The Office: Todd Packer

The material that has been carried over from the BBC version of The Office has become increasingly less over the years. Yet, there remains some storyline that has still not been covered in the American version. The main plot of Todd Packer is heavily influenced by the BBC Christmas Special, and unfortunately, it does not have the same quality as the British counter-part.

This is mostly due to the fact that the characters of Michael and Packer, are different than those of David and Finchy. The American version of the show portrays Michael as somewhat sympathetic, and has an obvious good side to him. David, on the other hand, despite being more tragic than Michael, never took an opportunity to show that there was anything redeeming about him. As bad as David could be, Finchy was infinitely worse. Finchy was arrogant, belittling, chauvinistic, and above all, had zero respect for David. It is this sad friendship, that made David's turnaround that much more significant and impactful. This pitiful dynamic does not exist between Michael and Packer, if for no other reason than neither of them are anywhere as irreverent as their British counterparts. The scene where Michael tells Packer off never happened. Packer's comment toward Holly was not even that bad, when held in comparison to Finchy's comment on David's date. But it was enough for Michael to give up on Packer, and to allow Dwight and Jim to carry out their plans.

The American version of the show does do something that the BBC version did not do. It allowed Jim to exact some vengeance on Packer. In the BBC version, Tim and Ricky had their victory stolen from them by a sore shoe tossing Finchy. That was where it ended between Tim and Finchy. Jim, like Tim, also suffered having a new deskmate that was worst than the last one. In Jim's case, it turned out to be Packer. But what differed, was that Jim's assertiveness and willingness to put aside his differences with Dwight, got rid of an unwanted deskmate.

The disparity between the characters of both series play a big role in showing how the two series are different from each other. In the bleak BBC setting, the protagonists were more hopeless, and the antagonists were more malicious, which made the storyline and character development that much better. It also all concluded in a very emotional last episode, one that the American version of the show will not be able to match.

Tags: The Office, Todd Packer, Steve Carell, Ricky Gervais, Martin Freeman, Christmas, BBC, David Koechner, Rainn Wilson, Amy Ryan

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