Home > #3, Media grammar > The Office: Not Your Regular TV Show

The Office: Not Your Regular TV Show

The Office is a show that has been a part of my like since eighth grade. I have never been a person to sit down and watch TV. In fact I do not watch any shows on television. The only thing I watch when I watch TV is a big event (like the ESPYs or X-Games or Olympics), otherwise it is just ESPN. The Office was a show that a friend of mine showed me. He had the complete Season 1 on DVD discs. After viewing the first couple shows, I was hooked. The following years, I bought all of the seasons on my computer and to this day am still downloading iTunes episodes of Season 7 as they go along.

The subtext of this show is very unique. The Office is a show about a small paper company, Dunder Mifflin. More specifically, the setting takes place in Scranton, Pennsylvania in a small building. The “Scranton Branch” is a group of around 14 individuals, and the show films their day to day interactions. This show is definitely a comedy. The company, led by branch manager Michael Scott (Steve Carrell), never has a dull moment. Each specific character has an interesting or funny mannerism, way they carry themselves, or where they come from. Whether you look at Creed, an old man with a mysteriously suspicious past and his haunting yet hilarious comments, or Jim Halpert, a young salesman who has fallen in love with the company’s secretary and flirt-buddy, Pam Beasley.

The Office has been featured in a lot of print media throughout its campaign. Among other awards and recognitions, the webisodes earned The Office a 2010 Streamy Award for “Best Companion Web Series”. In Pennsylvania, there is a giant billboard of Michael Scott and the other Dunder Mifflin Employees as an advertisement for Season 7. Other than that, The Office ads can be found in various current magazine issues and newspaper articles such as Rollingstone, the New York Times, and E! Hollywood.

Interestingly, there is no music in the show.Part o the humor is the element of “awkward silence”. This plays a big role in the shows success. The famous theme song is actually the only bit of music on the show. This theme song is by “The Scrantones”, which is a local band in Pennsylvania. The lightheartedness and slapdash humor of the film gives a great element of intrigue. This show could attract a great range of audiences. This includes children in middle school all the way to parents and even grandparents. It is a very versatile show; appealing to a lot of different crowds. I would say that the primary audience would be around my age, from about age 18 to 25. It is extremely popular among my friends back home in Minnesota.

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  1. January 13, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    The Office is a really funny show! A friend suggested it to me as well and I really liked it. The dry humor is really whitty.

  2. tessdoez
    January 17, 2011 at 12:15 am

    Good job discussing how the music (or lack thereof) operates as part of the overall grammar of the show.
    Although you mention that the subtext is unique, you then go on to outline the plot of the show without expressing what exactly you think the subtext is. Can you come up with something a bit more specific, like the example the book gives about the TV show Friends having the subtext that friend groups should all be the same race? (There are also several sentences that could use a bit of proofreading)

  3. tessdoez
    January 17, 2011 at 12:38 am

    So, to get credit for your post, please give some specific subtext and correct grammatical errors. I will check the blog again for revisions on Wednesday.
    Thanks!

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