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The Office, a 'fake reality' show? What rubbish.

“Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's fictional creation centred on the lives of workers of a humdrum suburban company in Slough.

Filmed in the style of a fly-on-the-wall documentary, the programme was unnervingly realistic and could be difficult to watch.

But its raw comedy value - led by Gervais as hapless central character David Brent - helped the show to a clutch of Bafta awards and a Golden Globe in the US.
The formula has been successfully exported around the globe, with many countries giving it their own local flavour. - bbc

‘The worst comedy ever made’, Is what I thought when I first watched it some years ago in a gym in HK. So thought a British lady as well who was on the exercise bike.


Well, first we had ‘fake’ shows which are movies that did not try to convince us that it was real other than using good acting skills, and most importantly, not trying to convince us that it was real by looking at the camera and talking us through it as if it was real.

Then we had ‘reality’ shows where people didn’t act but were supposedly themselves.

And then finally, with ‘The Office’, we had a ‘fake reality’ show where the actors pretended that it was real by taking interviews on camera at the office, or being aware that the camera was following them around.

A ‘fake reality’ show?!

How on earth can you find it believable when the person is talking to you directly on camera. Or are we being trained to believe anything we're expected to? Or is the popularity of this nonsense an indication that we have been successfully trained to do so.
That is what I found utterly nonsensical. It was nothing short of an insult to one’s intelligence, or at least mine, given that this nonsense is enjoying worldwide popularity. The same applies to the Blair Witch Project, Cloverfield, etc. How on earth can you find it believable when the person is talking to you directly on camera. For a movie to be believable, it, at the very least, requires the actors to not look at the camera and talk to you. Or are we being trained to believe anything we're expected to? Or is the popularity of this nonsense an indication that we have been successfully trained to do so. Given that the bulk of Americanised movies these days are of juvenile content, or/and, provides one with little more than a reflexive workout, we can suppose that the whole package relies on or reinforces in the masses the tendency to let the media do the thinking for us.

Some might say that you need imagination to enjoy such a show. Well, the truth might be that you need to have minimal or no imagination to enjoy such a show, and not much intelligence either. That’s the thing with American-influenced productions. It requires you to check your intelligence and imagination at the door for you to enjoy it. That is why we have statements like, ‘it’s a movie. What do you expect?!’, or, ‘It’s a movie, why do you have to think so much?!’, or, ‘It’s a movie, why overanalyse?!’ Actually, the truth is, if a movie can’t stand the test of our intelligence, then it requires us to be stupid, or be well-practiced in shutting down our logical and imaginative faculties and be focused on the sensational or the obvious. In other words, it expects you to discount lots of information so that you can enjoy it.

Of course, we all know that the ‘Transformers’ don’t exist. But I found it quite entertaining - not very, but it’s quite alright. But the acting was believable in that the actor didn’t turn to the camera with a, ‘wow! look at how Optimus Prime’s penis is metamorphosing into a bullet train!’. That is the point where a show ceases to be believable. It bridges the gap between the real and imaginative world and asks us to still find it believable. I really can’t immerse myself in a movie which expects me to find it believable where the actor looks at me and talks to me as if it is real. Nothing short of an insult to my intelligence.

Something wrong with the world.



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