Ricky Gervais has a reputation, mostly derived from his scorched-earth Golden Globes gig, as Hollywood’s insult comic. But Gervais wants to make something very clear: He most certainly did not dis the shamelessly inconsequential, cameo-happy season finale of The Office in his blog last week. “Sorry, who dissed The Office finale? I f—ing didn’t, that’s for sure,” the comedian writes, noting that he “simply said it’s different to the original which I created and made with different ambitions.” In his first blog post, Gervais stated that he didn’t create the U.S. version of The Office for “the art,” in contrast to his British original. One could argue that, by drawing that distinction, Gervais is essentially admitting that the original British Office was an Andy Warhol painting of Coke bottles, while the U.S. version is merely a mega-sized pack of Coke bottles. Which is fine. We all love Coke bottles, although I can’t imagine anyone wanting to drink 152 of them in a row.
It’s noteworthy that Gervais’ main compliment to the US Office is purely financial: “The U.S. version of The Office has probably made me ten times the money that the UK version did. I wouldn’t knock it. It’s still my show. All I said was I do it for different reasons. That is simply what they call the truth. Hope that’s OK. I believe I am still entitled to an honest opinion.”
The honesty is pretty refreshing, although now whenever you watch the American version of The Office, good luck not visualizing Ricky Gervais swimming through a pool of Office money, occasionally coming up for air to declaim about Joycean aesthetics.
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