The UK and US Office show posters. (Created by: Ben Wallace)
The UK and US Office show posters.

Created by: Ben Wallace

An analysis of both the UK and the US version of ‘The Office’

October 22, 2018

The classic show “The Office” has two versions. One version is based in the United Kingdom, while the other is based in the United States. Writers Megan Ralfe and Ash Comire discuss which version they prefer.

The UK version of the ‘The Office’ takes the crown with relatable comedy


Megan Ralfe

Life across the pond consists of many things.

The UK is a place where 165 million cups of tea are consumed a day.

A day.

Weddings are pretty big there. 1.9 billion people watched one back in May.

But there is one thing I can wholeheartedly say the Brits do better: “The Office.”

Now, let’s get some context. I’m South African, which means that I have a larger understanding of English humor. When it comes to the two-season UK version of “The Office,” it takes the prize. The UK Office is strictly dry humor. Something which is very British.

There is no added fluff.

I will say, when comparing the two, the UK version of “The Office” is another animal. The US “Office” only remains along the lines of similarity with the UK version for the first season. After that, it takes off into a whirlwind of character development. David Brent, the English Michael Scott, is not as much of a fun-loving idiot. A connection isn’t there with many of the characters.

It’s just really funny.

The UK rendition also more realistic. I often feel as if I’m being smothered by over the top antics. Not to say that secondary character such as Creed or Angela continued to make the eight season series more watchable, offering a more broad spectrum of conflicts. Quantity does not always mean quality.

Hitting close to home, the UK Office will forever be one of my go-to series for binge watching.

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The US version of ‘The Office’ has superior acting and heartfelt episodes


Ash Comire

Before “Parks and Recreation,” there was “The Office (U.S.).” I personally find it an entertaining show to just turn on and work to, occasionally looking up and laughing at whatever outrageous act was currently occuring, nine times out of 10 involving Rainn Wilson’s character, Dwight Schrute.

The seemingly simple environment mixed with the constant comedy makes “The Office (U.S.)” one of my favorite shows to binge for the sake of binge watching a show. The qualities of Michael Scott (Steve Carell) that make him the worst candidate for a manager there could ever be added to the adorable office romance between Jim Halpert (John Krasinski) and Pam Beesly (Jenna Fischer) have captured my heart from the moment I first began season one.

I seemed to find the constant staring into the camera, the fourth wall breaks and the documentary-style take on the series to be the most important contributors to the comedy. The evident sarcasm present in both of these comedy tactics has always seemed to strike a chord with me and my awful sense of humor.

The chemistry between the cast only contributes to the varying factors that kept this show going for nine seasons and brought it to a tear-soaked close. Every cast member, no matter how prominent their character’s presence would be, were constantly engaged and treated as important as those who were considered the leads. This is always a quality that I feel more shows should learn from, as it lets all characters have a moment to establish themselves as separate from the general ensemble. “The Office (U.S.)” handles this almost perfectly.

The U.S. version that I’ve grown to love and adore has always been a favorite of mine, and will always have my special place in my heart as that one show that might not be my number one, but it will never cease to bring me joy.

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