I have high hopes for Steve Carell as Michael Scott, the American replacement to Ricky Gervais' brilliant send-up of management mediocrity, David Brent.
The US take on the BBC cult comedy The Office is set to air its pilot this Thursday at 9:30pm EST, in an attempt to bolster NBCs ratings after losing its flagship comedy Friends and the lackluster season of spinoff Joey. Entertainment Weekly Magazine has acclaimed that it is not nearly as bad as the ripped-off from the British which was ripped-off from Friends experiment briefly known as NBC's Coupling and, in fact, is fairly entertaining, however (the article continues), Carell's Scott is far from the delicately crafted needy jerk of Gervais' creation, Brent.
Carell, most recently seen in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgandy and as yet another anchorman of a different plummage in Bruce Almighty, was, in my opinion, the best candidate to replace Gervais of all the actors I can think of. He has the ability to play someone so oblivious to the feelings of those around him, yet remain curiously engaging (in a slipping-on-a-banana-peel-then-falling-into-a-snake-infested-pit-full-of-dynamite kind of way). His characters are peek-through-your-eyes-at-the-horror funny while you wait with baited breath for the next opportunity he takes to make an ass out of himself (usually a few milliseconds later, often in a three or four-way combo). Truly in the spirit of David Brent.
I would have loved the casting decision of fellow Daily Show correspondent Rob Corddry as Scott's sycophantic sidekick. It might have added to the Americanisation (in Canada we use "s" instead of "z") of the show, since the idea was to stay faithful to the British version, while injecting a uniqueness to the show so that it wouldn't be a badly translated carbon-copy. Sometimes a translation must take liberties to be better understood by the translation's audience, where subtle intricacies of the original would simply be lost.
All this is conjecture at this point, since it remains to be seen on Thursday. Stay tuned.