American Office: “Dysfunctional,” “Unfunny,” “Rubbish”

  • The Guardian‘s Steven Wells says the U.S. version of The Office is “rubbish. The American Office is a dysfunctional and unfunny pastiche of the original. When the British version first aired, I met several Americans who thought it was a documentary. “Is England really that awful?” asked one. Where the original is nail-bitingly excruciating, the U.S. Office – dumbed down to the point of being insulting – is comfort food for liberals.” Oh Lord: if that last line didn’t totally give him away! Most of the sane people in the comments section recognize the two versions as funny in their own ways.
  • The Little Britain boys have contributed to the launch of UK version of the Funny or Die website.(Telegraph)
  • The new Bond flick will be under two hours, making it the shortest Bond film ever, says director Marc Forster.(Guardian)
  • Doctor Who creator Russell T. Davies turned down a writing gig on George LucasStar Wars TV series.(io9)
  • Before marrying Prince Charles herself, Princess Diana tried to set him up with her older sister, Sarah. That, and other tibits, can be found in Diana’s newly released letters.
  • People from the north of England are friendlier than ones from the south. “After Yorkshire and Humberside, the most hospitable regions were Scotland and north west England, followed by north east England. Half of those polled rated London as the least helpful place to visit with Wales the next most inhospitable. “(Telegraph)
  • The Daily Mail has an excerpt from Julie Walters‘s autobiography in which she talks about her “rollercoaster of a relationship” with actor Pete Postlethwaite and nights of “unbridled shagging” with her first boyfriend. “I had discovered sex, in a big way, but it hadn’t all been smooth going; it took me at least three days to lose my virginity because I was so tense: clamped shut, I suppose. At one point I seriously questioned whether I had a vagina at all. However, after those three days, there was no stopping me.”
  • Fans of hunks with salt-and-pepper hair, look alive: British swimmer Mark Foster recreates the David Beckham Armani bulge ad, and, dare I say, I like this one better. (Daily Mail)
  • Maybe she’s heeding John Barrowman‘s advice?: Cheryl Cole says she can’t control her husband’s philandering behavior.(The Sun)
  • Sarah Harding: I am not a “slapper”; I just look like one!(Daily Mail)
  • Dancing With the Stars judge Len Goodman has been called out as “aggressive” and “sexist” by a panelist from his British show.(The Sun)
  • Jennifer Saunders explains why she and Dawn French ended their long-running comic partnership: “You can’t do the shows we used to do. We came through at a time when the BBC did everything in-house, so everything was available: costumes, wigs, special effects. Now, everything is put out to tender, so everything costs an amazing amount. And we don’t want it to look like a slightly sub version of what we used to do.”(The Times)
  • Daisy Lowe‘s mother says “no one else was involved” in her daughter’s breakup with Mark Ronson.(Daily Mail)
  • Amanda Donohoe has joined the cast of the UK soap, Emmerdale.(The Stage)
  • Glasvegas talk about their upcoming American tour.(Daily Record)
  • Boyzone singer Ronan Keating calls Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke “rude” and “an idiot”: “We were at the same hotel in Dublin and I went over to say hello as I’m a big Radiohead fan, and he just blanked me. I still love the music – he’s just an idiot.” (NME)
  • The Guardian‘s Ben Walters questions the accuracy of the film version of Toby Young‘s How to Lose Friends and Alienate People, a memoir about a British journalist in New York. “In terms of the industry itself, the picture’s basic dynamic – feckless, irreverent Brit hack is baffled by polished, ultra-professional American workplace – does strike a chord.”

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.

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