The Office U.K versus The Office U.S – Which One Wins?

The U.S Office closes its doors after nine seasons tonight, with the season finale expected to attract millions of viewers. As it’s officially ‘season finale season’, we thought this would be a good time to pit The Office up against it’s predecessor: The Office…

We’ve split this up into five nice categories: critical response, originality, longevity, viewing figures and legacy. Way we see it, that makes a nice ‘best of five situation’ to sort out at the end. An added bonus is the lack of hard math. Here we go.

Critical response

This is possibly the toughest one to determine, given that the U.S version has nine seasons worth of reviewing to the U.K’s two. A few noticeable dips aside (season six and nine, we’re looking at you), U.S bags a commendable score, as does the U.K; British audiences and critics alike lavished praise on the Ricky Gervais creation. This one has to go down as a draw.

Originality

Given that the U.S version is something Gervais describes as ‘money for old rope’, there can only really be one winner here. Back in 2001, Gervais and his comedy cohort Steve Merchant created The Office, and subsequent remakes have aired: 1-0 to The U.K.

Macenzie CrookRainn Wilson
Mackenzie Crook played the original Gareth Keenan, which Rainn Wilson replicated with Dwight Schrute

Longevity

We’ll qualify longevity by defining it as ‘which version will be watched the longest’. This really comes down to the U.S’ nine seasons compared to the U.K’s two. Given the sheer amount of American Office, this goes to the U.S, but that doesn’t mean knowing when to quit is a bad thing either. Still: 1-1.

Viewing Figures

Hands down, this is a victory for the U.S, but only by default; there are simply more people in America than England, plus the English version really paved the way for Steve Carrel’s Michael Scott. Still, a point’s a point, and that’s 2-1 to the U.S!

Legacy

The Brits really need a point here to force this to extra time, and they’re going to get it! Gervais’s creation can’t miss out on the ‘legacy’ category as the creator of the show. It simply doesn’t work. People will remember The U.S Office as a remake, and then think of the two-season British version. A dramatic 2-2.

Ricky GervaisSteve Carell
Who can win out of these two? It's a hottly contested... contest, but only one can prosper

Tie Break

In this kind of situation, when dealing with a Sitcom-off, there’s only one way of deciding things: the leading’s man’s best moment. It’s David Brent versus Michael Scott in this showdown, and, drumroll please: Brent wins it with that dance. Viewed millions of times on YouTube, the dance has come to epitomise The Office (U.K) and remains an iconic reminder of the comic genius that went into the show. It was close, but aren’t we glad we’ve got 11 seasons of Office love to go back to?


Contactmusic

Tags: Ricky Gervais - Steve Carell - The Office

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