The Office

TV review by
Kari Croop, Common Sense Media
The Office TV Poster Image
Workplace spoof is hilarious but filled with mature humor.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 51 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 198 reviews

We think this TV show stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

For the most part, corporate culture is portrayed as dysfunctional and grossly inefficient … and there isn’t a whole lot of "working" going on. There’s also an overarching message that you can be completely incompetent and still keep your job, as long as you’re loyal to the company. However, there is also a lot of heart in the show, and characters demonstrate teamwork and self-control. Love and friendship are major themes.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The core characters are a mixed bag (and one even has a drinking problem), but at least a handful seem to actually like their jobs. Some are unintentionally sexist or racist. Jim and Pam are kind and likeable, and among the most normal of the bunch.

Violence

Some semi-violent incidents are played for comedy, such as an employee getting injured on the job and having to be hospitalized, etc.

Sex

Frequent jokes about sex and some sexual innuendo, but nothing overt, with occasional (but comical) blurred nudity. Some co-workers are involved in on-again, off-again physical relationships and/or interoffice affairs.

Language

Inappropriate comments about race and gender that are either ignored or met with disbelief. Occasional use of words like "bitch," "ass," "hell," etc.

Consumerism

Some product placement -- notably by Staples. One episode took place at Hooters, another at Chili's, etc.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One character has an ongoing problem with alcohol (played for laughs), occasionally getting drunk at office functions where alcohol is served. Another has a history of drug use and still uses marijuana, etc.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Office is an adult-oriented comedy that paints a pretty bleak, but hilarious picture of corporate culture, mining most of its laughs from management faux pas. There’s some sexual humor, including interoffice affairs, as well as some low-level violence that’s played for laughs. In addition, some characters make racist and sexist remarks, and two secondary characters have problems with drugs and alcohol, also played for laughs.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byCecilia April 9, 2008

Can you say, Tivo?

The show is hilarious, but not every episode is appropriate for kids. Definitely watch it before you let your kids watch it, especially if they're under 13... Continue reading
Parent Written byConcernedMom123 October 13, 2013

Good for Mature Kids

This can be the best show in the world for you child over the age of 11. If he is mature enough to laugh at the teen humor about once every 10 episodes. There i... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byilovecookiez April 6, 2011

Love it!

This show is so funny! It's one of the only teen and adult shows that don't make fun of Christ. (Family guy, The Simpsons, South park) Because I was r... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bypetermacz February 26, 2015

Cautious for 12 year olds, but good for anyone older

I love this show and I watched the WHOLE series again on Netflix as well when it was airing, even though I was very little to understand it that much at the tim... Continue reading

What's the story?

In this mockumentary series covering the 9-to-5 antics at a Pennsylvania-based paper company branch, there isn't a lot of actual work getting done, but THE OFFICE is filled with colorful characters. They include wannabe manager Dwight (Rainn Wilson), who runs the family beet farm when he's not functioning as the office hall monitor; cat-loving accountant Angela (Angela Kinsey), Dwight's former office flame; and everyman Jim (John Krasinski), an underachieving sales rep who's in love with his co-worker Pam (Jenna Fischer).

Is it any good?

And though some viewers might find it difficult to adapt to this series' painfully intentional awkwardness, for older audiences, it's well worth the investment. Inefficiency runs amok in The Office, a deft remake of Ricky Gervais' classic BBC mockumentary that's proven to be a stand-alone hit from its British predecessor, using only the framework of the previous series and adding storylines that are more reflective of American office culture. As bumbling branch manager Michael Scott, Steve Carell set the bar high (and won a Golden Globe Award) by creating a character who was both offensive -- and oddly endearing -- for seven successful seasons. But while it's a different sort of workplace for sure in the wake of his absence, it's still one that keeps us punching in for more.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the award-winning British comedy upon which The Office is based. How do the two compare, and which do you prefer? What types of changes were made to the plot and characters in altering the series for an American audience?

  • Can clever writing really poke fun at serious subjects like racism or sexism? Has the line of what’s considered acceptable vs. offensive changed, and is that line different for cable and network shows? Should it be?

  • Do you think the series paints an accurate picture of office behavior? Has corporate culture been exaggerated for the sake of comedy?

  • How do the characters on The Office demonstrate self-control and teamwork? Why are these important character strengths?

TV details

Character Strengths

Find more TV shows that help kids build character.

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