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personal tv

The Beauty in Ordinary: Why We Watch ‘The Office’

We’re all guilty of making our lives look better for the phone screen. Maybe this is a defence mechanism because everyone else is doing it – or maybe we’re trying to feel like deep down we are something ‘special’, like these celebrities we’re all told to care about.

This blog is my own personal attempt at bringing light to my own stories that looked better through the skewed lens of social. As much as we would like it to be, not everything is amazing all the time. That is just part of life I’m afraid.

The same goes with so-called ‘ordinary sitcoms’. People get offered crazy jobs across the other side of the world, leading lives that are beyond belief with little to no effort required. Their only problems being that this hot guy or girl doesn’t like them back. This new Emily in Paris is the latest in the long line of this trend.

Plucky Junior Marketing Executive picked out of obscurity by her manager to move to Paris as part of a merger, who can no longer relocate herself due to an unexpected pregnancy… Because who else should we send from this office of seasoned professionals?

The pretty one with a goldmine of ideas that work out every time of course 😊

I’ve worked in marketing, and if you’re a junior the only thing you’re considered for is being the one who has to go and fetch lunch for everybody else.

These shows do not feel real. If I lived like the cast of Friends, I’d never have any money because they seemingly don’t work. Never mind having a swanky large apartment in Greenwich Village, and being able to drink so much coffee that it catapults from my eyes over the rest of my ‘f·r·i·e·n·d·s’ who don’t do much else either.

There is of course the argument that this is TV – people don’t want to be reminded of their boring old lives. They want to be transported to the lives that they could have had, had they been born a few steps away from a MacLaren’s Pub or Central Perk.

This is what makes ‘The Office’ so special. This is the average day to day life of a corporate office job worker. Albeit in real-life their is a lack of Michael Scott, Gareth Keenan or Dwight Schrute. Although I do think we’ve all worked with our fair share of David Brents, Jim Halperts and Pam Beeslys. That’s what makes these two shows so hilariously funny.

(PSA. I’m not getting involved in the debate on which one is better, make your own life choices. It doesn’t matter what one guy on the internet thinks.)

I once worked under a bloke in a store I do not wish to name, and honestly you would have believed Ricky Gervais based his character on him and him alone. There are people out there who are walking memes of themselves, and this show captures them all brilliantly. Like perfectly etched caricatures with all their deepest faults extended and warped for the world to gaze their eyes on.

Characters in these shows need to be coerced into hanging out with each other after work, half of them don’t want to be there at all and the others are shown to have reached their potential ceiling – and that is perfectly okay.

Not all of us will be an Emily in Paris, a Jess in Los Angeles or a Dan Humphrey making his way into Manhattan’s upper elite.

For me, watching The Office made me realise the joy in everyday life. Sure, the characters are overexaggerated, but you do genuinely see some people day to day and think ‘what are you doing?’ – ala Michael Scott.

Granted, the US version lost its twinkle once Steve Carrell left and the characters became overtly flanderized to the point of no return, but we still have the early seasons to cherish. That’s what I’ve found with British sitcoms, we never squeezed them until you were sick of them – they always ended before their time and gained cult followings as a result. The UK Office being one of them.

The moral of the story I guess is that there is beauty in ordinary life, there is comedy in day-to-day and you don’t need to traverse continents to find adventure.

It’s everywhere you decide to look for it.

Even if you work in finance.

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