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Sostie
A new direction for Versus for a while...TV Shows!

And first up...

THE OFFICE
Ricky Gervais & Stephen Merchant's mockumentary about life in a paper manufacturers office...with hilarious & humiliating consequences.


EXTRAS
Ricky Gervais & Stephen Merchant's show about life in the world of TV & film extra work...with hilarious & humiliating consequences.
curtinparloe
Well, I kind of like them both, but I'm not a huge fan of "uncomfortable comedy". In Extras I feel it's more adeptly handled.
melzilla
Enjoy both but prefer The Office. Simple as that.
Mrs Bisley
I prefer The Office purely for Gareth and Tim's relationship.

Sure, Dawn and Tim are cute, but Gareth and Tim are the real love story.
maian
The Office for me. Extras is very good but I didn't enjoy the second series as much as the first and a number of plot points felt poorly handled to me. The Office, over its two series and specials, never let up in terms of quality and remains one of the most wonderfully observed comedies ever made.
NiteFall
I really didn't enjoy either at all.
Atara
The Office is ok, what I have seen of Extras was shite...Office wins
Julie
I loved the Office. I found it trod that line between enjoyable and uncomfortable in such a way as to maximize the comedy effect. After a few episodes of Extras, I realized I was in such pain watching it that I really wasn't enjoying it. That's when I realized I should stop.
Jon 79
It has to be Extras.

The Office was (and is) great. But it's that sort of cringe-worthy humour that I find difficult to watch again.
... maybe I'll leave it a couple of years then watch it once more.

And as for extras. Some really nice characters there. ... and some great use of film stars & celebs.
...There's an episode in season 2 that I particularly enjoyed*. ... I laughed so hard, it almost hurt.


*you probably don't need 3 guesses.
Kick in the Head
I love cringe-worthy comedy. The Office, Jam, Peep Show, Curb Your Enthusiasm - that's where the horrible humour of it all is at, and I love it.

So The Office then. Only seen the first episode of series two of Extras and thought it was rather weak despite the Bowie quotient. I very much liked the first series, but The Office is closer to 'real' life and strikes a more pointed chord. If that makes sense...
maian
QUOTE (Kick in the Head @ Oct 31 2007, 10:15 PM)
Only seen the first episode of series two of Extras and thought it was rather weak despite the Bowie quotient.
*

That's the second episode of the second series. The first episode features Orlando Bloom.
Jon 79
QUOTE (Kick in the Head @ Oct 31 2007, 11:15 PM)
I love cringe-worthy comedy. The Office, Jam, Peep Show, Curb Your Enthusiasm - that's where the horrible humour of it all is at, and I love it.

*


Personally, I wouldn't say Jam or Peep Show are cringe-worthy. ok, maybe Peep show is a little, but just the right amount.
Curb definitely is though. I love it, but again, I wouldn't want to see an episode more than once.
Kick in the Head
QUOTE (maian @ Oct 31 2007, 10:18 PM)
That's the second episode of the second series. The first episode features Orlando Bloom.
*


Oh really? Okay. I saw it on the plane back from Japan and assumed it was the first episode. I do want to watch the whole series, but I'm just waiting for BBC to repeat it.
Peronel
The Office for me. It's a bit of a comfort show for me (strangely), as I watched it over and over during my years at uni. My housemate has just started watching it, but says she's not sure because 'that main one makes me so uncomfortable'. I told her that that was the point, and she said 'I knoooow! But...*shudder*'. smile.gif
Jimmay
The Office was cringeworthy but just enough to be bareable. Extras on the other hand got to the point where I stopped watching it because I just couldn't understand why Andy would hang out with people he does as they perpetually screw him over in one way or another. I can't watch programmes like that, they just annoy me, ever since Mr Bean.
gulfcoast_highwayman
The Office kept it's quality level high throughout all 14 episodes.

Extras totally lost it in the second run. The gay play rubbish and how-on-earth-will-stupid-Maggie-fuck-it-up-this-week ruined it.
Zoe
I think the second series of Extras is one of the cleverest pieces of television writing, ever.

So yeah, Extras.
maian
It may be clever but I personally thought the stories in the second series were far weaker than the first series. The first two or three were very good at showing Andy's problems dealing with his compromises and the pressures of his new-found fame/infamy, but it really lost it in the last few episodes. The gay play episode was wholly misjudged, turning Andy from a likeable character to a confused arsehole. The final episode felt too light on him as a result, giving him a happy ending that he had not earned.
Zoe
I thought it was blissfully well structured.

A gleeful swipe at the business of show and a very effective character study, with a believable arc. It reminded me of the kind of comedy I studied at university, particularly 'The Rehearsal', by the wonderful George Villiers.

If only everything on TV was so 'bad'.
maian
I didn't say it was bad, just that I personally thought the second series was lacking in comparison to the first. My main problem is the gay play episode, which I found rather distasteful, and which soured my view of the series up to that point. The first episodes were very good and the last episode was also good in and of itself, perfectly illustrating the distancing effect of fame, but that particular episode seemed terribly out of place.
Zoe
I know you didn't say it was bad. I was just pointing out that Extras series two isn't (in my opinion), but since some people do perceive it as poor I'd happily have everything on TV be that rubbish (i.e. brilliant).
Sostie
The Office was fantastic. But Extras was better. I never expected Gervais/Merchant to come up with a follow-up near the quality of The Office, but I think they surpassed it. Andy & Maggie's relationship was lovely, Barry & Darren were hilarious and for the most part the celebrity cameos worked really well.

