Thursday, September 13, 2007

An ode to The Office

When it comes to awkward-yet-true social situations, The Office definitely stands out as giving life to those painfully tense moments. Katie and I have watched all three seasons in less than a month, and eagerly anticipate the fourth. It's always great when we find a show that makes us both laugh (Arrested Development being another).

While there were a number of episodes that can only be described as un-funnily crass, some of the characters and situations were so...
real, that it made the show that much greater for me. I have been in awkward meetings where social boundaries have been crossed and people are asked uncomfortable questions that make everyone else cringe when they hear the answers. I have experienced bosses who genuinely believed they were "world's best boss," but really had no business overseeing anyone (especially small children or the elderly, as that would have been dangerous). I have known people like Dwight. (Katie and I met a Dwight in the mall just the other day. He operates the mall's Go! Game store, where all your board game desires can be met. He was getting the store ready for Christmas shoppers. Motto: Be prepared.)

The phenomenon that is The Office makes us laugh because it is
true. People are weird. People are awkward. People inadvertently say and do terrible things to one another that cross all social boundaries. This is why I like Jim.

Jim is clearly aware of how bad it really is. While some co-workers are oblivious, and others are just cynical and apathetic, Jim sees a pretty lame life situation...and dresses up like Dwight (Question: Which bear is best? Answer: Black bear!). Or pretends to be a vampire. Or simply makes witty remarks that make other people smile.

It is easy to become blind to reality or jaded by that same reality. I would like to think that I could be more like Jim--though he isn't always the greatest role model--and make the most of every opportunity that comes across my path.

Even the awkward ones. Especially the awkward ones.


  1. I have never watched The Office but I understand it a lot better now that I've read your informational blog.

  2. Have you seen the U.K. version. 100-times better, but the U.S. version is still good. I'm looking forward to another show coming out soon called The IT Crowd. Also a show that started in the Britains and is coming over here. It's going to have Joel McHale (a la The Soup fame), so it's gotta be hilarious.

  3. Well done, Joel. One of my favorite characters is Angela...because I've definitely known like ten of her. ("I would take the DaVinci Code with I could burn it.")And I think Pam is the character every woman can relate to on at least some level. I also appreciate that the characters look like real people too. There are all body shapes and sizes, and they all look like the people you'd find in your own office. It's refreshing.