The Office episode 1.01 "Pilot" (3/24/05)

(Release Date: March 24, 2005)

And... TVs clicked off all over America!

Note: Chet and Brad from local College band Angry Baboon (reviewers of xXx and Die Another Day and Hollywood Homicide) are back with us again to review the American Version of the BBC's The Office! J.C., your ordinary reviewer, and "World's Greatest Critic" simply lacks the strength to do it alone.

Brad: You okay, man?

J.C.: Shut up, man!

Chet: J.C.?

J.C.: I don't want to talk about it man!

Chet: Dude, you, uh, you promised Ed you'd review The Office!

J.C.: That... that wasn't The Office!

Brad: He's right, Chet!

Chet: I know... It's like that 1998 Gus Van Sant version of Psycho!

Brad: And just as necessary!

Chet: Can we start, man?

J.C.: I guess...

Chet: Okay... J.C.?

J.C.: {sniff}!

Chet: J.C.?

J.C.: {sniff}... Yeah?

Chet: What's your favorite Sitcom of all time?

J.C.: The Office, man!

Brad: More than Cheers?

J.C.: Amazingly, yeah!

Brad: More than The Jeffersons?

J.C.: Close call, but, Yeah!

Chet: Better even than Too Close for Comfort?

J.C.: ... I hate you Chet!

Chet: Just trying to cheer you up, man!

Brad: At least he didn't say Seinfeld!

J.C.: {sniff}!

Get the whole Original Original here:

Or ease into it:

And if you must Americanize:

The Office Sighting!

An old friend from The Office
stopped by...

  • Original Series Creators Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant are both credited as Executive Producers here. But if that's true, why do they let the writers "explain" every joke?

Chet: Okay, let's talk about this, man! What was your beef with the American Version of The Office!

J.C.: {Sigh}! Okay, The Office was this brilliant and surprising office comedy starring the great, great comic actor Ricky Gervais as the worst boss you could ever imagine... It was funny, mainly because it was so damned hard to endure this ineffectual middle-management suck up!


J.C.: The most striking thing is that in its short run, The Office managed to take what was a mock-documentary Reality show about the Wernham-Hogg Paper Company and really get us involved in the lives of these people... it was always funny, it was normally quite improvised and, amazingly, our very thoughts about these evolving folks changed, and the worst boss ever... started feeling like an old friend!


Brad: {SSSH}! Not right now, man...

Chet: Sorry, sorry!

J.C.: But now... How the Mighty have Fallen! Like so many attempts before, NBC... isn't it always NBC... in a vain effort to fill the ass-groove left in the Couch of American Television by Friends has brought us a remake of The Office with weak imitative Xerox copies of the original characters, whose superficial changes manage solely to serve to illustrate the vast, vast superiority of the original, and the ultimate weakness of the remake!

Brad: And every time you make a copy, the copy gets weaker... and it sucks more.

J.C.: I already reviewed The Ring Two, Brad!


Brad: The thing is, this first episode is quite literally an almost exact remake of the original Pilot from the BBC.

J.C.: Same script, but Americanized for your displeasure!

Chet: Yeah, you'd think that might be a good thing, but it's What they changed that sucked so much. The subtle jokes were replaced by the more in-your-face Brick-Bat-over-the-head comedy that not even a chimp could miss.

Brad: And, dude, in other places it seems like they're looking to keep the subtlety intact... it's as incongruous as a... as a... a...

J.C.: Brad, leave the metaphors to me, man!

Chet: But what about David Brent's American Counterpart? Steve Carell's Michael Scott? I like the actor.

Brad: Good call! I like him too... and he's affable enough here!

J.C.: Yeah, I guess, but I thought he was way out of his element... like a wide-eyed kid trying to live up to the Limbo Bar! You could almost see the terror in his eyes as he ripped out something Gervais did better!

Chet: But isn't that the problem with this whole thing? That it has just, plain been done better?

J.C.: Well, you may have a point! To me, this American version is like the taste of tea when you've re-used a tea bag one too many times... I mean, you can still remember what it tastes like, but it's far too bland to stand alone.

Brad: You... uh... you re-use Tea Bags?

J.C.: No, it's a...

Chet: So much for leaving the metaphors to you, dude!

