\”Abraham Lincoln once said, \’If you are a racist, I will attack you with the North.\’\” - Michael Scott
I did our taxes last night. Rather than errupt in a flurry of obscenities which would really only expose me to accusations that, deep down, I\’m some sort of Libertarian asshole, I will simply say this: The Geester and I have taxes withheld from our paychecks at a rate which reflects our respective salaries. When these two salaries are joined together for filing purposes, we move up a couple brackets and are subsequently responsible for a deficit. I haven\’t filed yet, and I am going to explore filing separately to see what difference it makes, but barring a miracle, this week\’s to-do list will feature the line, \”Write a massive check to Donald Rumsfeld.\” This is extremely frustrating. That is all.
After watching Scrubs (whose Season 1 DVD ships May 17th) last night, we watched The Office. I\’ve never seen a single frame of the British original, so don\’t expect some sort of balanced analysis here. I\’m comparing what I saw last night with what I\’ve heard people say about the original. Although I laughed out loud several times during the show, I couldn\’t help but hear the culture-dork chatter in my head. \”The British version was so much better.\” \”Why does Hollywood have to ruin everything?\” \”I didn\’t see it because I only watch BBC and Al-Jazeera.\” Then I got frustrated thinking about how idiotic it is that someone, like this guy, would take the time to craft a critique of an NBC sitcom because it really only proves that he expected it to not be horrible, which means he probably has a cleft forehead. Does Hollywood ruin everything? Of course. Was I surprised that even the attempts at subtle humor were delivered with all the subtlety of a Dubya speaking engagement? Of course not. Parts of the show were hilarious. Parts were hilariously un-hilarious.
I have one main slab of beef with the version I saw last night. If they were trying to re-create an American office environment, they totally missed one simple, but crucial detail:
With one simple gimmick, the producers of The Office could capture the American white-collar experience in haunting reality. They need to film the entire show jumping around a series of realistically-sized cubicles. Scenes should go from cube to cube to cube to conference room to cube to copy/fax room to cube to cube to parking lot to cube. The audience should never get a glimpse of what the actual office space looks like as a whole simply because office workers so rarely get a view of the bigger picture. The Office\’s set is one big room full of desks. The boss has an office, but everyone else, from sales to accounting, is out in the open, interacting. LIES!! Are you an American office worker? Tell me this isn\’t how your day breaks down:
85% – sitting in cubicle, working dilligently
5% – travelling to and from cubicle
5% – taking care of taks outside of cubicle: copies, fax, mail, bathroom
5% – meetings
85% of a TV show called The Office should feature people in cubicles. There is plenty of plot and narrative and humor and tragedy that takes place in a cubicle, they just need to figure out how to milk it.