Tuesday, June 06, 2006

In France, 'The Office' is 'Le bureau'

You may have heard of the tBritish elevision comedy show "The Office". After being adapted into an American version, it is now a French show called (strangely enough) "Le bureau". It has kept some of its mockumentary feel but there are also some interesting differences between the two shows. (What is interesting about adaptation is that they reveal cultural features).
In "Le bureau", the quintessentially British allusions to endless pints of beer are replaced by talk of the occasional bottle of Champagne. Jell-O is replaced by cheese:
In the original, the office prankster embeds his nemesis' stapler in orange Jell-O; in "Le Bureau", he hides a hunk of pungent fromage in his colleague's desk drawer.
Gone is also the original treatment of sexual harassment, which was a recurring theme and is not so much part of the French business culture.
The most daring theme though in today's French society is to deliberately poke fun at the racism corroding France's egalitarian principles which the French show does quite a bit.

Apparently one show will also focus on a very French theme: strikes. I can't wait.

(Read here and here for more details)


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