The Office

'The Office' Cast: Fifteen Years On

Fifteen years have flown by since we first met the employees of Werham Hogg Paper Merchants, the Slough branch.  In its unblinking mockumentary style, The Office followed the day to day lives of the staff in a typical British workplace. The show was a great springboard for the careers of quite a few of the ensemble's principle actors so at this time let's take a look at what they’ve been up to these past decade and a half.

Five Instances Where US Remakes of British Shows Weren’t Such a Bad Idea

In case you haven’t heard the news, fan favorite Doc Martin is being adapted for American television. Believe me. I can imagine your collective grumbling and indignant protests as I write this post.

I guess we’re supposed to feel hope for this venture because the project is in the hands of Marta Kauffman, one of the co-creators of Friends. We know she can write a phenomenally popular American sitcom. Unfortunately that doesn’t convince me that she can achieve the elusive feat of turning a quintessentially quirky British dramedy into something typical US viewers will embrace. (You and I are not in the aforementioned demographic, by the way.)

Every time I turn on my computer these days it seems that a pilot has been commissioned by Hollywood execs in hopes that it will translate to big ratings just because it’s been successful in the UK. If this scenario sounds familiar it may be because the Showtime series Episodes mocks this very trend.

Telly Romance: Grand Gestures for Valentine’s Day and Beyond

When you think “romance”, the UK probably isn’t the first place that comes to mind. (Though they’re obviously moving up in that department since a recent poll found British accents were considered the sexiest in the world.) Admittedly the Brits may not have the same reputation for seduction and passion as the French or Italians, for example. But then I’d take an awkward, heartfelt romantic gesture over a smooth operator who thinks he’s God’s gift to women any day.

I’ve compiled a few romantic telly moments that I believe clearly illustrate my point. While not all of them are appropriate for a Valentine’s Day surprise, each one evokes a sense of putting yourself (or in some situations, your friends) out there without knowing for sure what the reaction will be. Please enjoy the love!

Watch: Martin Freeman in Middle Earth’s Answer to ‘The Office’

Hi gang! I’ve been on vacation for the past week – so if you noticed that the blog was dark over this time, that’s why – and now that I’m back catching up it seems like a lot happened during the past few days!

Clearly the best thing that I missed out on – and it’s so good I’m not even upset that I’m writing about it so late – is the fact that Sherlock star Martin Freeman hosted the iconic Saturday Night Live last weekend. While I haven’t managed to watch the entire episode yet – though I hear from various corners of the internet that the whole thing was actually good, something of a rarity during the past few years of SNL – I did catch the standout moment that resulted when the worlds of two of Freeman’s biggest hits collided.

The Office: Middle Earth imagines what life might be like for Bilbo Baggins following the conclusion of his quest in The Hobbit. It turns out that life looks a lot like the iconic British sitcom The Office, which also starred Freeman as loveable everyman Tim way back when. Only this time, there are definitely more orcs.

Is 'Endeavour' Just the Beginning? Other British TV Characters That Should Get a Prequel

 

Endeavour has recently returned to Masterpiece Mystery for a second series and I must say I find it to be the most compelling show on PBS’ very British Sunday night line-up. So far DC Morse (Shaun Evans) has solved intricate cases dealing with beauty queens, ancient artifacts, a boarding school for girls and a century’s old mass murder. In addition, I’m looking forward to discovering how the Freemasons play into all the mayhem being unleashed in Oxford.

As advertised when it first aired last summer, Endeavour is the origin story of the beloved Inspector Morse, who was played by the late John Thaw in the orignial series of the same name. This prequel is not only an opportunity to allow fans of the original series to see Morse solve a few more murders, but a peek into the past to discover how the promising young Endeavour developed into the brilliant but somewhat sullen detective he became. We get to witness his growing affinity for opera and drink, as well as get a glimpse of some people who will follow him through his police career. Fans love little homages like that and new viewers get to meet a well-written character with a definite destiny ahead of him.

The concept of the prequel got me to thinking about other series that might want to employ this narrative device. While some shows are all about character development and uncovering the layers, so to speak, there are other personalities that are so mysterious, eccentric or enigmatic you can’t help wondering how they got that way.

The Challenges of British Telly Love

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching so of course that signals the obligatory loving couples of television; Musing over my own marriage of two and half decades, I decided I wanted to highlight British telly relationships that had some barriers to their success.

Staying in love long term is hard work after all and overcoming hardship can bring a couple closer. And after reading this list you may thank your lucky stars living with a slob or a neat freak is your biggest complaint.

British Actors You Should Know: Martin Freeman

The most fun part of the British Actors and/or Actresses You Should Know series is the chance to introduce people to the larger bodies of work of actors they may only be passingly familiar with (British performers do tend to make up a large portion of Hey, It’s That Guy references on the internet, after all.) Today’s installment is a perfect example of this – most fans of British television know him, but probably couldn’t tell you more than one or two things they’ve seen him in.

Many people are aware of Martin Freeman thanks to his work in The Office or, more recently, in Sherlock. However, fans who are only familiar with these performances may not know that Freeman has been a mainstay in British productions for years, and has participated in many great projects beyond these two.

Here’s a look at some of them – and why they’re worth your time.

The Best of Red Nose Day 2013: The Office, The Vicar of Dibley and More!

The BBC’s annual Red Nose Day charity telethon to benefit Comic Relief took place yesterday (March 15) and, just like every year, there were many hilarious gags and skits featured, all for a good cause. While my favorite Red Nose Day sketch of recent years is still probably the amazing Uptown Downstairs Abbey, there were some real winners this time around as well, most notably the returns of both The Office and The Vicar of Dibley, and a particularly hilarious mashup of Call the Midwife and Doctor Who.

Watch clips from my three favorite bits under the jump.

The Office’s David Brent Returns For a Good Cause

For the many people who love British comedy, The Office is often awarded a spot on their top ten lists of favorite programs (oh, let’s be real, for most of us it’s probably top five). While many of us also love the American remake of The Office, the US version has nothing on the awesomeness of the British original. Sadly the UK version only ran for two series originally, and it’s been ten years since we’ve seen David Brent (the original Michael Scott) and company on our screens.

Luckily, that wait is apparently over. Star Ricky Gervais has confirmed that he will be reprising his most famous role for this year’s Comic Relief on BBC One. The character will return in a special “mini-episode” called The Office Revisited for Comic Relief’s annual Red Nose Day charity telethon next week on March 15.

Amazing Internet Things: The Office Meets The Hobbit

Apologies for my slight absence around here – yours truly’s been laid up with the flu. Downside: It’s gross. Upside: I’ve had a lot of time to look at random things on the internet, one of the more interesting of which is below.

This is one of those Amazing Internet Things that’s simultaneously awesome and sort of really creepy – so, sort of, the internet, in a nutshell, at times.

Long before Martin Freeman played the world’s most famous crime-solving sidekick on Sherlock, he was known for starring as the put-upon but loveable Tim Canterbury on the original UK version of The Office. (If you’ve never seen the UK version of this series – for shame! –Tim is the equivalent of Jim in the American adaptation.) Given his recent turn as Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy, this mash-up should probably not be entirely unexpected. The real surprise it’s probably that it’s taken this long.