Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Office, Woody Allen


There was Woody Allen's old movie, Crimes and Misdemeanors. Another one of his more or less serious movies, although he acts in this one.

There were a couple of storylines in it. In one, Woody Allen plays an independent filmmaker who makes uncommercial high brow documentaries. He makes little money. He's struggling. He's excited because he wins a little award at a little film festival.

Allen is hired to make documentary about his brother-in-law (Alan Alda), a wealthy successful TV producer.

So, here's the thing. You have Woody Allen, a successful, wealthy, highly regarded maker of supposedly high brow intellectual movies, who gets a blank check from the studios to make one or two movies a year, and he's playing a failure.

There's just something wrong and kind of annoying there.

And then there's the sit-com The Office.

There's something I find troubling about watching a successful comic, whether it's the American one or the British version, playing someone who desperately wants to be a comic, someone who actually considers himself a comic genius, but is just terrible. It's rather cruel. Is this really what successful actors and comedians think of those who desperately wish they could do the same?

I guess it has to be that way. If you're going to have a TV show, the star, by definition, is going to have to be a TV star.

There was Robert DeNiro in The King of Comedy, but that was different since DeNiro isn't a comedian by trade.

They had sort of a reunion show of the British version.

I watched it on Netflix. It was pretty good. Poor David Brent. He was a little like Screech--like Dustin Diamond--trying not to let his small amount of fame go to waste. The show was supposed to be a reality TV show set in an office. So the poor guy was making personal appearances between working as a traveling salesman.

Back at the office, Tim is coping with his humiliation at having asked that English girl out for a date and begging her not to marry her fiance and to marry him instead. He seems to lead a sad lonely life.

It was always kind of depressing.

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