Originally Posted by Betterread
When I first saw the British Office I had never seen anything like it - the documentary-style filming, the mordant wit, and Ricky Gervais. I didn't like it at first but when I got used to it, I became an admirer.
Ricky Gervais embodied that role. Just as he does in his current series (the Extras - on HBO) he is about the best actor I can think of at playing really unpleasant people. Steve Carrell does a good job, but his coloring is satirical. The American Office is entertaining but it has a satirical distance from the material that the British version was unafraid to get close to. That's the difference I see - the British Office's humor was bitter and corrosive, while the American Office pokes fun.
I completely agree. I felt physically uncomfortable watching the British version. Ricky Gervais is just painful to watch, and thus somehow completely hysterical.
And, much as I like Jim, there will never be another Martin Freeman. Ever.