Thursday, January 26, 2006

[ tv review ] The Office Episode 215: "Carpet"

The American version of The Office took a little while to grow on me. Even though I hadn't seen the original British version yet when the American version premiered last spring, I went into it with a negative attitude, since other recent British imports/remakes like "Coupling" were so universally panned. I was thinking this was going to be just another in the chain.

But still, I gave it a shot. However, I wasn't impressed. It seemed to be trying too hard to be funny. It seemed like it was a bad American remake of a very British show. So I stopped watching.

Over the summer, I finally managed to track down the British version of The Office just because I heard nothing but raves about it. I was instantly a convert to the show and it immediately moved into my top five all-time comedies. Brilliant stuff. It was easy to see why they were so eager to attempt to make an American version of it.

Fast forward to the fall season and after deciding to give "My Name is Earl" a chance, we decided to also resample "The Office" (the whole family this time, not just me). I was pleasantly surprised at how The Office seemed to have found its own voice, distinct from the original British Office. They were no longer attempting to do American versions of the British episodes.

So the months have passed, and we are now on episode 15 of season 2 of the office (hence the nifty numerical episode nomenclature). The power hour of My Name is Earl, and The Office has become Must-See-TV. The characters (on both shows, actually, but this is an Office review) have completely developed their own unique places in the comedy pantheon and I no longer even subconsciously compare this show to the original British show. This show now stands on its own.

Tonight's episode was called "Carpet" and that basically was the driving force behind most of the episode. Someone soiled Michael's (Steve Carell's idiot boss character) carpet, forcing him to spend the day sitting among his employees as they replaced his carpet. Nothing ground-breaking about the episode-- solid jokes, excruciating Michael moments, etc. But what made this episode so memorable was the last minute or so, as the main nice-guy character, Jim,
checked his office voicemail at the day. Probably one of the sweetest moments in any episode of a TV show I've seen in a long long time. I won't spoil it any further, but it was a highlight of the series so far.

If you're not watching The Office, then what are you watching?? This is the best non-Arrested Development sitcom on TV right now.

And for those of you that are fans of both the American version of the show and the British version of the show, here's a neat website that acts as both an extensive resource for both shows while comparing and contrasting them. Neat stuff.


Click to go to "The Office vs The Office"

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