So, I know all you guys know all this stuff but I had to write a paper in English about something random and I was like The Office! So I'm just putting this up here for fun and this spot is going pretty slow and all the articles are old anyway.
The Office is a mockumentary, which means it acts like a documentary with the cameramen being a real presence in the show, but the episodes are still scripted and have actors. It focuses on the company Dunder Mifflin that sells paper, and more specifically on the workers at the Scranton branch. One of the reasons The Office is so great is how you could find some parts of it in real life. The environment, the characters, and plotlines are great examples of an actual office.
The Office takes place in Scranton, Pennsylvania, which is actually a real town. Though they aren’t out and about in Scranton that much, they have gone to a local beach, took a “booze cruise” on a nearby lake, often go to Poor Richard’s Pub after work, and have talked about different locations in Scranton. The Dunder Mifflin office is on the top floor of an office building in the middle of Scranton.
The office building isn’t owned just by Dunder Mifflin Paper Company. Some other businesses in the building are Vance Refrigeration, Disaster Kits Limited, W.B. Jones Heating and Air, and Cress Tool and Die. It also includes the Dunder Mifflin warehouse. This is where the shipments of paper come in an out and where Michael often goes to do manly things.
Now where the actual office is it has the whole floor. It includes Michael’s office, a conference room, the kitchen, and a break room. The rest is just open space where the employees’ desks are. They don’t have cubicles but are organized by what their jobs are. The sales people are near each other, the accountants, supplier relations and quality assurance next to each other, and human resources and customer service are in the back.
The characters are one of the main reasons The Office is so funny. The main characters that you see the most are Michael, Dwight, Jim, and Pam. Michael is the Regional Manager, which means the boss of all these employees at Scranton. He isn’t really suited to be the boss because he is naïve, desperate to be friends with his workers, makes inappropriate jokes, and does not pay attention to his manager duties. Dwight is a very good salesman but is really overbearing. He is nerdy and annoying, and has learned from his slightly Amish childhood and continuing his family’s beet farm. Jim is a laidback guy everyone likes. He doesn’t like this job but ends up staying with the company. Jim is often annoyed by Dwight’s habits and pulls hilarious pranks on him. Pam is the receptionist who really wants to be an artist. She is sweet and has a good sense of humor, often helping Jim with his pranks. Pam was engaged to Roy, a warehouse worker, for three years. About a month before, Jim declares his feelings for her, and though she says she doesn’t feel the same way and will not cancel the wedding, she eventually does. Jim can’t face Pam so he switches to a different branch. Eventually the branches merge again and this time Pam misses doing things Jim, but he is dating someone else. At the end of the third season they start dating and at the end of the fourth Jim reveals that he wants to propose.
The rest of the employees are just as funny but don’t get as much screen time. The other salesmen are Phyllis, Stanley, and Andy. Phyllis is an older looking woman who Michael often calls “the resident senior” even though they are the same age. Stanley is the only black man in the office who hates his job and hates Michael even more. Andy is overconfident and always tries to get a step up by flattering his boss. He transfers into the Scranton branch in the third season.
The accountants are Kevin, Oscar, and Angela. Kevin is an overweight, child-like man whose obsessions include his jar of M&Ms, gambling, and being a drummer in his band. Oscar is smart, Mexican, and gay and was outed by Michael on accident. Later, when they want to have a party for him Michael says “It has to be Oscar specific. No, not because your gay. You’re gayness does not define you. Your Mexican-ness is what defines you, to me.” He gets along with Kevin and has minor conflicts with Angela but nothing like Angela and Kevin’s hatred for each other. Angela, my favorite character, is judgmental and brutally honest. She is very small, which leads Michael to call her things like ‘Booster Seat’, and she loves cats. Angela and Dwight have a secret relationship that few know about, but in season four Dwight kills one of Angela’s cats and she breaks up with him. Dwight takes it very hard and tries to get back together but she denies him and even starts dating Andy. In the season finale, Andy proposes and Angela says ok.