Above all, it is, regardless of genre, one of the most brilliantly acted shows in recent years.
Peronel
I forgot to add re: cringeworthy - Stephen Merchant in Extras. That ep in season two when he had Maggie over and had to try and unclog the toilet!. Made me cringe more than anything from The Office.
empathy-with-beast
I think I have to go for The Office, I possibly found individual bits of Extras funnier, such as the "how to act" sequence, but I thought the Office had a far more cohesive universe, touching morality and rewarding plot arc that made it truly great.
sarkybarker
QUOTE (Zoe @ Nov 1 2007, 05:00 PM)
I think the second series of Extras is one of the cleverest pieces of television writing, ever.

*


ohmy.gif

Each episode followed the same structure. Andy wanted to get a line, Maggie wanted to get a shag and they followed it with a celebrity saying something "shocking".

The Office wins. At least that was good in some ways.
Zoe
QUOTE (sarkybarker @ Nov 4 2007, 03:18 PM)
Each episode followed the same structure. Andy wanted to get a line, Maggie wanted to get a shag and they followed it with a celebrity saying something "shocking".
*


That's a very simplistic analysis, and one I disagree with.

I'm very fond of 'the play within a play' and I think it was used to particularly good effect here. As well as satirising television and celebrity, the second series charted a man selling his soul by comprimising his art and sacrificing his dignity. It was full of great comic archetypes, but also moments of believable friendship within a hyper-real universe. There also seemed to me to be a lot of self-exploration on Gervais' part and his relationship with Steve - who always seemed to me genuinely annoyed at Ricky's embracing of the celebrity lifestyle, pals and specifically Jonathan Ross. The celebrities weren't there for novelty, they were integral to the effective pastiche of showbusiness, whether there to show up Andy's insecurities, lambast their own public image or get a condom stuck in their hair.

I think it's genius.
sarkybarker
QUOTE (Zoe @ Nov 4 2007, 03:44 PM)
the second series charted a man selling his soul by comprimising his art and sacrificing his dignity.
*


Ricky 'Diana concert' Gervais himself then.

The celeb cameos seemed very forced and tedious to me. Radcliffe playing with condoms, Corbitt snorking coke, Bloom (i can't even go there, a bad actor spoofing himself into a very bad actor). All i'm saying is i personally found the programme to be very predictable. It had it's moments but they were too fleeting.
Zoe
Yep, but I'd argue that's a matter of opinion not reflective of the show's quality - which as far as I'm concerned is extremely high.

I stand by my original statement, that caused your smilie man such shock.

As for Ricky personally - I totally agree that Andy is an exploration of Ricky's character and what he'd be willing to sacrifice for fame. Luckily he didn't have to sell out to get 'The Office' made, the TV landscape might be a quite different place if he had. The Brent Dance at the concert for Diana was perfectly pitched comic cringe - if you don't think Ricky Gervais has a sense of humour about himself or his public image just watch the Jonathan Ross montage. I guarantee Stephen wrote that!
sarkybarker
QUOTE (Zoe @ Nov 4 2007, 04:13 PM)
Yep, but I'd argue that's a matter of opinion not reflective of the show's quality - which as far as I'm concerned is extremely high.

*


Of course, it's all about opinions. I really liked Chegwin missing his cues, and the moment Andy looked to the audience and saw all those catchphrases on their shirts. And of course Mr Merchant. It just wasn't consistent.

And yes, Gervais is very aware of himself and his place in the media. It's made him a very rich man and good luck to him for that.

ohmy.gif Shock smilie man just got caught out when the wind changed direction. Don't worry about him. He'll be ok.
mcraigclark
I love The Office, but Extras wins this one for me.
Omniscia
I've not seen too much of Extras, but I wasn't quite taken by that which I did see. It was nice enough, but I must have come in too late to really "get" it.

As for The Office, I hold it in high regard as one of the greatest television comedies in recent history. It is at once black, caustic, misanthropic, sweet, hopeful, and sentimental, not to mention damn funny.

David Brent is instantly recognisable to anyone who's ever worked for, or otherwise knows, a smarmy, vain, insecure man with a Napoleon complex.

You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll reel in horror, but in the end it leaves you happy.
sleeping_pirate
The Office is without a doubt one of my favourite comedies of all time. It's perfect, I just can't fault it. I love Extras too, but The Office... they'll never beat that.
shinyelvenqueen
It has to be The Office for me, it was original, and funny, classic. Neat. I especially love the comeuppance in the christmas special. So rewarding.
sofa
The office, was great telly. Not laugh out loud funny but clever, witty and cruel although the best bit was Brent telling the salesman to fuck off in the last ever episode. Also got real feeling with Tim and the receptionist! What was her name?
Office was good in bits but and better than most but the office was genius.
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