What's it like to work in The Office for nine years?
July 2, 2014 9:01 PM   Subscribe

What are the best articles/essays/etc. about the American version of The Office?

For some reason, last night, I started watching The Office blooper reels, which led to the table read of the finale, which led to the finale, which I don't think I've watched since it aired.

Although I'm just now working my way through the show, I loved the recent oral history of The West Wing linked from this post. I figure The Office has the same sort of mostly-stable ensemble cast, character development and huge fan base, so it'd be ripe for this kind of thing.

But I don't recall having read any similar articles about The Office. Are there any you know of?
posted by brentajones to Media & Arts (5 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
It might be not exactly what you're asking for, but Adam Kotsko's brief book Awkwardness is an insightful and fun read about the depiction of awkwardness on TV. It goes into the Office, both UK and US versions, explaining how the UK version shows pervasive cultural awkwardness, while the US version seems to locate awkwardness within awkward individuals. His thesis is that awkwardness can be seen as a kind of Heideggerian ground state for social being, and that there's a possibility for a utopian kind of "radical awkwardness," which Larry David approaches but doesn't realize.
posted by mbrock at 12:18 AM on July 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

There's an HR blog that breaks down the episodes in a fair degree of detail, talking about everything that would be problematic in the real world: "that's what she said".

NPR has also done a few pieces on The Office:

Should 'The Office' Be Used in HR Training?

Writing 'The Office' (no transcript for this one, sorry)

'The Office' as Training Management Tool
posted by DingoMutt at 5:17 AM on July 3, 2014

"The Gervais Principle" is a series of articles that describes interpersonal dynamics via the American version of The Office.
posted by chaotic at 6:41 AM on July 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

In terms of "behind the scenes" info on The Office, it's not exactly what you asked for, but you could check out Mindy Kaling's book "Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)." In addition to being a fun read overall, the book has a fair amount of behind the scenes stuff from her years in the writer's room and playing Kelly Kapoor on The Office.

It's not the main focus of the book, by any means, but there was enough in there that it made me want to rewatch the whole series recently.
posted by terilou at 10:13 AM on July 3, 2014

The Season 5 DVD has a long interview with the ensemble.
posted by John Cohen at 1:15 PM on July 3, 2014

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