Why The Office Is (And Will Continue To Be) One Of The Best Sitcoms Ever
The Office was nominated for over 42 Emmy Awards, as well as a ton of other awards. But why do I think it's one of the best sitcoms ever? Well . . .
Sitcoms are a way of life for me. They're quick, engaging, and easy to get into. I started The Office about two and a half years ago, dragging the show out for seven months so that I could properly enjoy each episode. Each character has a distinct personality, but everyone's relatable to me. It's like a multi-flavoured ice cream. Halfway through the the third season, I made it official: The Office is my favourite show. It's been a year and a half since I finished it, so now seems like a ripe old time to write about the show, no?
I think The Office is one of the best sitcoms ever. That may be a hefty statement to make, but I believe in it 100%. It was nominated for over 42 Emmy Awards, as well as a ton of other awards. But why do I think it's one of the best sitcoms ever? Well . . .
I touched on this before, but it's time to elaborate. The show knows what its viewers are like, what they do, and how they act. That's because the writers for the show were plucked from anonymity when the show started, without any previous experience as writers. And you know what? They nailed it. The show won Outstanding Comedy Series at the Emmys in its sophomore season. Sophomore Slump definitely didn't apply here. The reason the show is so relatable is thanks to one decision made right from the start: that it would be a mockumentary.
A mockumentary is when the character interacts directly with the audience through the camera. It makes the show a real stand-out compared to the rest because it makes the show feel so much realer. The characters ask the audience questions, speak to the camera like a person, and act so normal that it's easy to forget you're watching a TV show.
It Brings the Drama, But Still Remembers it's a Comedy
Please do yourself a favour and watch that video. It was a beautiful scene in the show, filled with heart, and of course, grossly inappropriate humour from Michael Scott. I couldn't upload the entire scene because of file size issues, but he led her around the building with a story for each place that ties to her. The point is, the show will go to extreme lengths to build up an extremely emotional moment and pay it off extremely well, with some humour to remind that the show is still a sitcom. Jim and Pam were in an awkward conundrum from seasons 1-3 because he had feelings for her when she was engaged, and despite being this close to becoming a drama, it stood its ground as a comedy, bringing in jokes and other characters to diffuse the tension, and everything worked out for the best.
This. This video is The Office. It covered just about every character in the show in a matter of 186 seconds. Michael being rude and stupid? Check. Dwight being Dwight? Check. Stanley's utter disinterest, Angela's constant nagging, Creed's oddity, Andy's inappropriate timing, Jim's sarcasm, Kelly's obliviousness, and Phyllis' motherly love? Check, check, check, check, check, check, check, and check. The stupidity is the humour, but it's incredibly quick. The writer's knew exactly what they were doing here, with the focus just bouncing off of each character to another. This kind of thing only works when . . .
The Cast Has Amazing Chemistry
After those two clips, do I really need to explain this one to you? They work well in pairs, in large groups, small groups, and medium groups. Bring in a random character; you'll think they're a regular on the show. I don't even know how to explain this, so I'll let these gifs do the talking:
Oh yeah, I actually have to write stuff. Let's continue:
It's Subtle (Except When It's Not)
There's not much to be said about this, really. It's a quick show. It's subtle. You could be laughing your ass off at the scene above, but if someone were to just walk through the room, they wouldn't laugh. They wouldn't be interested, they'd just think you're being stupid. That's a large part of this show; to truly understand it, you have to pick up on this sort of stuff. It's not easy to do, but halfway through the second season, you'll be a pro at this.
It's So Gloriously Awkward
The still above is a true form of art. When Michael called Oscar "faggy", he got into some major trouble with HR because, as it turns out, Oscar was a closeted homosexual. The entire episode was pure gold, but no moment stood out as much as Steve Carrell forcing his lips onto Oscar Nunez's. Did you know it wasn't scripted, though? It's true! The scene only came to fruition because . . .
The kiss and the scene above were both unscripted! The way The Office was shot, they would film the scripted scene with no improv at all, and then do another scene where actors could throw in their two cents. Sometimes, the result was pretty damn amazing (see above). But something interesting to note: Jenna Fischer (aka Pam) said that fans would be shocked to know just how much of the show is scripted. All the glances at the camera, gasps, huffs, and stretches are written down on paper before the actors do it on the screen. It's kind of sad to know, but it feels so natural that no one complains.
The Running Gags
The Office has its fair share of ongoing gags. Michael saying "That's what she said", the constantly terrible but equally emotional Dundie Awards, Jim's pranks on Dwight, they all contribute to the show's legacy. To this day, whenever I hear a "That's what she said!" joke, I think about Michael Scott. It's a way to show interconnectivity between all the seasons, because even sitcoms need to follow a timeline.
The Office is the king of cold opens. Not many sitcoms have them, and even fewer are this good. A cold open is the scene before the theme song. What makes them "cold" is that they're in no way related to the plot of the episode, probably for viewers who start watching a minute or two late. If you're ever feeling bored, just Google "The Office Cold Opens". Watch every single one. Every. Single. One.
I swear to God this article wasn't just an excuse to post GIFs from The Office (although that was a large part of it). I just think it's a hilarious show that everyone should watch.