The Office US
Seasons 1-9 (2005-13) ★★★★★
Starring: Steve Carell, John Krasinski, Rainn Wilson, Jenna Fischer, Ed Helms, B. J. Novak, Craig Robinson, Leslie David Baker, Brian Baumgartner, Kate Flannery, Angela Kinsey, Oscar Nunez, Phyllis Smith, Mindy Kalling, Paul Liberstein, Creed Bratton, Ellie Kemper, James Spader, Catherine Tate
Creators: Greg Daniels, Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant
The US version of The Office has become one of my favourite TV shows of all time, it comfortably sits in my Top 3 Sitcoms, F.R.I.E.N.D.S and Only Fools and Horses are the other two, and it not only sustains the brilliant comedy value for 200-odd episodes, but it also manages multiple personal storylines perfectly, and the finale is both fitting and in keeping with the whole show.
Michael Scott, Dwight Schrute, Jim Halpert, Pam Beesly, Stanley Hudson, Ryan Howard, Andy Bernard, Kevin Malone, Meredith Palmer, Angela Martin, Oscar Martinez, Phyllis Lapin, Kelly Kapoor, Toby Flenderson, Creed Bratton, Darryl Philbin and Erin Hannon were characters that made us laugh, cry and fall in love with. Each of them were different and special in their own way, and that is what made The Office a truly exceptional comedy.
*SOME SPOILERS FOR THOSE THAT HAVEN’T WATCHED THE OFFICE*
Season 1 | ★★★★☆ | 7.6
In comparison to the other seasons, which may be unfair at this early stage, it is the weakest, but it is also the shortest and we are only being introduced to the characters that we would come to love. There’s some great moments in all the episodes, but the best episode of the season appears early in the show- Diversity Day. This episode showcases the very politically incorrect but not deliberately offensive nature of Michael Scott’s (Steve Carell) character, who tries to eliminate the off colour remarks that prop up in conversations.
Dwight: OK, first let’s go over some parameters. How many people I can fire?
Michael: Uh, none. You’re picking a healthcare plan.
Michael (to Toby): This is an environment of welcoming, and you should just get the hell out of here.
Season 2 | ★★★★★ | 9.5
A very strong season, from the very first episode- The Dundies, all the way through to a fantastic final episode- Casino Night. The season sees the characters in their element, and more developed with a longer season than the opening season. Michael’s personality comes to the forefront, Dwight’s uniqueness is outstanding, Jim and Pam’s friendship is blossoming, and recurring members of the cast all have chances to become a beloved member of the cast. The Injury and Conflict Resolution are my favourite episodes from this season.
Michael: I know it’s a illegal in Pennsylvania, but it’s for charity, and I consider myself a great philanderer.
Dwight: Security in this office park is a joke. Last year I came to work with my spud-gun in a duffle bag. I sat at my desk all day with a rifle that shoots potatoes at 60 pounds per square inch. Can you imagine if I was deranged?
Season 3 | ★★★★★ | 9.5
The moment that made me snort with laughter was from one of Jim pranks- he’s left Scranton’s Dunder Mifflin branch for a promotion to the Stamford branch, and he’s taken some of Dwight’s stationery with him, for the purpose of sending letters to Dwight from a future Dwight (with hilarious results). Once again, the season is of to a high standard with hysterical one liners, terrific pranks from Jim, Michael’s hilarious leadership, and the introduction to the cast of the brilliant Ed Helms as Andy Bernard.
Michael: Fool me once, strike one. Fool me twice… strike three.
Michael: Guys! Beef: it’s what for dinner! Who wants some man meat?
Dwight: I do! I want some man meat!
Jim: Michael, Dwight would like your man meat.
Michael: Well then, my man meat he shall have.
Michael: Today, we are not just spending a day at the beach.
Stanley: Oh sweet mother of God.
Michael: If you don’t like it, Stanley, you can go to the back of the bus.
Stanley: Excuse me.
Michael: Or the front of the bus. Or drive the bus.
Season 4 | ★★★★★ | 10.0
Season 4 was the pinnacle of The Office. The jokes come at you a million miles an hour, the storyline of Jim and Pam progresses, Michael and Jan Levinson’s (Melora Hardin) relationship is farcically amusing and Andy settles in to the office effortlessly. Dwight and Jim’s pranks and the opening sequences are sensational.
Michael: Occasionally, I hit somebody with my car. So sue me.
Michael: Ladies and gentlemen, I have some bad news. Meredith was hit by a car.
Michael: It happened this morning in the parking lot. I took her to the hospital and the doctors tried to save her life. They did the best they could and she is going to be okay.
Stanley: What is wrong with you?!
Angela: [after Dwight feeds her cat] any problems?
Dwight: Well, you left the TV on. Also, your cat is dead.
Season 5 | ★★★★★ | 9.3
Onto season 5, and I am still laughing at the quotes I researched and picked for season 4! But season 5 has possibly the greatest opening sequence of The Office EVER! I actually seen the opening in a video on Facebook which prompted me to begin watching the show, I am of course talking about Dwight’s Fire Drill. The season finishes strongly, with some amazing episodes like Golden Ticket, Michael Scott Paper Company, Broke and Company Picnic.
Jim: [regarding Pam’s father] what did he say? Is it my fault?
