German remake of The Office" - Brits are funnier than Germans
It's kind of sad that the German TV channel PRO7 mentioned with no word that this was a remake of a very successful series from the UK when promoting "Stromberg" last year. To their credit, the material could have been translated much worse, especially when looking at other god-awful German transitions of foreign TV shows (for instance the SAT 1 versions of "Lost" or "MA 2412"). Anyway, with Christoph Maria Herbst a worthy David Brent counterpart was cast. Herbst really gives this character a typically German spin, which is accurate, but a lot less funny than the British original (and therefore nowhere near as successful). The characters have all been adopted very faithfully, although German Gareth has been exaggerated and just cast badly, which takes away half of his comedic value. Plotwise, the episodes borrow some elements, but mainly there are new story lines in the same spirit as "The Office". Another flaw of "Stromberg" is that although the acting is good for the most parts, it never really seems realistic and spontaneous, but scripted. It's a staged comedy, something the original strictly tried to avoid. "The Office"'s main appeal was exactly that, it's realistic value. It unveiled life on a boring, grey day at work as we all know and hate it. "The Office" was almost tragic in its accurate observations about working life in a dead end job. "Stromberg" is all about some geeks on T.V. and gives the viewer little to identify with. All critical remarks aside, I think for once German producers tried to really get it right and the result could have been worse. Let's see what the upcoming American remake will bring. I'm pretty sure "Stromberg" will look like Monty Python next to that show.
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