The Office (NBC, 9 pm Thursdays). NBC has not had a great sitcom since Friends, except for this. This show has been a favorite for several years now, and despite the changes in cast (Michael Scott, you are missed), the show seems to have the same feel and sense of humor as it has always had. A television show will always go through times of transition, and this usually indicates that the show's ratings have dropped to a level of possible cancellation, but I don't see this as the case with The Office. I hope not!
One of my favorite aspects of the show is the wide spectrum of people contained in the office. This makes it something that any viewer can relate to, especially if they've worked in offices (and oh, I have). You know the guy who likes to play jokes, or you know the creepy old man that has a funny smell. You have worked with the one girl who is so obsessed with boys, Hollywood and fad diets that you can't help but wonder if she's still in high school. You can think back to the guy who doesn't care about those long, boring staff meetings and therefore brings his crossword (or newspaper, or magazine, or if he's younger, his cell phone). Remember the young guy who climbed the ladder waaaay too fast? If you took a moment, you could probably remember the person who went to a well-known college and liked to boast at every opportunity. If I thought back through all of my jobs, I could probably find a real-life person who parallels every single character on this show. In fact, right now I feel like I can closely relate to Pam when she was a receptionist, just without the looks.
Because of all of this, it's easy to watch the show and be able to laugh. I can't help but wonder if there had been a camera filming my workplaces, would it be as crazy and ridiculous as this? Granted, there has never been a bat flying around, there has never been an attempted attack on a coworker, and I have never been on a booze cruise. I've never had a job that offers field trips based on Survivor to determine who might be the next office manager. I've never been in an employee-cast movie or commercial, but it would be fun! While Michael Scott was, at times, a bit trying on the nerves, you could never doubt his devotion to his employees or the company. Wouldn't it be great to have a boss like that?
I'm glad that in the wasteland that is television today, there are still a few gems that make me want to stop what I'm doing and lose myself in the fictional lives of others. The Office has always had that effect on me (if you know me, you will know that I don't like to sit still while watching a show--just ask my husband). It has started its 8th season, and I hope to see it around for at least a few more years. I would also like to see more office supplies encased in Jello, Mr. Halpert, because that was just cool.