Office (US Version) (Sitcom) [TV/Review]


Season 1-3: 9/10
Season 4-5: 8/10
Season 6-7: 7/10
Season 8-9: 5/10

Year: 2005-2013
Genre: Sitcom
Source: Streaming (ViaPlay)

A mediocre paper company in the hands of Scranton, PA branch manager Michael Scott. This mockumentary follows the everyday lives of the manager and the employees he “manages.” The crew follows the employees around 24/7 and captures their quite humorous and bizarre encounters as they will do what it takes to keep the company thriving.

The UK version is on my top 5 best/funniest sitcoms ever list, so I never watched this, the american version when it was first aired. And it took a while to shake of the ”let’s Americanize an already perfect show”. But when I forgot about the original, this is awesome. Especially the first 5 seasons.

Michael Scott (Steve Carell), Pam (Jenna Fischer), Jim (John Krasinski) and Dwight (Rainn Wilson) are simply amazing in this 9 season sitcom. The constant ”bickering” between Jim and Dwight is hilerious, Pam and Jims constant practical joking with Dwight are funny as hell and Michael as the useless boss is the top of it all. The characters Daryl, Kevin and Stanley are also really fun, but Kelly, Ryan, Erin and Andy didn’t for 9 seasons deliever one single funny line or situation.

When the brilliant Steve Carell left the show after season 7 it all crumbled. Although I like James Spader and his character it doesn’t really fit in this show. When Nellie (Catherine Tate) makes an entrence when they go down to Florida, it really turned to shit. Not even for a second is she funny, and the 22 minute episodes feels like an hour. The bottom low is season 9, episode 20 ”Paper Airplane”, the writers Halsted Sullivan and Warren Lieberstein should be ashamed of themselves. The only thing funny in the last two seasons are as usual Jim and Dwights fighting and the double episode show ending is also good.

The show had to stop production in November 2007 because of a writer’s strike. Steve Carell (himself a WGA member) supported the writers, and refused to cross the picket lines, even for non-writing duties. Carell went so far as to call in sick to the network on the first day of the strike, citing a case of “enlarged balls” as the reason he couldn’t come in.

Jenna Fischer (Pam) and Angela Kinsey (Angela) are best friends in real life.

It’s estimated that Jim would have spent somewhere between $7,000 to $10,000 pranking Dwight in ‘The Office’.

Many main and supporting cast members have written episodes of the show. B.J. Novak (Ryan), Paul Lieberstein (Toby), and Mindy Kaling (Kelly) wrote twelve of the twenty-eight episodes over the first and second seasons (albeit separately). (Lieberstein directed season four, episodes seven and eight, “Money”.) Steve Carell (Michael Scott) wrote two episodes: the season two finale, “Casino Night”, and season four, episode eleven, “Survivor Man”. Season two, episode eight, “Performance Review”, was written by Larry Wilmore, who played Mr. Brown, the diversity instructor. Michael Schur, a seasoned writer, played Dwight’s cousin Mose Schrute. Gene Stupinsky and Lee Eisenberg, two writing partners, played the delivery men in season two, episode sixteen, “Valentine’s Day”, and others. Greg Daniels, the developer and show runner, played Michael’s neighbor in season two, episode three, “Office Olympics”, but his scene was cut.

In 2019 Jenna Fischer & Angela Kingsey started an Office re-watch podcast entitled ‘The Office Ladies’ in which they discuss one episode each week giving behind the scenes information, trivia and answering fan questions. They also have special guest appearances from episode directors & cast mates.

Rainn Wilson originally auditioned for the role of Michael Scott before being cast as Dwight Schrute, and when John Krasinski first auditioned for the show, he was called back for the role of Dwight. He told the producers that he would rather play Jim, but they refused to allow it. After a suitable Dwight was found for the show, Krasinski was allowed to come in for the role of Jim.

On the day of his audition, Leslie David Baker had another audition lined up and opted to go to that one first. But on his way back to auditioning for this show, he ran into traffic. Combined with being sweaty, his clothes being rumpled and in a cranky mood, Baker’s audition for Stanley had gone the way the character was written that day, which was in a bad mood. Baker was cast two weeks later, based on being cranky in that audition.

When John Krasinski (Jim Halpert) got the role of Jim, the first thing he asked the casting director was “did Jenna Fischer (Pam) get the role?” Similarly, when Jenna got the job, the first thing she asked the casting director was about John getting the role.

Paul Lieberstein’s role as Toby Flenderson was meant to be a one-time appearance, since Lieberstein had never acted before, and never actually wanted to because of his quiet, reserved personality. However, NBC President Kevin Reilly saw the episode where Toby appeared and reportedly said “That red-haired guy is terrific, we should see more of him.” Toby then became a recurring character, and the cast and crew have repeatedly lavished praise on Lieberstein’s acting abilities, and he has allowed the role to expand somewhat while remaining abashed by the attention it’s brought to him. Notably, Toby has no or few lines or story presence in any episode that Paul Lieberstein writes or directs.

I watched this on the Scandinavian streaming channel ViaPlay.

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