The Office (US) (2005-2013)

A motley group of office workers go through hilarious misadventures at the Scranton, Pennsylvania, branch of the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company.

While I didn’t see the show during its original run, I was aware of its cultural identity and that it launched the careers of John Krasinski (A Quiet Place) et al. I was put off for the longest time because after watching Arrested Development I laboured under the misapprehension that American comedy is never funny. I was wrong.

While it does date itself a little with references to early Internet and trends, it is still a very decent stable comedy full of human yet flawed characters who you’ll fall in love with or love to hate. Or both.

That being said, there were some dud episodes such as when Michael Scott (Steve Carell) forms his own paper company or the episodes when Nellie Bertram (Catherine Tate) was more to the fore, or even when Colin Farrell played a prominent role for a time.

The acting talent was really good – such as Craig Robinson (Hot Tub Time Machine) as warehouse powerhouse Daryl and solid when there were guest stars such as Kathy Bates as Dunder Mifflin CEO Jo Bennett.

The show made me laugh. It made me cry. It made me cringe. I almost miss it in a weird way and while it’s probably just affection for it that comes from a first viewing. I probably won’t binge it end to end again for a while but I had a lot of fun discovering the show.

While it wasn’t the same after Michael Scott left and the dynamics of the show changed it worked by the momentum of character relationships. At times it became world weary as the characters grow up and away from the structure of the office and yet also grow and mature as people, improving themselves and their lives in a variety of ways however small. To its credit the show remembers past narratives in an engaging way so the story always felt like one big interwoven tapestry.

While the end of the show was corny it was also sweet. Truth be told I became very attached to the characters. The message of making the most of your life resounded with me personally.

That being said, if I rewatch it I don’t know how much replay value the show has so maybe if I do go back to it at some point I’ll just watch my favourite episodes. I highly recommend you give this show a go if you haven’t already.

MY RATING: ***** / *****

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