The Office

Common Sense Media says

Workplace spoof is hilarious but filled with mature humor.

Age(i)

2
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9
10
11
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

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.

Positive role models

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.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this adult-oriented office comedy paints a pretty bleak 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.

Parents say

Kids say

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, including 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 eventually marries his co-worker Pam (Jenna Fischer).

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Inefficiency runs amok in this 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. And though some viewers unfamiliar with the original series' tone might find it difficult to adapt to The Office's painfully intentional awkwardness, for mature audiences, it's well worth the investment.

As bumbling branch manager Michael Scott, former Office star 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.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the award-winning British comedy upon which this series 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?

TV details

Cast:Jenna Fischer, John Krasinski, Rainn Wilson
Networks:NBC, Syndicated
Genre:Comedy
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of The Office was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 14 years old Written byilovecookiez April 6, 2011
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

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 raised a Christan, and thats not acceptable.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written byCecilia April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

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 or you want to prepare them for what's in the episode. You can't rewind life once they've seen or heard something. You have to be responsible and do your homework ahead of time. You'll laugh while you're doing it! :) Some of the sexual content is way too inappropriate for my liking. There has been a show or two that I did not feel was "okay" and I just didn’t let them see it. I’m always by their side or in the room watching it with them the first run through so I can comment on what is funny, but not so smart to do in real life. You might think my kids hate my being in the room with them, but to the contrary, we're so close and they like being able to express their take on a scenario on the show. I don't push my beliefs or commentaries down their throats, but it's a great opportunity to open dialog without it being forced or out of context. Life's gonna happen and they're going to see things I can't control, but in my home at least I do have that option. Tivo!
Parent Written byConcernedMom123 October 13, 2013
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

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 is minimal violence, but I think it is the inappropriate humor that seems to be a big problem. If your child has had the talk, or knows about it already, I think this show is fine for tweens up. Hope this helped.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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