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View Full Version : The Office vs. 30 Rock


-Holland-
08-15-2009, 08:52 AM
Yeah.

Mm-hm.

I like 30 Rock, but I love The Office. I won't regurgitate objective remarks and downplay 30 Rock like some in my case would, as I do like watching 30 Rock, but personally, The Office hooks me like cigarettes hooked my cousin when he turned 21...>_>

When I watch 30 Rock, I know that I'm watching a meticulously written script being played out by brilliant comedic actors that say their lines on cue and in such a perfected harmony that they exploit the joke potential as much as possible; I know that I'm watching a high-budget, high-profile and highly polished product of pop culture that not only incorporates like concepts, but leeches still more comedic effect from them. My cheese with 30 Rock is that the characters are simply a means to an end, the end being the comedic effect - a laughing audience. Sometimes this is all people look for in a sitcom, and with 30 Rock, that's exactly what they get. This is fine by me, but I always walk away from a viewing of 30 Rock with a general feeling of emptiness; of course it's hilarious, but there's no heart in the involvement of the characters, and so what it really comes down to when you watch the show is that you're laughing at how the characters' bolted-down personalities advance the plotline and ultimately muster - of course - yet even more comedic effect. Like I said, some people are in it just for the laughs - they watch to lighten the mood, to ease tension, to get some stress off their back. The Office can deliver on the front that it's a sitcom, but there's a special element to the writing that makes it very dear to me, and ultimately distinguishes it - for the better, in my case - from 30 Rock.

The Office is a very original type of sitcom in that it exploits the Apatow-esque method of filming scenes; there is no dictation as to how lines should be delivered, and so a lot of the comedic effect is brilliantly improvised by the characters, and allows the show to feel down-to-Earth and not so blatantly fictional like 30 Rock and its polished mannerisms. Sometimes, even entire scenes are improvised, and as the fans of 30 Rock may look down on how "unorganized" that may seem, I admire the emphasis on this method of filming, as it allows the actors to be themselves more often - unrestricted by dictates of the script or director. The Office comes off as a very original type of sitcom also because its writing serves not only to emanate comedic effect, but also to develop the characters in very compelling ways. Even if the segments of the show in which characters are developed are evidently brief, they are written with the hearts of their respective characters in mind, and as such, the dialogue is enriched by the script's consideration for the characters and their respective personalities. Despite how great many may claim 30 Rock is, it can never reach a point in which a pivotal event - such as Jim and Pam's wedding (which is apparently going to be in Episode 4 of Season 6, =] ) - can evoke a sense of awe in terms of the consideration of how far the characters have come to end up at said pivotal event. This is not necessarily a flaw of 30 Rock - don't get me wrong - but it's simply an element - one very dear to me as an aspiring writer - that it unfortunately does not consider. The Office, for me, is worth the watch because the behaviors and characteristics of characters like Jim and Michael and Dwight are not only the means to the end of a good laugh, but also to the end of earnest and heartfelt scenes that depict (somewhat) believable and honest character development. That in itself really makes or breaks a television show for me - why draw out a series over several years if your characters don't really go anywhere? It's precisely the reason I don't like the old Star Trek too much, nor Seinfeld, outside of a good laugh or two.




But, yeah, The Office has 5 Emmy nominations, and 30 Rock has 22 nominations. Quite frankly, I don't see how any show can ever deserve to qualify for 22, but hey, the people behind all these award shows are all biased, pretentious bastards whose only concern in assembling these award shows is just to exploit pop culture and the consensus on critical acclaim, so I don't give a damn how unfair it is. I know better.


Anyway, discuss. =]

Kardas the Great
08-15-2009, 05:39 PM
Yeah.

Mm-hm.

