To celebrate The Office US arriving to Lightbox, Alex Casey lists some of her favourite moments from the show. Contains many, many spoilers.
I have spent a deeply worrying part of my life watching The Office in some iteration or another. As a teen, I became obsessed with the British original, eventually penning an incredibly regrettable piece about how David Brent was my high school role model that I’m far too scared to read now. For years I held a monocle up to my eye and scoffed at the boorish, bloated American version of a TV show that was so completely perfect to me, so groundbreaking and assured in its surgically precise two season run (with 2 x Christmas specials).
Look, I’ll admit now that I was wrong.
The year is now 2018 and I’ve changed my mind completely. Part of it was Ricky Gervais’ swift Animorphs-cover transformation from comedy underdog genius to intricately embarrassing parody of himself. Part of it was The Office US being the first complete box set that my partner and I ever watched as a couple, which is a whole thing in itself. In the name of love, I put my snobby monocle in its velvet case and decided to push through the first few ropey episodes (they basically lifted the UK script entirely and thought everything would be absolutely fine – it wasn’t).
What I came away with at the end of a whopper nine season run was one of my favourite television shows of all time, rich with a plethora of unbelievable characters (WHAT OR WHO IS CREED) and a hell of a lot more crazy stupid heart than it’s dour source material. The Office US has made me cry and laugh and cry-laugh more than any other series on Earth, so I thought it would be fitting to assemble some of my favourite, physical-reaction-inducing moments for the world to enjoy.
Put down your monocles and let’s get into it. Spoilers ahead, obviously.
Whenever they tackled a viral internet trend
Every stupid internet meme from the mid-2000s is forever trapped in The Office‘s hilarious, hilarious amber. If it ever returns, I shudder to think what Meredith will do with Tide Pods. There’s the time they tackled the one shot lip dub, and unknowingly predicted the greatest clip from 2017 in Dwight wielding a knife:
And then there’s the wedding episode that made my heart melt like Jim and Pam’s first dinner together (grilled cheese) – when TV’s greatest couple finally got hitched by way of problematic Chris Brown flash mob. Sorry, but if you don’t openly weep when all the workmate dorks do the sprinkler down the aisle while the bride and groom beam at each other across the room, I now pronounce you legally dead.
Oh my god, and the parkour. The parkour! Dwight opening the fridge ever so slightly! Michael’s sweaty, sweaty armpits! If this ain’t physical comedy, I don’t know what is.
The tragedy of Toby and everything about Toby
HR glumbot Toby is the saddest character in The Office US and maybe the world, and nothing is as devastatingly desperate as the moment he accidentally lets his feelings for Pam manifest in a leg touch which then forces him to leg it straight to Costa Rica.
(Side note: this is definitely a little more troublesome in 2018, but I still appreciate the speed at which he runs out the door)
When Michael Scott declares bankruptcy
So simple. So effective. So easy to incorporate into everyday life at the HOP card machine.
Meredith gets hit by a car
The perfect clip for all you folk still convinced you can make this, 2018, the year of your lives. Watch out for your Meredith. She is there, she is waiting, and she can strike at any time.
The goddamn fire drill
This is the best cold open from all nine seasons in my humble o, a near five minute scene of carnage and destruction after Dwight tries to put his colleagues through a routine fire drill. One of his greatest heists yet, aside from the Tiffany’s chandelier, of course.
Made all the more funnier by this recent video of the ridiculous robot staggering out and “dancing” to the Spears herself.
Jim and Pam and everything about Jim and Pam
Yes, Tim and Dawn were bloody breathtaking. Yes, that song that plays during their first kiss at the Christmas party will play at my wedding, my funeral and my zombie resurrection. BUT WHAT ABOUT THE SECRET SANTA TEAPOT???? THE PROPOSAL??? THE GREAT COKE JINX???? Honestly. Throw my heart off the Niagara falls.
The airport scene
Back when audiences were less savvy to the heartstring-tugging tricks of the mockumentary, the most powerful thing a character could do was unplug their microphone. You see it in The Office UK, when Tim finally tells Dawn about how he feels. The audience sits, breathless, as they mime their way through the most anticipated moment of the season.
I still reckon this airport farewell sits up there with some of the greats. The only person more devastated than Michael handing back his mic pack is me, sitting at home and drowning in my own tears. Viva la Michael Scott.
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