The cult sitcom The Office, US version, lands on Netflix today. We tell you why you absolutely have to catch up with this series, if you haven’t already.
The cult sitcom The Office, developed by Greg Daniels, lands on Netflix! This mockumentary series follows the daily life of employees of Dunder Mifflin, a paper sales company in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
Impossible not to have already heard of it, whether through lines (“That’s what he / she said”), gags (“Parkour”), Jim Halpert pranks or even memes and gifs that have invaded social networks and of which you may not have known the origin. If you haven’t seen it yet, we’ll tell you why you absolutely have to catch up on this series.
An everyday documentary
If The Office was not the spearhead of mockumentary series, it is the one that democratized the genre and inspired other well-known series such as Parks and Recreation, Modern Family, American Vandal and more recently What We Do In The Shadows.
The mockumentary style, which parodies documentaries, began with Larry David and Curb Your Enthousiasm before being taken up by Ricky Gervais for the British series The Office, which therefore served as a model for Greg Daniels for an American version.
At first glance, following the daily life of employees of a paper sales company in Pennsylvania is not the most exciting and yet behind the scenes of Dunder Mifflin and his gallery of eccentric and whimsical characters is revealed. be thrilling, funny and moving.
The mockumentary style brings precious moments of complicity with the characters when they confide in front of the camera, play with the cameramen or when the film crew follows them into their private lives and reveal their little secrets.
The Office US is the series that has really played with all the characteristics of the mockumentary style, using all its resources and the humorous and dramatic springs that emerge from it. The film crew will even be visible in the series which ends with the presentation of the documentary, called “The Office: An American Workplace”, and a question and answer session with the characters at a press conference.
The mockumentary style also makes it possible to film the banality of everyday life with a lot of empathy and depth, as Pam aptly reminds us: “There’s a lot of beauty in ordinary things. Isn’t that kinda the point?”.
The Office reminds us that we have to see the bright side of things and know how to appreciate what we already have even if everyday life can be as funny as it is dreary and as happy as it is difficult, like its credits music, at first tense then terribly catchy.
And above all, the daily life of The Office can save your life! In January 2019, the Arizona Daily Star reported that a man in his twenties saved his wife through the “Staying Alive” series and music. Episode 14 of season 5 indeed featured the characters of The Office learning first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation to the rhythm of the Bee Gees’ hit.
Between gags and romance
With The Office, we go through all the emotions: laughter, tears, embarrassment, discomfort, indignation, anger,… All this thanks to an extremely well put together plot and a clever mix between an effective common thread, solid secondary narrative arcs and Memorable gags, winks, private jokes or cult lines.
One of The Office’s funniest running gags is Jim’s pranks. His boredom at the office is matched only by his originality in making Pam laugh and trap her colleagues, especially Dwight, all always with humor. We keep the stapler in the jelly, Dwight’s desk in gift wrap, Jim replaced by an Asian actor, Jim Dwight version and his best prank which comes at the end of the last season, a real final touch.
Jokes and jokes are still relevant and resonate again and again by being repeated on social networks and are now part of the daily life of many fans. Even the borderline remarks of certain characters, in the head Michael Scott and Dwight Schrute, from which the other characters dissociate themselves with sighs, murderous lines or desperate glances in front of the camera.
For his part, Michael, a big fan of YouTube, can not help but try to reproduce some videos that buzz to strut and crate in front of the camera. Each character, with his very particular and exaggerated style, contributes to the choral balance of the series. Without Michael, Dwight, Jim, Pam, Angela, Meredith, Phyllis, Andy, Stanley, Kevin, Oscar, Kelly, Creed, Daryl and Erin, Dunder Mifflin wouldn’t be Dunder Mifflin.
Romantic relationships have also been one of the strengths of The Office such as Michael and Holly, Phyllis and Bob Vance (Vance Refrigeration) or Kelly and Ryan. But how not to melt in front of Pam and Jim, one of the most romantic couples on all television? Their love story is one of The Office’s most successful storylines that fans have followed with passion for nine seasons.
All the ingredients were there for their relationship to be adored by the spectators: a solid friendship, a deep mutual respect, an unconditional love and a tenderness to make people cry. Jim and Pam went through it all: flirting, secrets, distance, marriage, children, communication problems and their couple, who overcame all the hardships, are still dreams of today.
