Thursday, September 21, 2006

Le Bureau

I have a confession to make. I don't watch The Office. I mean, not regularly, either in its American or British incarnations. This has begun to change, as I caught at least part of the second season of the American version in reruns over the summer, and my old roommate, Kevin, is devoted to the original British version. I have been trying to convince him of the charms of American version, particularly the dynamic between wistful non-couple Pam and Jim, which is think is every bit as good as Dawn and Tim in the original, and that, in his own American way, Steve Carell's Michael Scott does indeed contain some of the soft-hearted vulnerability that made Ricky Gervais's David Brent such a great character, in spite of his self-involved cluelessness.

I discovered yesterday, courtesy of Slate, that there are also French and German remakes of The Office: Le Bureau and Stromberg. Liesl Schillinger offers some pretty good insights into why three different cultures have felt the need to reinterpret Mr. Gervais's masterpiece, and maybe if I can talk Kevin into giving it a read, maybe we can sit down with the new season of the American version, and see if it deserves a chance.

(By the way, in entirely unrelated news, this is my 125th Wordwright post! Help me celebrate by visiting my new project Revelator and downloading our first chapbook, Line Jester and Other Stories by Michael Duncan. Hey, it's my 125th post, and I'll plug if I want to.)

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