I like 30 Rock, but I love The Office. I won't regurgitate objective remarks and downplay 30 Rock like some in my case would, as I do like watching 30 Rock, but personally, The Office hooks me like cigarettes hooked my cousin when he turned 21...>_>

When I watch 30 Rock, I know that I'm watching a meticulously written script being played out by brilliant comedic actors that say their lines on cue and in such a perfected harmony that they exploit the joke potential as much as possible; I know that I'm watching a high-budget, high-profile and highly polished product of pop culture that not only incorporates like concepts, but leeches still more comedic effect from them. My cheese with 30 Rock is that the characters are simply a means to an end, the end being the comedic effect - a laughing audience. Sometimes this is all people look for in a sitcom, and with 30 Rock, that's exactly what they get. This is fine by me, but I always walk away from a viewing of 30 Rock with a general feeling of emptiness; of course it's hilarious, but there's no heart in the involvement of the characters, and so what it really comes down to when you watch the show is that you're laughing at how the characters' bolted-down personalities advance the plotline and ultimately muster - of course - yet even more comedic effect. Like I said, some people are in it just for the laughs - they watch to lighten the mood, to ease tension, to get some stress off their back. The Office can deliver on the front that it's a sitcom, but there's a special element to the writing that makes it very dear to me, and ultimately distinguishes it - for the better, in my case - from 30 Rock.

The Office is a very original type of sitcom in that it exploits the Apatow-esque method of filming scenes; there is no dictation as to how lines should be delivered, and so a lot of the comedic effect is brilliantly improvised by the characters, and allows the show to feel down-to-Earth and not so blatantly fictional like 30 Rock and its polished mannerisms. Sometimes, even entire scenes are improvised, and as the fans of 30 Rock may look down on how "unorganized" that may seem, I admire the emphasis on this method of filming, as it allows the actors to be themselves more often - unrestricted by dictates of the script or director. The Office comes off as a very original type of sitcom also because its writing serves not only to emanate comedic effect, but also to develop the characters in very compelling ways. Even if the segments of the show in which characters are developed are evidently brief, they are written with the hearts of their respective characters in mind, and as such, the dialogue is enriched by the script's consideration for the characters and their respective personalities. Despite how great many may claim 30 Rock is, it can never reach a point in which a pivotal event - such as Jim and Pam's wedding (which is apparently going to be in Episode 4 of Season 6, =] ) - can evoke a sense of awe in terms of the consideration of how far the characters have come to end up at said pivotal event. This is not necessarily a flaw of 30 Rock - don't get me wrong - but it's simply an element - one very dear to me as an aspiring writer - that it unfortunately does not consider. The Office, for me, is worth the watch because the behaviors and characteristics of characters like Jim and Michael and Dwight are not only the means to the end of a good laugh, but also to the end of earnest and heartfelt scenes that depict (somewhat) believable and honest character development. That in itself really makes or breaks a television show for me - why draw out a series over several years if your characters don't really go anywhere? It's precisely the reason I don't like the old Star Trek too much, nor Seinfeld, outside of a good laugh or two.




But, yeah, The Office has 5 Emmy nominations, and 30 Rock has 22 nominations. Quite frankly, I don't see how any show can ever deserve to qualify for 22, but hey, the people behind all these award shows are all biased, pretentious bastards whose only concern in assembling these award shows is just to exploit pop culture and the consensus on critical acclaim, so I don't give a damn how unfair it is. I know better.


Anyway, discuss. =]

...WOW...you must have a wrist cramp after that!:surp: lol found that last bit funny.

Back on topic ( well, now getting on topic) I think they are both equally good, not tremendously so, but still funny. Scrubs is still my favorite...

-Holland-
08-15-2009, 08:17 PM
...WOW...you must have a wrist cramp after that!:surp: lol found that last bit funny.

Back on topic ( well, now getting on topic) I think they are both equally good, not tremendously so, but still funny. Scrubs is still my favorite...

Yeah, I love Scrubs (favorite episode is probably "My Way Home" in Season 5...); I can definitely see how someone who favors Scrubs won't be too deeply involved with The Office or 30 Rock - it's a different kind of comedy. I just happen to absolutely love both The Office and Scrubs.

I'll be honest, though; Scrubs is probably the only sitcom that really makes you tear up sometimes (Remember when Brendan Fraser's character was on? Yeah...Just think about the end of that episode) while still maintaining the same kind of humor through and through. Season 6 was a little weak to me, but 7 and 8 were great. Frankly, though, Seasons 1-5 were really the best the show ever was, I'd say. Everything was just stronger.

