Monday, February 25, 2008

Bruce/Center Field/THE Office

Remember when Bruce Hurst was all, "eh, I don't want a full-time gig or anything," and I was all, "dude, admit it, you want in," and he was all, "nah, I really don't have that kind of time," and I was all, "but...but..."? Well, now he's got a full-time job with the Space Coaster.* "B. Ruth Curse"** be damned.

Remember when I was all, "we should have Coco and Jacoby battle it out (scroll way down) in spring training since they're both good," and everyone else was all, "I've just assumed Jacoby has taken over, who's this Hot Cocoa guy you speak of?" and I was all, "dude, you know I love Jacoby, but we've still got a big contract guy who's awesome on defense on the team, they're not just gonna forget about him, why not have the best backup outfielder in the league no matter who the 'starter' is," and everyone else was all, "it's still November, why are you even concerned with this stuff"? Okay, maybe it didn't go down quite like that, but the point is, everyone seemed so shocked when it came out a few days ago that the team thought of center field as Coco's to lose. Jacoby will be around for a long time. He'll be starting in '09 and beyond. But if Coco can start hitting, why not go with him a lot this year, and know you've got an incredible player in Jacoby who can fill in for him and/or Manny at any time, and/or pinch-hit and -run? (And just step right in should Coco start to shit the bed at the plate again.)

The dreaded day has finally arrived. The one where one of my high school-era friends sends out a mass e-mail to the rest of us, asking if we like The Office. And me cringing and holding out the slightest bit of hope that maybe he actually meant the original version of the show. And then me finding out that that wasn't the case at all, and then reading all the replies where everyone agrees on the awesomeness of The Office, without making any mention to the fact that there ever was an original, British version. Again, to you American Office fans, no offense, and I like Carrell and that other dude, and even though I don't watch it regularly, I know that it has to be, at the very least, way better than all the shit you normally see on TV. But still, it just pains me*** to have people talk about it as if it was an original show. And if you don't know what I'm talking about, here's a link to the original, created by and starring Ricky Gervais, who is currently doing the HBO show Extras, which is equally funny. And then the next time you're hangin' out with your friends, talkin' about myspace and wearing sarco-ironic shirts that look old but that anyone can buy at Urban Outfitters, or whatever it is you do, and chattin' about your favorite show, "The Office," please be the one in your group to hook the others on the original Office, or at least the one who asks every time it's mentioned, "oh, you mean the American Office?" until they get the picture. Just like you would if you moved to England and they re-made Seinfeld and it was all the rage, and everybody just called it "Seinfeld" without specifying it wasn't the original version. Hey, Gervais is getting paid every time somebody buys a "new Office" DVD anyway--I just wish he'd get more credit for it.

When I got the e-mail, I thought about saying to that friend who sent it, "Hey, remember when we used to get mad at all the people who'd call Larry "Bud" Melman by his "new" name, Calvert DeForest (which, ironically, was his real name), when Letterman switched networks? Think of the American Office as "Calvin DeForest."" But I think it would've been lost on him. Like when I tried to explain the "Boston Sports Guy" vs. "Sports Guy" thing. Oh, well.

*If you clicked the first link you know what this means. Get on board!

**anagram for "Bruce Hurst."

***not that much, just in the context of, like, sit-com watching or whatever

You may be interested to know that there is are also German, Brazilian, French, and French Canadian versions of The Office. (Le Bureau!)

I liked the original too, but I find Ricky Gervais attitude towards it annoying. He did 12 episodes total and decided that was it because he did want to "spoil" it or whatever -- like it was some masterpiece, or alternately, as though it was running out of steam after 6 hours on television.
I think Extras proved he wasn't out of steam. But literally last night we finally watched the second "series" finale, and it appears that's done, too. You always wish it would go on forever, but there is something to be said for going out--well, you know the cliches.
I usually refer to the "new" one as the "more funny" one, but that's just me...I'm sure there's some secret hipster element of the old one that I can't decipher with my square-ish/not hipster decoder pen.
It's not hipper, it's just THE show. The other one is a re-make. If you think it's a funny show, the credit should go to Gervais for coming up with it, yet people act like it's a new, original show.

I should say, though, that I always speak about Three's Company as if it were an original, when it also came from a British show, Man of the House, or something. Maybe this is the sit-com gods getting back at me....

Come on, though, are you telling me we're funnier than Brits? The comedy ladder goes Canadians, Brits, then us.
Let me put it this way: Imagine the Patriots play a Monday night game. And the next day, you go into work, and your co-worker, Louis, says, "Did you watch that game last night?" And then you say yes and start talking about the Patriots, and then ol' Lou is like, "whoa whoa, there, I was talking about the JV lacrosse game on public access. What the hell game were you watching??"

That's not a quality comparison, it's a "which one is THE one" comparison. Even if I started really following the Am. Off., and it became my fave show of all time, I'd still call it the American Office, because it's not THE Office. Oh wait, maybe a better comparison woulda been to use the Danish or Belgian office or whatever. I could go back and erase the above comp., but then Louis would be erased... from existence!
I get that the less funny one is THE ORIGINAL ONE; being first doesn't make it the best. In my humble opinion (I purposely didn't use "text messaging abbreviation" of that to avoid any misplaced myspace wrath...), the NEW one is much FUNNIER than the OLD one. Personally, I don't think the Brits are that funny; they sucked at colonialism, they sucked at World Warring, and they suck at making me laugh. Canadians are funny, I'll grant you that...more often than not, Americans are unintentionally funny, which is my favorite kind of humor.
I got you to call it the original. My job is done here.

But my talking will continue--it's not like it was the first to come up with the idea, and then someone came along and did a similar idea and did it better. It's the same show. It's a remake of another show and nobody ever mentions that.

Also, on the hipster accusation. I could see that if the original was some public access show that only ten people watched. But the show was a huge hit, and even was on in the US if you got BBC America or whatever.
I've never denied it's the original, so no job necessary there. The hipster thing had nothing to do with a perceived lack of state-side broadcasting of the original. It's just that every Brit Office fan I know who discovered it before all their other friends gets really indignant in the same manor you do about people not acknowledging the originality/supreme greatness of it. The original Office has become the Strokes in Brooklyn Way Back in the Day of the sitcom world...
That goddamn Strokes song was on at the place I got my bagel at this morning, then you mention them, then it's on again at the park in the background of the Red Sox radio broadcast.

To me, that was just ridiculous since a bunch of dudes from my area used to live the whole Ron Wood '71 faux-mod lifestyle, and then all of a sudden some label took people like that and signed and marketed them to idiot America under the guise of "rock is back" or whatever. Later, those dudes I knew got signed themselves, and it was literally, not figuratively, because a label person liked their "look."

Anyway, that's still different. I'm not saying, Oh, this other British, older show was better. I'm saying this show is another show! It's a remake, and no one seems to know it. And nobody who watched the old one would say the new one's good and the old one's bad, so as someone who watched the original, why would I not tout it? It's not like people watched and said, Well, this could be better, and then saw the new and was like, Now THIS is awesome, I'll just forget the original ever happened. So.....don't know where I was going with this. Oh, also, I didn't have that BBC channel. I watched it on DVD. It was pretty popular through that.

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