Ricky Gervais Says The Office Jumped The Shark, People Overreact

By Mack Rawden 2011-05-21 15:49:47 discussion comments
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Following the highly-rated Office season finale, brilliant comedian Ricky Gervais, creator of the British version of the show, took to his blog to offer some thoughts on how it went. Writing in his typical rambling style, he made a comment about the show jumping the shark, reflected on why his reasons for doing the show were different and seemed to imply The Office's best days were behind it. Of course in the current twenty-four hour news, dissect everything culture we live in, his short musings have since come under fire from all directions. Gervais even felt the need to respond in a second blog post to set the record straight on what he was actually saying, but his more recent comments don't seem to have done anything to stem the critical tide.

Cinema Blend has long been a big proponent of Ricky Gervais' work. From his time on Extras to his underrated Invention Of Lying, we seem to see the good in almost everything he's done. But were these statements over the line? Let's analyze them and take a look. Here's the first post…

Watching The Office finale may remind some of the Chris Martin episode of Extras.

"It's only Warren Buffett........
What are you doing in a paper merchant's in Scranton? It's mental."

If you're going to jump a shark, jump a big one.

Still we've a had a good innings. Ha ha.

I assume most people know I didn't do the US remake for the art. I did my version for the art. That's why I stopped it after a few hours of telly.

Don't get me wrong. I'm very proud of the US version. It was not only a very very good network comedy but it was also a massive success story. But you know, I did it for different reasons, ambitions and with slightly different emotional attachments to the project.

And once and for all... I would never ever in a million years take a permanent role in the show as an actor. It really would be fucking mental. You don't start a company to work on reception.

Can't wait to start work on the Chinese version. Bill Gates is in that one.

Anyway, as you may know there's been 10 years of The Office in some form or another.

Happy Birthday...


Unlike a lot of people, I actually thought The Office finale was pretty good. It may not have had the emotional impact of Steve Carell's exodus, but it was funny and enjoyable. That being said, it was nothing, if not a glorification of its own success. From Jim Carrey to Warren Buffett to Ricky Gervais himself, The Office trotted out all available firepower. The British version never would have done that. It was a little show about one group of co-workers, and it existed to make a satirical point, not be an over-the-top extravaganza.

There are moments in the above commentary in which Gervais clearly positions himself opposite the show. He puts himself (and his “art”) on one end of the spectrum, and the American version of The Office on another. Could this perhaps be taken to be a bit elitist? Sure, but Ricky Gervais has proven over the years that he is in it for the art. He quit both Extras and The Office at the peak of their popularities because his message had already been delivered. The comedian sweats credibility, and these comments should not be taken as a middle finger to The Office. They're not. They're just a few musings he put to blog.

Gervais' follow-up definitely illustrates that point…

Sorry, who dissed The Office finale? I fucking didn't, that's for sure.

I simply said it's different to the original which I created and made with different ambitions.

What's wrong with that?

The bit about it "jumping the shark" and being like Chris Martin in Extras was meant to be a little self deprecating in-joke. I myself, did a fun but pointless, over-hyped cameo in the episode too remember. I did it for a laugh like everyone else, I assume.

I certainly wasn't dissing anyone involved more than myself.

The US version of The Office has probably made me ten times the money that the UK version did. I wouldn't knock it. It's still my show. All I said was I do it for different reasons. That is simply what they call the truth. Hope that's OK. I believe I am still entitled to an honest opinion. After all, every other cunt is.

I also love how people have confused interviewing for Michael Scott's job, with auditioning for Steve Carell's job. Ha ha. Amazing.

Still, mustn't grumble.


At the end of the day, this is a non-story. Gervais clearly never intentioned to ruffle anyone's feathers, and his shock at the reaction it caused is a clear indication of that. Plus, he's right. He was poking fun at himself more than anyone else, and his implications that the show's best days are behind it are correct.
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