Cult British comedy The Office to make long-awaited debut on Czech TV
Czech TV viewers are in for something of a comedy treat this evening as the cult British TV show The Office makes its debut on Czech Television. The programme - a mock documentary set in an office in Slough, England - has won a string of international awards and has been shown in dozens of countries around the world. But only now, six years after it first appeared on the BBC, is the programme - called "Kancl" in Czech - being shown here.
The Office follows the fortunes of Wernham-Hogg paper merchants, and its irritating, obsequious, politically-incorrect and frankly tragic boss David Brent. "A friend first, a boss second", Brent - played by the show's co-creator Ricky Gervais - spends most of the time playing to the camera, with a series of lame jokes, hackneyed impressions and ill-chosen remarks.
"I'm seeing you Sunday, for my sins...how is Elaine? She left you yet?....yup....alright, I'll see you then."... she has left him, I forgot about that...
Ricky Gervais and co-writer Stephen Merchant have described their work as "the comedy of embarrassment", and the scenes are more painful than funny. It's also peppered with uniquely British cultural references and impenetrable slang. So will the Czech audience understand it? Mirek Bohac translated the first three episodes.
However in a rapidly transforming society, where - for urban Czechs at least - exchanging gossip over the water cooler is increasingly becoming a part of day-to-day life, David Brent and his cringeworthy attempts to be popular with his staff might very well strike a chord.