Wednesday, April 20, 2005 > The_Office > Episode Guide - Basketball

As an ardent admirer (ok, HUGE fan) of the BBC original, I have been watching the US version since the pilot hoping that the series would eventually reach a tipping point of its own. I believe with this episode it has. Very funny, very American, and for once the Michael Scott character becomes believable and almost recognizable. That seemed to be the 'magic' of the BBC version that Gervais was able to pull off this loathsome character and make him not just recognizable but sympathetic. Cannell, who I think has significant comedic talent, has been unable to get me to that point but with last night's episode he is starting to. Maybe it is also the writers are becoming more comfortable with the whole concept and able to make it their own. It is a question now as to whether NBC will renew the series, which is certainly one of the most daring and intelligent sitcoms on network TV today, just as it is seeming to gather some steam. The season finale is next week.

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