Product oversight employees include Meredith, Creed, and Kelly. Meredith is the Supplier Relations Representative though she is never actually shown doing her job. She is an alcoholic, twice-divorced mother who gets hit by Michael in his car during season four which leads to the doctors discovering she has rabies. Creed is a product of the sixties, still using drugs, has an obsession with stealing, and is the Quality Assurance Officer. Kelly is the Customer Service Representative and is known to talk so much that her conversations are often one-sided. She usually discusses boys, dating, and most of all celebrity gossip. Toby is the Human Resources Representative and is soft-spoken and liked by pretty much everyone but Michael. Michael has an unexplained hatred for Toby which leads to referring to Toby as the devil even though Toby is just doing his job. Ryan started as a temp, which means he would just work there temporarily while going to school, but later was promoted to sales rep. and now has the corporate job directly above Michael’s. At first he seemed pretty nice and cool but in the last season (when he had been promoted to the corporate job) he got very cocky creating a website that failed in the end.
Some of the other characters are Jan, Darryl, and Roy. Jan used to work at corporate and was the boss of Michael. She took her job very seriously and did not like Michael’s behavior, but later started to date him though it was never very clear if she ever really liked him. She had a downward spiral and ended up being fired at the end of season three, which lead to Ryan getting her job. Since she has no money, she moves in with Michael and gets him into debt. At the end of season four it is revealed that she is pregnant, and even though it is not Michael’s he is acting like it is their baby. Darryl is the Warehouse Supervisor. He is Michael’s path to acting black, which he willingly encourages by giving him “black” terms to use such as "pippety poppety, give me the zoppety” though he disapproves of Michael’s disregard of safety rules since he is in charge of the hazardous equipment used in the warehouse. Roy is a previous warehouse worker who was engaged to Pam for three years though they called off the wedding and he was later fired for almost punching Jim.
The Office doesn’t have a lot of plotlines, but each season has a few important things that happen in them. In season one, the office and characters are introduced. It focuses on the main characters Michael, Dwight, Jim, Pam, and Ryan, since Ryan just starts working there. The fear of downsizing, or firing people since Dunder Mifflin was not doing very well, was a main point. Michael hated firing people since they would hate him afterwards. Season one is usually seen as boring but it is actually the most realistic. Season two gets deeper into the characters, especially since there were more episodes in this season. In season one, there were a lot of random workers that you never knew, but in season two it was slimmed down to pretty much the ones still on now. It also got into the relationships of Dwight and Angela, Michael and Jan, and the Jim and Pam drama, even though they weren’t actually dating. Season two was fun, filled with Jim’s pranks, and Michael’s antics.
Season three starts to get a little more serious. Jim had transferred to Stamford because of Pam and one of the two branches was going to be cut completely to save money. It was supposed to be the Scranton branch, but since the manager at Stamford took a job at Staples, Scranton was saved. The two were merged so a few of the Stamford employees came to Scranton, but none actually stayed very long except Andy, Karen, and Jim. The season finale was about the interviews for a new job opening at corporate after Jan being fired. Though Michael, Jim, and Karen went, Ryan was the one who got the job. Jim decided to break up with Karen and came back to date Pam. Season four suffered from the writer’s strike that cut down on the episodes. Most of the episodes went outside of the office. Now that the threat of downsizing was gone, the main business plotline was technology. Ryan pushed the idea of having a website and adding new technology that the Scranton branch didn’t really like. Dwight and Angela break up leading to Angela’s engagement to Andy. Season four shows Jim and Pam happily dating the whole time. At the end, Toby leaves to go to Costa Rica and a new Human Resources Rep. comes. She is pretty much the female version of Michael. Obviously, all this doesn’t happen in real offices, but downsizing, technology, and relationships can be a part of them.
The Office is ridiculously awesome and though it may seem pretty dry and boring the first episode you see, you just need to get to know the characters and story to make it your favorite tv show. Hopefully this overview of it has helped you get interested and understand if you haven’t seen enough episodes.