But, anyway, The Office and 30 Rock...=]

PokÚPrincess
08-18-2009, 08:09 AM
The American Office is stale compared to the original (even if the same people were involved). 30 Rock has gotten a bit stale over time, but it's still a superior series.

This is all moot anyway, since series like Curb Your Enthusiasm and Arrested Development make shows like The Office and Scrubs look like crap.

Kardas the Great
08-18-2009, 02:37 PM
Diarago: It's not that those shows don't appeal to me, I watch them alot too. I just find that kind of subtle humor and lack of laugh track best for stand up comedy.

PokÚPrincess: This is all moot anyway, since series like Curb Your Enthusiasm and Arrested Development make shows like The Office and Scrubs look like crap.

...sometimes... words can hurt so much...:sad:

:tongue:

-Holland-
08-18-2009, 08:41 PM
The American Office is stale compared to the original (even if the same people were involved). 30 Rock has gotten a bit stale over time, but it's still a superior series.

This is all moot anyway, since series like Curb Your Enthusiasm and Arrested Development make shows like The Office and Scrubs look like crap.

Yeah, you're not like me at all. You're more a fan of the deadpan humor that Arrested Development had. I loved that show, too, but there's a personal element to The Office (and Scrubs, now that it's mentioned) that makes it unique as far as sitcoms go. You're kind of blunt with the statement there, but I guess I understand. It would explain why you like the original Office more. All the characters were hilarious, and Ricky Gervais as David Brent couldn't be more perfect, but there was no way I could get attached to the show - again, the characters were simply the means to an end: the end being just a good laugh. In the end, the characters were a little stale, and there was no real development in them. I'd figure that's the reason Ricky decided to start the American Office with a new writing staff. It could also be the reason it's lasted so long.

Kardas: I didn't mean to speak too quickly. I understand what you mean.

jeebus4life
09-15-2009, 12:19 AM
I think they are both pretty good about the same.

Seawolf
09-16-2009, 09:52 PM
The Office. Nearly every episode has me in hysterics.

30 Rock is ridiculously overrated and just dull to me.

Broderick
09-16-2009, 09:56 PM
The Office. Nearly every episode has me in hysterics.

30 Rock is ridiculously overrated and just dull to me.

I was about to say the same thing about the latter. :x

The Office is better in my opinion simply because it seems more... I don't know, real. You covered that already, so I won't go into a whole lot of detail, but I love how they go in with cameras in the other room in private, you know? What Dwight says always has my rolling out of bed.

-Holland-
09-22-2009, 12:09 AM
I was about to say the same thing about the latter. :x

The Office is better in my opinion simply because it seems more... I don't know, real. You covered that already, so I won't go into a whole lot of detail, but I love how they go in with cameras in the other room in private, you know? What Dwight says always has my rolling out of bed.

If you ever watch any documentaries for Friday Night Lights (the show, which is absolutely fantastic and far too unknown), you'll see that their camera work is pretty much the same as The Office. Most productions plan every single shot (like 30 Rock, for example), and actors have to mind the camera at all times, but on The Office, the camera follows the actors and lets them improvise to whatever extent they must to make their scenes both very human and very funny. Like I said, 30 Rock plans their lines, and you always know that you're just observing something artificial, because you know the actors make up those personalities to fit the script - The Office does it the other way around, and that's why its audience is generally very different from that of 30 Rock; I love The Office because it doesn't neglect characterization.

Speaking of characterization, I think that The Office is to 30 Rock as The Canterbury Tales is to Beowulf. Ya.

30 Rock is ridiculously overrated and just dull to me.

I feel the same way, but I also think that 30 Rock is directed toward those people who still admire the comedic style of 90s sitcoms like Seinfeld. There's no investment of interest - it's just a frivolous little half-hour stint for most people; they just want to laugh for a bit and then go on with their lives. I'm the type that really enjoys storytelling and characterization, whereas a lot of people don't really care. Interestingly enough, of all the people I know, those who side with The Office really embrace shows like Lost and Friday Night Lights, whereas those who favor 30 Rock don't really like those shows, and would rather look to stuff like Curb Your Enthusiasm and - in rare cases - How I Met Your Mother (though I do really love that show as well).