The Office will finally get a reboot. At least an Australian version of the show. Variety has confirmed that Amazon Prime Video will be producing the upcoming series. The star this time around is Felicity Ward as Hannah Howard. She’s the chief of the packaging company Flinley Craddick. Below is the official synopsis of the series:
“In a post-COVID plot twist, Howard gets news from head office that her brand will be shutting down and that staff will have to work from home. She goes into survival mode, making she can’t keep and launching outlandish plots in order to keep her ‘work family’ together.”
There’s no official release date for the reboot. Now, there’s nothing new about The Office getting a series in a different country. In total, the U.K. original has 13 different versions all around the world. This includes Germany, Canada, and France. However, the key thing here is that they’re all molded after David Brent (or Michael Scott in America) and his crew. Times have changed in the past 20 years, and though The Office can still work in modern times, these are things that the reboot should avoid.
Imitating The Original Cast Shouldn’t Be An Option
The biggest concern is that the reboot could be mimicking the success of the 13 versions. This time though, a female will be the “Michael Scott” of the series. This may not have been the best route. The series as a whole ended ten years ago. Yet, The Office is still fresh in everyone’s mind. Focusing on the American version, the NBC sitcom has reached Friends and Seinfeld status and remains one of the highest-watched shows streaming.
It isn’t just Michael Scott that made the show. Jim, Pam, Dwight, Stanley, Kevin, everyone! The entire supporting cast is what made the series so special. Of course, great writing does help. However, everyone has distinct traits about them where; you easily identify their characters and point out their contributions to the series.
The Office needs to stay away from this. There shouldn’t be another goofball leading the company. Hell, there shouldn’t be anyone like the original cast in the company. If it is, it will lead to stale jokes that you’ve seen in the series before. Plus, audiences will do nothing but compare the two properties, and the American version will come across as superior.
It Should Not Feature The Same Storylines
Sure, this version is only in Australia, but let’s be real here. If the reboot is a major success, then it would be shocking if Hollywood doesn’t take a stab at doing a female-led version of The Office. It would be better if there weren’t any reboots. The Office is one of a kind. The remake can have the same type of humor and style as the original, but that’s where the similarities should end.
There shouldn’t be an Australian version of the Dundees, a Jim and Pam-type romantic, or even the female version of Jim consistently pranking Dwight. In order for this remake to be a success, they need to carve their own path and justify themselves as more than just a cast grab. It’s not impossible to create a story in this style with a female lead. The show can play off many of the female tropes that plague or benefit women in the workforce. But the stories need to be unique to their series specifically.
The Office Reboot Shouldn’t Be Afraid Of Being Offensive
The media landscape has changed in the past 20 years. In fact, Mindy Kaling stated that the show would be inappropriate in the modern age. Though there’s no denying there are hot-button jokes involving race, culture, sex, weight, and even sexual assault. The Office didn’t pull any punches when it was on air. More often than not, the jokes landed. However, the series was never afraid to crack jokes about any subject.
We live in a society where people are more sensitive to comedy than in the past. This doesn’t mean that the reboot should have restrictions on what type of jokes they should tell. The Office shouldn’t be afraid to be offensive. That doesn’t mean it needs to be some gross-out, vulgar, and crude series. The jokes need to fit the brand’s identity. The Office’s diversity allowed the series to crack jokes at everyone’s expense. The female-led reboot needs to take this approach without stepping on the original’s toes.