Lost and The Office (UK)

Lost (2004-    )
The Office (UK) (2001-2003)
Type: Non-Crossover

   Hey, obviously I'm all for crossovers and shows connecting realities in other ways butů come on, people, you gotta have some standards for what is a real connection. This is not a solid link. A funny reference joke but that's all.

   Okay, let's set the stage. The British version of The Office was an international comedy hit. It was a sitcom shot as if it was a documentary series centering on a paper company in the British industrial town of Slough. Among the fans of the show, J.J. Abrams, producer of Alias and Lost. He showed the love for The Office on Alias by having The Office star/writer/producer Ricky Gervais on as a guest star.

   Over on Lost they showed the love in a different way. Lost is the story of a group of people who miraculously survive a horrible plane crash only to be stranded on a mysterious and dangerous island. One of the show's gimmicks is that every episode tells the story of what is happening on the island intercut with a flashback story centering on one of the castaways. Almost always the flashback has some direct or indirect tie to the island based plot. In the first season episode Homecoming, the flashback story centered on Charlie, a former rock star who, before the crash, had fallen on hard times. The flashback centered on a downtrodden Charlie trading on his former fame to hook up with a rich girl with the intent of robbing her and her family. This leads to a "wink wink" reference to The Office. While Charlie is at his mark's house, she tells him her father is not at home because he is off buying some paper company in Slough! Very cool.

   Okay, here's the thing. It is very cool. Clearly the show is referencing The Office but that isn't the same thing as truly establishing a connection to The Office. In no way shape or form. They don't name check Wernham Hogg, the paper company in The Office. All they say is a "paper company in Slough". Not exactly sterling proof. The Office is set in Slough because it's an industrial town with tons of industrial businesses. Not like Wernham Hogg would be the only paper company in Slough. In fact, a quick check reveals that, real world, there are two paper companies in Slough and four more in the nearby area. So how do we know the paper company mentioned on Lost is Wernham Hogg? How do we even know it exists at all in the Lost universe? Based on the content of the episode we don't. Again, it was thrown in as a wink to The Office but nit a wink specific enough to prove a shared world.

   Let me put it this way. Let's say I create a TV series called Hollywood Hoopdeedoo centering on the fictional movie studio Super Megastar Studios. Then on Lost a character mentions they worked at a Hollywood studio. Nobody in their right mind would assume they were for certain talking about Super Megastar Studios. There are tons of studios in Hollywood! Let's even say that part of the plot of Hollywood Hoopdeedoo is that Super Megastar Studios is the crappiest studio around and that the character on Lost specifically says he worked for the crappiest studio in Hollywood, intentionally playing off Hollywood Hoopdeedoo. You still couldn't say, yeah, those shows are connected. Guess what? There's plenty of "crappy" Hollywood studios in the real world. There's nothing to prove the character is talking about MY fictional crappy studio.

   Come on people. Get a grip.

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Even though this is a non-cross, still, why not buy Lost and The Office on DVD from Amazon and help support the site? Homecoming, the Lost episode with the Office reference is on the Lost Season 1 DVD set.

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