Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Office: Making the Jump Across the Pond

     Globalization has made it possible for our world of media to bridge the gaps.  The Office is a television program that has proven itself successful despite the many transformations and adaptations it has gone under. The process in which the Office crossed the pond meant that content, humor, and style are all attributes that differed from that of the original British series. The early hype from the American version truly proved that a show can be transferred successfully across different audiences into a new system only if the production has the ability to function and adapt to new environment.

     Alexandra Beeden and Joost de bruin study the articulations of national identity within television formats with The Office being a primary model. The study brings into question just how important the ability to overcome national thresholds really proves to be. For many people, it was soon obvious that the show had shed itself of certain characteristics and specifically its "britishness". Although this could infer that the show would be severely altered in form, the move away from british structure was vital in establishing a new and growing American audience. The british production was often focused on intelligence, arrogance, and british reserve, mostly structured together by the performance of Ricky Gervais. Steve Carell introduces to us a difference by simply holding up a mirror to the processes of American business or "office" life and how we as the US have created our own distinct form of identifiable comedy.

     Alexandra Beeden and Joost de Bruin highlight the influences of national identity by suggesting "that the success of an adaptation may be linked to its ability to reflect and interpret its new context". It becomes ever clear to see media and television become vassals for the representation and construction of a shared sense of national belonging among culturally altered audiences.

     I believe that The Office leans toward the idea of cosmopolitanism simply because of the idea of multicultural co-existence that it brings to light. Although the show changed some things in order to prosper in a new system, it is important to note that much of the structure is very much the same if not very similar. The export or import of a televised production shows us that recycling an already proven series can prove to be beneficial, especially when one wields the ability and skill to adapt and prosper within various cultural settings.

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