The Office UK vs The Office US on Prime Video: what are the differences between the two versions of the cult series?

Straight from England, the series The Office joins its American adaptation on Prime Video, which won over the general public. To understand the differences and similarities between the two versions, it’s here!

The Office immerses us in the ordinary daily life of a paper company, with its share of drama, laughter, awkward situations and beautiful memories. Created by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant in 2001, the British series has been exported everywhere: to Germany, Quebec, France (Le Bureau, with none other than François Berléand) but especially to the United States, where its popularity has exceeded that of the original version, and by far!

This comedy takes the form of a mockumentaryWhere documenter in French. This exercise in style consists of a parody of everything that codifies a documentary, from the physical presence of the cameramen to the confessions facing the camera of the speakers, here the employees of the Wernham-Hogg Paper Company and their boss David Brent (Ricky Gervais).

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While The Office UK has just joined its US version with Steve Carell on Prime Video, we are interested in the differences and similarities between the two series.

A remake 10 times longer than the original

In terms of longevity, the gap is huge: the adventures of the Wernham-Hogg employees lasted 2 seasons, with 14 30-minute episodes, and 2 specials, while the American band of Dunder Mifflin delighted the spectators throughout its 200 20-minute episodes spanning 9 seasons.

This exceptional lifespan notably allowed the American version to explore the characters and their relationships in greater depth, and to bring the plots to a more personal terrain, even delving into the intimacy and personal lives of the protagonists.

Rather Ricky Gervais or Steve Carell?

In terms of characters, the archetypes are similar for both versions, with some distinctions to note. For example, Ricky Gervais, who plays the boss in the original series, can be described as pathetic and irritating. Michael Scott, played by the unbeatable Steve Carell, is more of a nerd who remains very endearing, his character evolving significantly in this direction after the first episodes.

Whatever your preference, one thing is certain: the two managers would have gotten along wonderfully, as evidenced by the cameo of Ricky Gervais in the 7th season of the American iteration, which crosses the two universes for an anthology scene!

Among the most beautiful romances of the small screen, that experienced by Jim and Pam in The Office US is a benchmark. The two lovebirds are respectively played by John Krasinski (Jack Ryan, Quietly) and Jenna Fischer. Their British counterparts, Dawn and Tim, see their relationship take a completely different turn. They are brought to the screen by Lucy Davis and Martin Freeman (Sherlock, The Hobbit), in one of his very first roles.


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Finally, how to miss Dwight, the ambitious bootlicker played by Rainn Wilson in the United States, a rather tempered version of the original character of Gareth in The Office UK. The latter, played wonderfully by Mackenzie Crook (Pirate of the Caribbean), is a real psychopath obsessed with the army and its discipline.

A very different humor

The major difference between the two series remains that of the tone and humor adopted. Both centered on the staging of incongruous situations and the discomfort caused by the boss of the office, the original version acquires this inimitable British phlegm, a much more trashy tone and unfailing realism.

On the other side of the Atlantic, the adaptation for a wider audience and with varied sensitivities offers a less trivial but equally hilarious version. With a crazy, even sometimes surreal aspect, The Office US introduces situations as improbable as they are hilarious.

So, rather Dunder Mifflin, Wernham-Hogg or both? You don’t have to choose, the full The Office UK and US are available on Prime Video!

The Office UK vs The Office US on Prime Video: what are the differences between the two versions of the cult series?