For those who have not heard of this show, I recommend (albeit with a cautionary word) the NBC television show “The Office.” Simply put, the show is the most intelligent comedy you can find on the box these days. With the retirement of “Seinfeld” several years ago, I failed to find a show that made me laugh on a consistent basis. The drought ended with “The Office.”
The show portrays the office work world that so many of us inhabit on a daily basis. It exposes the unproductivity, cynicism, and awkwardness that characterizes so much of office life. It satirizes the boss-worker relationship by anchoring the show in Michael, a character played by Steve Carrell, who lives off the fumes of his power trips. Michael essentially makes life very difficult for the rest of the workers in his office yet is completely unaware of the flaws in his person. Because Carrell plays the role with a touch of humanity and innocence, the show is quite insane and endlessly amusing. One should note that the show’s humor is not scored by a laugh track or a bevy of one-liners. It specializes in weird exchanges, heavy silences, and the tension of concealed frustration to make its points, and its humor, felt.
This is not to say that “The Office” is without inappropriateness. Like much entertainment from the secular world, there is occasionally some objectionable content that I do not support. Additionally, I do not encourage Christians to adopt the worldview behind the show, namely, that office employment is pointless and absurd. As I wrote recently on this very blog, all work is honorable to God and should be done with reverence and joy. With those caveats stated, one can certainly appreciate the way “The Office” points out with subtleness, awkward silences, and excellent dialogue the nuances and hilarities of office life. It’s a show worth any number of TP47 reports to see, I promise. Just make sure you show up a few minutes early–it’s only proper.