While I, as well as millions of others, thoroughly enjoy the American version of The Office, it was impossible to start watching it without immediately comparing it to its earlier BBC counterpart. Because of growing pains that included doing the first few episode almost verbatim the same as the BBC show, I never really got into the American Office... Over time it became apparent that Steve Carell's Michael became a totally separate character from David Brent, Dwight became a completely different foil than Garrth Keenan ever was. Jim, however, has spent the entirety of the show's run doing a second rate Tim Canterbury impersonation.
I guess the biggest problem I have is that since the American version has become so popular, no one new to the game appreciates the BBC version. People either complain: "I can't understand what anyone is saying", or that "it's too similar to the first American ones", or "I'm a stupid fuck who doesn't appreciate greatness." David Brent is so much more awkward than Michael and about a hundred times funnier because of it. When I first started watching The Office, I felt an embarrassment for his character in the same 'almost need to stop watching' vein that you can get watching Larry David.
Ricky Gervais knows how to keep 'em wanting more, wrapping it up with a touching Christmas special after two seasons that totalled twelve episodes (He recently did the same thing with the equally great series Extras).
In honor of this beej worthy show starring that fat little toad, here are some choice clips(there is so much to choose from this is tough):
Christmas Dinner Joke
Free Love on the Free Love Freeway
"If you want the rainbow, you've gotta put up with the rain - do you know which philosopher said that? Dolly Parton. And people say she's just a big pair of tits. "