Mackenzie Crook has opened up about why exactly The Office couldn’t be made nowadays.
Crook, 50, played sycophantic ‘assistant to the regional manager’ Gareth Keenan in the ground-breaking British mockumentary, a character known for his comical sense of self-importance and general workplace inappropriateness.
First aired back in 2001, The Office has had a major influence on the traditional sitcom format, spawning various overseas reiterations. However, Crook doesn’t believe it would work in the way 20 years on.
During an interview with The Independent, Crook looked back on the classic comedy series through a modern lens, describing the character of Gareth as being ‘a bit of a monster actually’.
Having recently rewatched the show that made him a household name, Crook remarked, ‘I didn’t remember [Gareth] being quite so… urgh. The things he comes out with when he’s trying to chat up girls are diabolical.’
Considering the show as a whole, he continued:
I suppose it’s a document of its time. What we were portraying back then were things that were being said in an office environment, and people were getting away with it. So we were pointing it out – laughing at those people who were behaving so badly.
But yeah, I don’t think those things could be said in a workplace anymore without somebody picking up on them. So no, you wouldn’t have it now in a comedy.
When asked about whether the show would be ‘cancelled’ nowadays – something that creator Ricky Gervais has previously jokingly commented on – Crook reflected that, ‘It was cringey at points but no, it didn’t need to be wiped out.’
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