Review of The Office
The Office is one of the best shows of its genre on television these days. This absolutely hilarious comedy developed by Greg Daniels is a superb depiction of the ridiculous customs and happenings of the nine-to-five cubicle life. It is an American production stemming from its original British counter-part on the BBC network. Though the jokes and situations are usually different, the concept of poking fun at the mediocrity and occupational hazards of white collar work remains the same.
Greg Daniels does an incredible job of turning such a frustrating subject into something that viewers can laugh about. The script is virtually flawlessly written; each and every joke being literally a laugh-out-loud situation. He brings the subject of office work to a level where everyone can understand and relate to it. Anyone who does or has ever worked under someone else will at least crack a smile at the absurd antics that go on in the seemingly everyday environment. The Office makes working without advancement, self-development, or any form of significant motivation (a quite serious matter) a thing to be made fun of. Do not get me wrong here, the show is not attacking workers, nor does it portray the working class negatively. On the contrary, it is an outlet for the stress induced by being a working class citizen.
The jokes are quite often awkward, to say the least. This can be seen as a negative to some viewers, but those who understand the comedy realize that this is exactly what Greg Daniels is intending. Nearly every interaction in the show is rather socially uncomfortable, creating a strange tension which always leads to some sort of nonsensical quarrel or mischief. The funny thing about it is that these situations are often not even all that far-fetched. The jokes serve as a comical representation of the disconnect that exists between management and their staff.
The boss, formerly played by Steve Carell and presently by Ed Helms, makes it a point to try and be a part of each of his employees’ lives, but really he is just not on their level. He watches what they do; making sure to offer arbitrary advice wherever he can, meanwhile not doing very much himself. Even the antagonists of the show become lovable because of their importance to the office family. Dwight Shrute, the office pessimist and evil mastermind played by Rainn Wilson is incessantly unpleasant to be around and is constantly trying to plot the downfall of others at the workplace. Despite this, as the episodes progress, we learn to see the good side of him and even find ourselves as viewers sympathizing with him on occasions. Though the script can often come off as crude, rude, and sometimes uncalled-for, it synthesizes with the characters so seamlessly that you could almost call the show heartwarming.
The Office is intellectually accessible to those who have not lived the cubicle life as well. The humor is universal and does not necessarily always have a direct correlation with office work. There are friendships and rivalries which are constantly progressing as new episodes become available. The script-writers deserve a pat on the back for being able to not only have uniquely humorous dialogue, but also wonderful relatable character development. The viewers actually learn to care about the characters despite their consistently laughable mannerisms, which can be a hard balance to achieve in comedy shows.
Some viewers may see the show as being structurally unsound, that the episodes are random or unrelated. While this is often true, I find this to be a reason to appreciate the show more rather than it being a detraction. Each episode is (usually) about something different, offering a variable platter of ideas, situations, and jokes.
All-in-all I give The Office my full approval as a quality comedy television series. The script is witty, the character development is well played out, and the episodes are varied enough to retain the interest of viewers over a long period of time (as it has). The negative aspects of the show are minor and the positive aspects are so uplifting I find it hard not to be entertained.
But, don't take my word for it, check it out for yourself: