The Office: Paper, Personalized Mugs and Jell-O

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PAPER, PERSONALIZED MUGS, AND JELL-O:



Regular work hours last from 9 to 5 at the Dunder Mifflin Paper Supply Co. Computers bleep constantly, candy dishes are filled with less-than-satisfying mints, and everything seems to be white or gray. At first glance, “The Office: Season One,” with its documentary-style filming, less than exciting atmosphere, and colorless set, seems to be some bizarre office reality show. First-time-viewers may flip to a new channel, hoping to find a show that does not mirror their actual lives at work. Yet the show is far from boring. Continue to watch the 30-minute sitcom, which airs on NBC, and you will be sucked into the addictive vortex that is The Office. With a purely straightforward plot, characters so developed you start counting them among your acquaintances, and writing so humorous you will find yourself slap-happy after watching one episode, this show is sure to be a continued success.

The plot of The Office is refreshingly simple. Michael Scott, the regional manager for Dunder Mifflin Paper Supply Co., daily tries to please every worker and maintain popularity. The show simply highlights interactions between characters, and though the plot is not intricate, it presents uncomplicated conflicts between characters that are comically solved at the end of each episode. The plot is easy to follow and milks each funny moment for all it’s worth. This simple approach is a breath of fresh air after watching one of the fast-paced, action-packed dramas you may find on air at any time of the evening any day.


However, the highlight of this show is clearly the characters. The cast is not particularly large, but each character is developed and defined throughout the season. Each worker has his or her quirks, from an obnoxious boss who buys himself a “World’s Greatest Boss” mug, to an ambitious assistant manager who takes every opportunity to patronize fellow workers. The “talking head” feature of the documentary-style filming allows viewers to hear personal comments or thoughts from each character, often inserted at comedic moments. Steve Carell shines in his part as Michael Scott, the regional manager of Dunder Mifflin. He adds a dramatic flair to his character by randomly bursting out in fits of mimicry and awkward dance moves, sparking hilarious reactions from fellow office mates. His character is certainly fun to watch, though he is, at times, a bit unreal. The addition of other “normal” characters, however, (mellow secretary Pam and office clown Jim) balances out Scott’s outrageous character and create a well-rounded cast.

Nonetheless, without the witty writing of The Office, there would be no show. Dwight, the ambitious assistant to the regional manager, and Jim, the office clown, may be supporting characters, but their interactions complete the show. Jim’s practical jokes include molding Dwight’s office supplies into Jell-O and getting Dwight to Peroxide his brown hair. These simple interactions transform into plots and give the show a down-to-earth, playful tone.

Overall, the show has many messages about equality in the workplace, mainly by showing the ways Michael Scott fails. The show applies to a large audience, as almost everyone must work and has probably dealt with an unpleasant boss or strange co-workers. The show has its odd moments, but after watching a few episodes, you’ll be hooked. The lines are great for inside jokes with friends, and some episodes will have you rolling on the floor laughing. The network would be wise to continue renewing the show for fresh episodes, and to keep the cast as it is. This show is recommended for viewers 13 and up, as it contains a few adult moments. But its simplistic plot, character development, and genuinely comedic moments add up to create a brilliant new sitcom which is original and fresh.





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