and the audience wasn’t really ready for it. such a corrosive and despicable version of that character.
But Gervais is capable of carrying that character well, and also to the last consequences. In the two seasons that make up the series (not counting specials) we see how he tightens the rope to extremes that are really uncomfortable and full of embarrassment. If you’re not ready for a more bitter and fun version of a twisted way from the other series, maybe this original is not going to be a dish to your liking. But the good thing is that both can coexist, as complementary versions of the same idea, both well managed in their own way.