Originally Posted by Betterread
Don't kid yourself. THe context, the situations, and even the characters are wholly derivative from the British sitcom.
What's different is the affect, and the acting. And its a significant difference. I like Steve Carrell and the US Office is amusing, but its forgettable 5 minutes after the show. Its mindless amusement.
The british show had an edge - that is the difference. The humor cuts deep. That kind of humor doesn't play in America. So they softened the show and the characters - extensively. THe US Office is a watered down version of the original.
After watching both series, I would agree that a lot of the early stuff from the US version were also plots in the UK version as well. Dawn/Pam getting fake fired, downsizing at both places, etc. The UK version was a lot racier though.