During 9 seasons, John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer perfectly encamped Jim and Pam who were celebrated by the whole cast at their wedding in Niagara Falls with a memorable dance to the song “Forever” by Chris Brown. A sequence so cult that John Krasinski had it reproduced in the casting during a live Zoom for his special containment show Some Good News. Impossible not to crack.
The Michael Scott case
The Office wouldn’t be what it is without Steve Carell and his character Michael Scott, the regional manager of the Scranton branch of Dunder Mifflin, whom fans have grown to love despite his many flaws. And yet, it was not won since the series could never have gone beyond season 1 without the support of Kevin Reilly, at the time director of programs at NBC, and the radical change of Michael Scott made between the first season of six episodes and the following seasons.
Indeed, when Greg Daniels and his team adapted the original British version of Ricky gervais, they made the wrong choice to model Michael Scott on David Brent, the character of the very sarcastic and depressive British comedian as the English love so much. It is for this reason that the first season is the most disturbing of The Office and that Michael Scott, frumpy and with his weird haircut, is not exactly very funny but is also pitiful and incompetent in his role.
As revealed Jenna Fischer in her podcast, Ricky gervais even alerted the writers on this point. As of season 2, the boss of Dundler Mifflin’s Scranton branch changes hairstyles, dresses better and gets more involved in his work by making less derogatory and gratuitous remarks to his staff.
In addition, the team of writers decides to make it more endearing, funnier and above all more human as revealed by Paul Feig to Entertainment Weekly. Less cynical, happier and more empathetic, this new Michael Scott is wreaking havoc with the American public who appreciate this version 2.0 of the character.
Above all, the success of the still-virgin 40-year-old film came about and made the popularity side of Steve Carell, who was awarded a Golden Globe even more difficult. Over the seasons, Michael Scott will continue to evolve in the right direction thanks to the friendly and romantic relationships developed in order to become this cult character that we love so much and who will prove to be more and more moving. The writers have managed to completely free themselves from the original material to offer a unique and original Michael Scott.
And Steve Carell made Michael Scott a must-have thanks to his impressive range of play and his talent for juggling drama and comedy and above all this ability to question himself and always be there for others, even in a clumsy way. The departure of Steve Carell at the end of season 7 was a big blow for The Office, which still managed to stay the course until a final in apotheosis.
Talented authors and a five-star cast
Behind The Office’s gags and dialogues hides a team of talented screenwriters who have tackled themes that are still very current and that affect all professional circles: sexism, harassment, racism, pay inequalities, working conditions, the crisis, etc. Topics that still resonate today and make The Office a timeless and binge-watchable series at all times.
Among the writers, we find in particular Mindy Kaling, BJ Novak and Paul Lieberstein who also played in the series by camping respectively Kelly Kapoor of the SAV, Ryan Howard the interim and Toby Flenderson the head of human resources. According to Jenna fischer, it was Greg Daniels who pushed them to play in the series to better observe the main characters and see their way of improvising sometimes on set.
This created a real alchemy between actors and screenwriters and allowed a creative and coherent group work. This is also why Kelly, Ryan and Toby have their desks outside of Dunder Mifflin’s main room so that they don’t have to be in the background all the time and be able to join the writer’s room as soon as they do. were to.
After a somewhat timid and awkward start, The Office knew from its season 2 to find its cruising speed and especially constantly to renew itself until offering a moving and satisfying finale thanks to the writers and the effective casting.
The series has been a breeding ground for talent such as John Krasinski, Rainn Wilson, Mindy Kaling, Ed Helms or Ellie Kemper. In addition, the comedians of The Office have been very well surrounded for nine seasons with five-star guests. The series saw Amy Adams, Rashida Jones, Kathy Bates, Timothy Olyphant, Idris Elba, Ricky Gervais, Catherine Tate, James Spader, Jim Carrey, Evan Peters, Will Arnett, Josh Groban and Will Ferrell.
On the staging side, some big names have come to direct a few episodes such as JJ Abrams, Bryan Cranston, Joss Whedon, Amy Heckerling or Jon Favreau. Seven years after its stop, The Office remains a cult series that has marked more than one and which should pick you up and touch you if you give it a chance.
Did you notice? The little hidden details of The Office: