TV Look-Back: Now is a Great Time to Start Watching ‘The Office’

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It’s no secret that NBC finally said goodbye to The Office. This May, we bid adieu to Jim and Pam, Dwight and Angela, Ryan and Kelly, and we said goodbye to Michael Scott and his horrible jokes seasons ago. The Office was a Thursday night staple and will surely be missed by thousands of fans. But, if you haven’t had time to jump onto The Office bandwagon, no fear, Netflix has you covered. There’s no better way to say goodbye to a sitcom than to have new viewers start it all over again.

If you’re asking why nine seasons were given to a sitcom surrounding a paper company and always wondered what the hype was about, it’s something more easily shown than shared. Now that new episodes are off the air, it’s a great time to start fresh and quench your curiosity. Season One allows you to get comfortable with the characters and their varied antics. Be aware, it might take some time to get used to the dialogue-driven comedy, the first episodes are awkward and terse, but that’s the feel of The Office! You’ll grow to love it.

office world's best boss mugThe Office works because it’s part ensemble-driven; each character lends something unique to the show. Angela is the perfect mix of rude and surprising; her crush on Dwight and fascination with babies doing adult things is hilarious and believable. Michael Scott, “The World’s Best Boss” is shrewd, ignorant, and has no filter. In scholarly terms, he is a low-self monitor. He’ll say and do anything to get ahead but no one buys it. Dwight is one of the most unique characters written for TV. Every episode brings a new surprise; he’s a volunteer sheriff, a purple belt, owns a beet farm, and he is obsessed with sucking up to Michael.  Each character is an emphasized stereotype and that allows the crazy ensemble to work. The characters are something we see every day or may have a trait we find in ourselves: the brown-noser, the power-hungry, the bored and sick of work, the lazy, the passionate, the one always trying to get ahead. The Office gives us a chance to laugh at the normal.

office jimandpambabyThe Office is part romance-driven. We have the Jim and Pam romance, one of the plot movers in the first seasons of the series, and arguably one of the cutest romances to grace a sitcom. From the first episode, viewers are clued into the hopeless romance that Jim finds himself believing in. Jim and Pam are best friends and sometimes seem to be the only normal pair at Dunder-Mifflin. But Pam is dating the horrible Roy, who is a stereotypical dude, willing to care more about sports than care about his own wedding. Pam is a quiet and artistic receptionist who finds herself in the midst of it all. The romance is real, adorable, and honest and keeps the audience wishing for that fairy-tale that’s not too far off from reality.

The best part of The Office is the societal implications and parallels. America fell in love with a TV show about white-collar workers in the Midwest. They fight against a changing economy and the majority of the action takes place at work. The Office says something about our culture. It allows us to see that sometimes the simple things are the best things. There is humor in everything. It shows us that even in an unglamorous profession, in a small town with no real catch, there are things to be celebrated. Pam said it best at the close of the series, “I think an ordinary paper company like Dunder-Mifflin was a great subject for a documentary. There’s a lot of beauty in ordinary things. Isn’t that kind of the point?”

Michaela is a 21-year old Buckeye, YA literature enthusiast, music snob, and English major. She usually sums up her feelings using Spotify playlists, celebrities’ tweets, and long-winded journal entries. If she had to describe herself using 3 TV characters she would answer: the feminism and general kindness of Lady Sybil, the sarcastic humor and nerdy-ness of Ben Wyatt, and Mindy Lahiri’s eye for style. And a dash of Landry Clarke for good measure. Contact her at michaela@theyoungfolks.com
  • Caitlin Bright

    Awesome post! You articulated the unique humor of The Office to a T!

  • Anita

    I've been a long-time fan of "The Office" and own several of the season box sets. It's always great to watch reruns because sometimes the humor is so quick and often subtle, I catch things I missed the first time. If may have had something to do with all the laughing out loud. I am going to miss the show so I'm glad Netflix is a way to get access to all the seasons. I do agree that it was a little hard to get into at first, but after the first few eps I came to love it.

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  • michaelarnardo

    I definitely agree, Anita! Re-watching allows you to see hidden quirks each character has among other things I missed! I never realized how bad I felt for Toby, either. Thanks for reading!

  • Andrew

    Love watching reruns of The Office.. I wish they didn't end the show :(

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