I came from a mother with a fabulous sense of pop culture and a great taste in movies, shows, theatre, books, everything. She introduced me to the Sopranos, West Side Story, New York Times crossword puzzles, flash sale websites, and a healthy crush on Jeff Goldblum. Her commentary on celebrity scandals has always been hilarious, and she always seems to know the next big thing before everyone else.
When she first brought home The Office (UK) seasons on DVD, I could barely understand the characters’ thick accents. But the dry humor suited me, and after one episode you adjust to the Slough drawl. Flash forward to the announcement that there would be an American remake of the beloved two season BBC show The Office. I was so mad, high and mighty, saying I would never watch it. Even a boyfriend at the time, who loved both versions, got me to watch a few episodes of this American remake, and I was even further perturbed because they followed such similar story lines, camera shots, even some matching dialog. Were they really going to just copy this thing bit for bit? Are we really that culturally inept that we cannot watch something from another country and have to have it regurgitated to us in “American” terms?
Then, it happened. A few years after the show started, my friend Bill, whose humor I trust indefinitely, leant me season three of The Office. He swore if I watched it beyond seasons 1 and 2 and saw how the characters were unique, especially since The Office (UK) never did a third season, I would be in it to win it.
Of course he was right, and I’ve loved both shows in their own right ever since. Anyone else who loves it knows there were ups and downs, and changes towards the end that I never thought would settle in. And the UK and US versions, to me, have become their own very distinct shows in my mind.
And if you are an Office fan like me, you see yourself in so many different characters and different moments. (Except Pam, I never relate to Pam, gross.)
But nothing spoke to me as a person more than Robert California’s declaration that he is never uncomfortable.
Erin was scared Andy was going to fire her, so the conversation in his office devolves to their past relationship and the fact that Andy was just planning on telling Erin that he has been seeing someone. Robert California continues to linger in their conversation, often interjecting advice and then backing out saying “I’m not here.”
Finally, Andy says “I’m sorry this must be really uncomfortable for you.”
Robert looks at Andy squarely and says,
“I’m never uncomfortable.”
No situation is too awkward for me. xoxo