One of my favorite shows of all time is The Office. I’ve watched all 9 seasons way too many times to count, and here are the reasons why I think every person should at least give it a try.
The Office is a mockumentary style show that documents the daily life of employees at Dunder Mifflin, a paper company. Most of the criticisms I hear about The Office have to do with the slow start to the show, and I agree it takes a while to get into to. However I think that slow start allows the watcher to really understand and get to know all of the small nuances of each character.
The first time I really sat down and watched it, it took me until the 5th season to really fall in love with all of the characters, but when I fell I fell hard. I either hated or loved every single character and I still wanted them all to succeed. That being said if I had to itemize every reason why you should watch the office It would take forever and a much longer blog post, but I can highlight some of the most important ones.
- The Character Development
Michael Scott is far from the worlds best boss. He starts as a fairly selfish person who clings on to those who he thinks are ‘cool’, while ignoring and mistreating those who actually care for him. He looks for love based on all of the wrong reasons, even going as far to stay with an abusive women because she got a boob job. Eventually Michael sees the error of his ways (sort of). You may start off hating him but you soon learn that he really is a good person deep (deeeeeep) down.
Its not just Michael who evolves as a person though, everyone goes through some kind of transformation. Whether its Jim finally realizing he has more potential than just being a sales man, or Ryan finally ‘mastering’ commitment, each character changes and grows just like every real person. The fact that its not just the main characters who evolve really speaks to the level of detail and forethought that the writers put into the show.
Not only does Michael evolve as a person but he leaves Dunder Mifflin after almost 19 years for the only fitting reason: finding his soul mate. This brings me to my second point; The love stories.
2. The Love Stories
You have the obvious stories of office romance. Jim Halpert the lazy salesman and Pam Beesly the smart, funny, and cute reception is one that gets started right away in season 1, but it takes them FIVE SEASONS to actually do anything about it.
Then you have Michael who proposes to Holly after a being a part for so long. Luckily we are 100% sure that they are soul mates. They are literally perfect for each other in every way right down to the bad Yoda impressions.
Without giving too much away there is also a secret affair that leads to one of the most perfect weddings in history of television (purely my opinion) which makes me sob every single time. Romantic love is not the only kind of love stories though. The friendships made throughout the season both on screen and off are one of the more moving parts of the show. Co workers who otherwise would never be friends become the best of friends and go above and beyond for each other. Dwight, the socially awkward beet farmer who constantly reminds everyone that they are inferior to him, shows that he truly does love and care for them and even goes as far as calling Pam his best friend.
There is also those who find families, one finding the parents she never knew, another finally having the child she so desperately wanted (however questionable the circumstances were).
Not only I am so invested in the show and its characters that its an emotional roller coaster for me (I cry at pretty much everything though) the humor is what makes me stick around, and elevates it beyond any other show that i’ve watched.
3. The Humor
Now the humor in this show is definitely not for everyone, it is subtle and if you aren’t paying attention you could miss it. It doesn’t come from just the main characters either. Personally I think the funniest characters on the show are the background characters. Creed, the creepy quality assurance director has some of the best quotes of the show. It is heavily implied that he is/was into some pretty hardcore drugs and other illegal activities. He always seems out of it and says seemingly random random things that the other characters don’t get, but under closer inspection may just be his confusing interpretation of the world around him. He’s smart though and finds ways to keep his job even though he doesn’t actually do anything and sells company property for his own personal benefit.
The other character that I think has some of the best lines is Kelly Kapoor. She’s zany, she’s not easy to manage and her new years resolution was to get more attention. She is definitely not PC and that’s what makes her character so funny. Her whole story arc is not about rising up the corporate ladder, but finding love with a guy who is arguably more self absorbed than she is (a pretty big feat).
Of course who could forget about the pranks Jim plays on Dwight. Like the time he put his stapler in jello, or put his desk in the bathroom, or put all of his desk items into the vending machine, or the identity theft prank (identity theft is no joke), or the time he Meatball’d him, or the time Pam and Jim learned Morse code so they could talk about Dwight in front of him, or my personal favorite when they hired an actor to pretend to be Jim and convince Dwight that Jim is Asian.
I think the point of this show isn’t to be over the top, or to be side splitting-ly funny. I think the point of this show is to make a connection with the audience. These characters are all real people with real faults, that everyone can relate to. You can see yourself in the situations they are in and sympathize with them. You’re either rooting for or against them, but every time I watch it, it comes to an end all to soon. You have been with these people through all their triumphs, failures. heartbreak, and joy. You see into the most personal part of their lives and you become a part of it.
“I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them”