J.C.: {sigh}! Okay, the problem isn't just this... it's that the whole thing doesn't feel like a full effort, like everyone involved is coasting on the work of someone else, with Americanized names, Americanized dialogue, and a sad excuse for comedy! This is especially noteworthy in its pile-on of the ridiculous, specifically because there is such a large The Office following in the US. Why ruin it in a weak attempt at ratings? Why can't American Networks just leave Britcoms alone?

Chet: Well...

Brad: Yeah, let's face it, it's been done right in the past! How about Sanford and Son?

J.C.: True!

Chet: And remember All in the Family? Without which there would be no Maude!

Brad: Or Good Times...

Chet: Or Gloria!

Brad: Or your precious The Jeffersons!

Weiland: Or Archie Bunker's Place, and the 1994 Sequel Series 704 Hauser!

Brad: Uh... Weiland?

Chet: How'd you get in here, dude?

Weiland: Fine, I'll leave! {SLAM}!

J.C.: Okay, your point's well taken... but I'll see your All in the Family and your Sanford and Son and I'll raise you Coupling, and not one, but two lame American remakes of Red Dwarf! And I'm still holding my Trump Card known as the American Dr. Who!

Brad: Okay, I'm out!

Chet: Too rich for my blood!

Brad: But isn't a mediocre-remake of The Office better than no The Office at all?

Chet: Yeah, my gruff friend is right... What if this causes British humor to catch on here? I'd be in Hog Heaven!

J.C.: But that's the problem... this is not really British Humor and every laugh I thought I was about to have was quashed by a weak delivery or an illogical change in punch-line that causes the laugh to fall flatter than a saved can of "New Coke"! I sort of picture a smashed statue of Ricky Gervais with the inscription "I am David Brent, Regional Manager of Regional Managers, look upon my Americanized works, ye mighty, and despair!"

Chet: Huh?

Brad: Saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay what?

J.C.: That was... it was Ozymandias by-

Chet: Yeah, we're... we're only in College to be in this Band...

Brad: Less obscure references, please.

J.C.: Well, now I am depressed!

Chet: But there were some decent laughs, especially seeing this Self-Absorbed Boss and his being forced to fire some of his warring employees, including Rainn Wilson!

J.C.: How can I be worried about some Self-Absorbed boss, when my rent just went up, taxes are due, I'm late on my daughter's tuition payments, I drive a beat-up, red 1988 Mustang whose horn goes off at inappropriate times, the turn signal doesn't work, my wife's car has transmission problems, I'm fat, I can't afford to get new cars, my music career is in the toilet, the closest thing to using my English Degree is writing for this site with you two clowns, I don't have any food to bring to work and I'm drinking Sam's Club coffee, and wearing clothes from the same place, man?

Brad: Don't forget that you think you're funnier than you really are too!

J.C.: You're both fired... no more reviews for you!

Chet: Hey, does anybody else feel like they can just cut the irony with a knife in here?

Weiland: I do!

J.C.: Didn't they tell you to leave, man?

Chet: But can we all agree that The Office: An American Workplace was a weak imitation, and not up to NBC's hopes for a smash?

J.C.: Agreed!

Brad: The name Father of the Pride comes to mind!

Chet: But, until it gets cancelled, there are some new episodes to watch and give some high hopes to... the rest are "Inspired By", instead of remakes of The Office.

J.C.: Used Tea Bags!

Chet: So what are we giving this, rating-wise?

Weiland: Well, I'd say-

Brad: Weiland... SHOO!

J.C.: Two Stars!

Chet: Two Stars!

Brad: Two Stars out of Five!

Chet: We all agree!

Brad: For once...

J.C.: I'm thinking of downsizing my reviewers. Just kidding... hugs all around... So, until NBC decides to Remake The Catherine Tate Show and, in the process, recast the part of "Catherine Tate" with Jenny McCarthy... I'll-

Chet: Wait...

Brad: Yeah, hang on...

Chet: Can I say it?

Brad: It's his birthday!

J.C.: Oh, uh... sure...

Chet: Okay... I'll...

Brad: - see you in the next reel!

Chet: You bastard!

Brad: Too slow, Joe!

J.C.: Don't you guys have Band Practice or something?

Chet: We don't need to practice anymore!

Brad: Yeah, we got it down, baby! We're the WIND, Baby!

J.C.: Ugh... kill me now.

American Television...
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The Office: An American Workplace episode 1.01 "Pilot" (3/24/05) reviewed by J.C. Mašek III (honest) who is responsible for his own opinions and... for the Knights who say NIH!
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