The BBC original starred co-creator Ricky Gervais as the most hilariously bad boss in the world: David Brent, a frustrated entertainer inflicting his need to be loved on his paper-company employees. The U.S. version borrowed the premise and the cringe humor, but rounded out boss Michael Scott (Steve Carell) and expanded the cast of characters at Scranton’s Dunder-Mifflin branch. Both shows were about the strange alliances, rivalries and small victories that get you through a day under the fluorescent lights. And each reflected the culture that made it: the British version, mordant and melancholy, the American version, wackier and more optimistic. But both shows hit a universal theme: that the longest journey in the world can be the one from nine to five.
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