‘THE OFFICE’: AWKWARD BUT FUNNY
BY BENJAMIN GREENFELD
This was a really fun review to write. Obviously, because it was about my favorite television show. I started out writing about the main plot of the show and some of the main characters. I then talked about what makes the show different from other shows and what other people have said about the show. I thank you for taking the time to read my review.
‘The Office,’ was originally a television show in the UK that was adapted to American audiences by Greg Daniels. The show is set in Scranton, Pennsylvania in a paper company called Dunder Mifflin. Some of the main characters of the show are Steve Carell, Rainn Wilson, and John Krasinski. The cast is what makes this show so unique and different from any other show. ‘The Office,’ is notorious for it’s incredibly awkward moments and cast interviews during the episode.
In the show ‘The Office,’ the well-known Steve Carell plays Michael Scott. Michael Scott is the “boss” of the office and the main character of the show. Carell is well known for his role in the movies, “The 40 Year Old Virgin,” and “Date Night.” Carell is known to play the part of the humorous and clumsy character. Another main character of the show is John Krasinski. Krasinski plays the role of Jim on the show. Both Carell and Krasinski play a major role in the shows awkwardness. For example, one of the shows funny moments that happen in various episodes is when the camera focuses on “Jim’s” face and “Jim” is just looking back straight at the camera. In most other tv shows the characters never look straight at the camera and this is an example of what makes ‘The Office,’ different from other television shows.
In a New York Times article by Alessandra Stanley, Stanley talks about what makes ‘The Office,’ funny and different from other television shows. She says, “For one thing there are no laugh tracks, musical cues, or snappy one –liners. ‘The Office’ is all deadpan humor, as dry as “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” more slyly absurdist than “Arrested Development.” In the last paragraph she says, “It drove NBC to develop and put on the air the kind of seditious, unconventional comedy that viewers say they want and that television executives insist could never draw a broad enough audience to be a network success. ‘The Office’ has the potential to be a hit, though perhaps not overnight.”
Maybe not “overnight” but ‘The Office,’ definitely became popular fast. I have watched almost every single episode of ‘The Office,’ and I can never get enough of it. It is by far, my favorite television show. From the awkward silences to the outrageous things Michael Scott (Steve Carell) says, it’s just hilarious. For example, in the episode called “The Banker,” at the end of the episode Steve Carell and Rainn Wilson are showed in a music video about Dunder Mifflin. Throughout the music video, Carell and Wilson awkwardly dance and even forget some of the words. They also rap out of sync which makes the video even more amusing.
The key to the comedy of ‘The Office,’ is its awkwardness. It’s the awkwardness of the show that makes it so funny and makes people want to keep watching it. The shows awkwardness makes it funny because people try to avoid awkward moments as much as possible. For example, in episode 202, “Sexual Harassment,” Michael Scott walks into one of his coworkers offices. His co-worker is named Stanley and has a picture of a catholic schoolgirl on the wall. Michael Scott then says to Stanley that he thinks, “the picture is sexy and that he enjoys walking past it every morning.” Then Stanley goes on to tell him that the picture of the catholic schoolgirl is his daughter. This obviously makes it a very awkward moment.
What makes ‘The Office,’ such a great show to me is that its not the typical “American” TV show. It’s not like “Friends” or “How I met your Mother.” These shows have fake laughter and the common funny oneliners. When watching these shows one pretty much knows when a character is going to make a joke. When I’m watching “The Office,” I never know what to expect. During most of the episodes, the characters will get interviewed about what is happening in that specific episode. I’ve never seen a television show where this happened. I really like this because it feels like the characters are talking to you and it helps you understand better what is happening from everyone’s perspective.
Tim Goodman of the San Francisco Chronicle published an article called “Miracle time Americanized ‘Office’ is good.” He talks about how it’s a very good thing that an American version of ‘The Office,’ was created. “What NBC has manage to do with ‘The Office’ is making something true to the original while expanding on the vision and completely avoiding the dour stupidity of the current American sitcom. That, in case you haven’t figured out yet, is nearly miraculous.”
Greg Daniels successfully brought a hit show in the UK, to American audiences. â€˜The Officeâ€™ has shown people that there can be a hit television show that is not like the typical American comedy. People love this show because each episode is filled with hilarious moments and extremely awkward situations which simply gets people hooked.