Pam: Yeah. He said that you told him how much you love me. About how you feel when I walk in a room. And about how you’ve never doubted for a second that I’m the woman you want to spend the rest of your life with. I guess he’s never felt that way about my mom, even at their best.
Jim: You okay?
Pam: Yeah. [Cut to talking head] When you’re a kid, you assume your parents are soulmates. My kids are going to be right about that.
Michael: [showing Charles around the office] This little hellraiser is Angela. She has slept with a bunch of different guys in the office. Right over there [points to Andy] in the orange.
Season 6 | ★★★★★ | 9.0
The double Niagara episodes are wonderful and my highlight of season 6- it is always great to see the whole cast together out of the work setting as we sometimes get too used to seeing them in one place. The different setting for those episodes let them loose (if that were possible).
Jim: Oh, so Dwight gave me this wooden mallard as a gift. I found a recording device in it. Yes. So, I think if I play it just right, I can get Dwight to live out the plot of National Treasure.
Dwight: All cases are solved with logic. The only logical way to find out if Donna is a cheater is to seduce her, bring her to orgasm, then call Michael and tell him the sad news.
Season 7 | ★★★★☆ | 8.7
Perhaps the most emotional season of them all- and for good reason. This season sees the departure of a main character and one that is irreplaceable and it sees that the show doesn’t manage to hold on to the ★★★★★ seasons that 2 to 6 have managed. I had plenty of favourite episodes from this season including Andy’s Play, Threat Level Midnight and Garage Sale. My favourite moment which I tear up to every time is the cast’s rendition of “9,986,000 Minutes” to the tune of ‘Seasons of Love’ from Rent.
Robert California: You see, I sit across from a man. I see his face. I see his eyes. Now does it matter if he wants a hundred dollars worth of paper or a hundred million dollars of deep sea drilling equipment? Don’t be a fool. He wants respect. He wants love. He wants to be younger. He wants to be attractive. There is no such thing as a product. Don’t ever think there is. There is only sex. Everything is sex. You understand what I’m telling you is a universal truth, Toby.
Dwight: [reading Michael’s recommendation letter] “To whom it may concern.” Good, real personal. Thanks Michael. “The dictionary defines superlative as: of the highest kind, quality, or order, surpassing all else, or others. Supreme.” That’s great. If I wanted the dictionary definition, I’d buy a dictionary. “I define it as Dwight Schrute. As a sales executive, as a leader, as a man, and as a friend, he is of the highest kind, quality, and order. Supreme.” [holds back tears]
Season 8 | ★★★★☆ | 8.1
The loss of a main character from season 7 is heavily felt in season 8, and he is not replaced. The void is filled with supporting characters having a greater emphasis on their lives including Andy’s love life, Angela’s relationship with the senator, and the conclusion of the Ryan/Kelly romance. Still filled with plenty of great pranks, one-liners and storylines, season 8 is still a solid season, it just fails to reach the majorly high standards it has set itself.
Toby: Do you know her last name yet?
Gabe: Toby, I’m gonna tell you her last name tomorrow because she’s gonna be screaming it tonight.
Toby: She’s going to be screaming her own last name?
Season 9 | ★★★★☆ | 8.2
On a similar footing as season 8, but it has the added bonus of some emotional and funny scenes that will stay with The Office fans for years to come. The second half of the season came across as if the writers were trying to fit in as many goodbyes to the cast as possible and I absolutely enjoyed that, The final few episodes were lovely and I adored the way that they finished the show. A truly sensational show.
Michael: That’s what she said.
The Office has been an absolute joy to watch, the funny moments are obviously the things that everyone remembers, but there are special moments that struck a chord with me and will stay with me for long after this binge-watch. The casts rendition of “9,986,000 Minutes” (above) is beautiful, and the Jim-Michael goodbye shown how much the show meant to the cast- it is a huge part of their lives, and if it makes viewers emotional, goodness knows how it makes them feel! Andy Bernard has two such moments which typify the close-knit bond that the cast/office have with one another, first is the scene after Andy’s Play, and the second is his Goodbye Song to everyone at Dunder Mifflin. Both of these scenes play to his strength of singing and showmanship, and the reaction from everyone gives an indication to the love they have for one another, despite the fact that he is sometimes the butt of many jokes among the office workers. Jim and Pam become the central characters of The Office through their relationship which is not only heart-warming, but the show also shows that even the best couples have their moments where things get tough. This is an area which I commend the writers for taking, because without it, we would not have witnessed the DVD that Jim gave to Pam- which brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it. The lifespan of their friendship and relationship is put into a DVD, and it not only shows Jim’s love for Pam, but the viewers love for them both- a truly tear-jerker of a moment. From my investigations it seems that the note that features in the DVD, is a note from John (Jim) to Jenna (Pam), which illustrates my earlier point, that The Office has become something amazing and wonderful for the cast, and we’re lucky to witness a part of small screen history.
P.S. The bloopers fill me with joy! What a cast!! What a show!!!
This blog post was part of Maddy’s ‘The Small Screen Blogathon’, check out her post and all the other bloggers that are participating. Other posts include Victoria, The Handmaid’s Tale and Dynasty. Maddy has a fantastic blog, and for all fans of films, especially classic films, her blog is a must follow!
Richard | The Humpo Show