The Office was one of those shows that I heard a lot of my colleagues talking about over the years, but one that I never got around to watching for one reason or the other. Starting a show that has 9 seasons is a monumental task. It caught my attention again in recent months when I read an article, about how The Office and Friends are still some of Netflix’s most-watched shows. For those in India, The Office airs on Amazon Prime. 3 months and 200 episodes later I’m finally done with the series.
One thing I felt right off the bat is that the first 7 seasons with Steve Carell and the final 2 without him feel like different shows to me. That is not to say that the last 2 seasons are bad. It all comes down to how much of a show-stealer his character was. His absence in the last 2 allowed the others to shine a bit more. When I think about the show this is what felt like the essence of the show was to me.
- Michael Scott and his general buffoonery and cringe worthy behaviour, countered by his a strong emotional side. Steve Carell plays both these aspects extraordinarily well.
- His linguistic gaffes. I will never forget the “Our balls are now in your court” one.
- The unexpectedly affecting relationship between Pam and Michael. The fact that she really cared for him throughout the series even though he once made a pass at her. So, it was great to see the silent interaction between them in their final scene together.
- Michael and Holly’s relationship. As far as TV series proposals his proposal to Holly was one of the strangest and sweetest ones, I have ever seen. But they made it work in the way only those two could possibly pull off.
- Jim’s legendary pranks. It started with the simple stapler in Jello one but as time went on they just upped the ante. The one where Dwight was made to believe he was giving an actual TV interview in the final season is bonkers. The way it escalated from a TV interview to a hostage situation that they made Dwight believe he resolved is a masterpiece of TV writing.
- The relationships that they have with each other all start of casually. But we see all of them go through some very real and painful challenges over the course of the series. For the mockumentary style that they were going for they managed to go much deeper than I expected when it came to be exploring the relationships.
- While Andy initially seemed like he was going to be a one note character when he was introduced, he was the one who evolved the most right through to his sad end. A special mention to the song that he plays before he leaves the office.
- Dwight. The life and the soul of the show and a perfect complement to Jim as his victim, Michael as his obsessive mentor and the only romantic interest that would actually ever work with Angela . The only way to describe his talent is the way he made weirdness seem so entertaining.
- For someone who has never watched a show that is built around a good number of cringe worthy moments Jim’s reactions to these moments were what I felt were his greatest skills. The pranks were amazing too, but I would attribute those more to the writers than him. And he went on to direct a little masterpiece called “The Quiet Place”
Did I miss out on what can be considered a legitimate cultural phenomenon all these years. Oh Yeah
“That’s what she said” 😉
For all those of you who are getting nostalgic about the series there is a new podcast airing by the actresses who played Pam and Angela called The Office Ladies. Check it out. It’s a great fix if you have been missing the show