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Okrzyki, przyjaciel!

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Season 2 Extras [Jan. 20th, 2007|08:30 pm]
Okrzyki, przyjaciel!
I really loved the first season of "Extras", but the second season is even better. Ricky Gervais plays Andy, who in Season 1 was an extra for movies and television, and his continual humiliation as a nobody was the root of the humor. This season he's actually got his own show on the BBC and his success, far from earning the approval and respect he's obviously so desperate for, just raises the stakes on his humiliation.

Since it's Gervais, it's brilliantly done, and it is wickedly, cruelly funny. So much so that the peak moments the humiliation is so sharp and painful that I have to pause it and take a break.

The stars that appear as distinctly unattractive versions of themselves are actually a pretty small part of each episode. The funniest so far is David Bowie, whose extemporaneous song about Andy is the most excruciating, funny moment.

What makes it brilliant is that Andy is a very sympathetic character. I'm rooting for him, even as things go horribly wrong, and then even more horribly wronger. This is perhaps the one way that the American "Office" is inferior to the UK version. No matter how odious Gervais makes his character, you can see that somewhere in there is a human being who just craves the approval and affection of those around him. Steve Carell's character is very funny, but he's more a collection of prejudices, fears, and resentments -- you don't see him as completely human.
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Comments:
From: michaelallroy
2007-01-21 07:39 am (UTC)
i didn't realise the whole second series had already aired on the beeb...we have the first ep of series 2 sitting on the DVR still and will just watch them as HBO shows them. i hope stephen merchant's back as the agent, i remember him having me in spasms.

i'm in a crisis about the office. it's like i want to finally admit that the american version might be better, but i keep clinging to the original as a superior product. people keep getting these "team pam" and "team karen" shirts, and i want a "team dawn" one.
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[User Picture]From: chaircrusher
2007-01-21 08:08 am (UTC)
Well there's just 6 episodes in the second series, I think. So you can just BT the whole lot. Or watch them as they come on HBO. Personally I don't pay for HBO, so I just downloaded the lot and watched them over the course of a couple of nights.

I think that both versions of "The Office" are wonderful; I think though that their strengths are different. The US version is a bit broader; obviously the UK version worked with US audiences, but not really US mass audiences. A lot of Americans could watch the UK office and not really see anything funny at all. It's quite deadpan.

The US version keeps a bit of that flavor but they hype things up with characters like Dwight who are completely mental. The UK series went to a lot of trouble to make it look as though it really was a documentary; with the sound down, you'd be hard put to find the comedy. And like I said the Gervais character is more realistic than the Carell character. Carell's is a Frankenstein monsters created by a bunch of hyper-smart American comedy writers. Gervais's is all of one piece, and a lot closer to a conceivable real person.
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[User Picture]From: pipecock
2007-01-23 01:32 am (UTC)
i agree that both versions of the office are good (from what limited numbers of each show ive seen. not available on on demand = highly unlikely that ill see alot of any show). i havent watched extras, but do you watch other HBO shows?
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[User Picture]From: chaircrusher
2007-01-23 04:33 am (UTC)
I've never had HBO. HBO usually has a lot of crap movies, and it never seemed crucial. The Series they do are pretty good but I'm honestly not looking for another reason to watch TV...
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[User Picture]From: pipecock
2007-01-23 01:17 pm (UTC)
their movies are alright, its all about the comedy specials and series. and since all their shit is available on demand, its really the only teevee i watch aside from sports. id much rather just watch high quality stuff than any other nonsense.....
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