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In this hilarious and faster-paced adaptation of the popular British comedy series, Steve Carell is Michael Scott, the egotistical, insensitive and almost supernaturally incompetent regional manager of the Dunder Mifflin paper supply company. Michael sees himself as the office funnyman, a fount of business wisdom and his employees' cool friend. He has no clue that his staff merely tolerates his inappropriate behavior because he signs their paychecks. Michael acts as the obnoxious tour guide for an omni-present documentary crew who unflinchingly capture his many shortcomings along with Dunder Mifflin's petty workplace politics, simmering romances and side-splittingly awkward moments.
The British sitcom The Office has the most devoted following this side of Monty Python, so an American remake seemed doomed. Amazingly, the remake actually finds its own enjoyable version of the original's uncanny comedy of embarrassment. Office manager Michael Scott Steve Carell, The Daily Show, The 40 Year-Old Virgin believes he's the beloved leader of the Scranton, Pennsylvania, branch of a paper products company--but his relentless and painfully forced efforts at comedy creep out everyone around him, including paranoid Dwight Rainn Wilson, who had a memorable recurring role on Six Feet Under, nervous receptionist Pam Jenna Fischer, LolliLove, and aimless salesman Jim John Krasinski, A New Wave, who's smitten with the already engaged Pam. The pilot episode suffers from closely replicating the British pilot, but after that The Office finds its own footing, turning diversity training, an office birthday party, and a basketball game into excruciating yet hypnotically funny rituals of humiliation. Carell, though clearly talented, can't match Ricky Gervais' unique performance as the aggressively needy British manager it's hard to imagine that anyone could; as a result, the supporting roles become more prominent, and Wilson, Fischer, and Krasinski quickly create a rapport that matches and may even exceed that of their British counterparts. Be sure to watch the deleted scenes; remarkably, they're as good as the material that made it on the air in this six-episode season. --Bret Fetzer