Thursday, May 25, 2006

Le Bureau











After the U.S. remake of "The Office" comes ... la version française!! Who'd have thought it, but the French have decided to do their own take on the BBC comedy series. Ooooh lala. I admit I was a little bit dubious, basically because I loved the original and couldn't imagine it transposed into a French setting. They've drafted in François Berléand, who's quite a heavyweight French actor, to take on the David Brent rôle (in the pink shirt above), and while he lacks Brent's "philosophical" leanings, the racist jokes and appalling dancing are still very present. I didn't find the Tim character (with the red tie), anything like as sympathetic as Martin Freeman's version - he's less of a loveable loser and far too serious. Gareth - renamed Joel (far left in the red shirt) - works better, with his hobby of building a scale model of the Battle of Austerlitz, but lacks the visual nerdiness of the original. If I have one gripe, it's that it's not very like a French office. In my experience, at least, French people are much more formal and reserved in the workplace than their English counterparts, and there's very little socializing goes on after hours, everyone rushes off home. I don't know if that's going to change and we're going to see a more Gallic side emerging as the series progresses e.g. the way they all like to eat lunch together. (An English friend of mine was recently horrified to discover that her new French colleagues all cooked a big meal and ate together every day - "it's like being in a cult, I daren't tell them I'd rather go and get a sandwich."). Or a meeting of the works council ("comité d'entreprise"). I live in hope. On the basis of tonight's episode, I'd rate it 7/10 and I'll keep watching for the time being. For a behind-the-scenes look at the French version, there's a great piece here from the Financial Times. And for the French speakers among you, if you click on the pic, you'll go to the official website. Enjoy.

4 comments:

Rob7534 said...

I must admit, I never got into The Office, even though they aired it in the US on BBC America. The American version is even less appealing to me, it's so much more brighter than the English version on some way.

Anyway, I work in an office, and I'd hate to go home and watch a show about being in the office! Even thought I work late, so I'm mostly alone :(

nardac said...

This is totally going to freak you out but the guy with the moustache, center back, is my husband in real life.

rhino75 said...

NOOOO, for real? That is too excellent!! Name and bio please...

nardac said...

I'm emailing it for privacy's sakes... ahem!