Based on 85 reviews
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Office is Greg Daniels' extremely popular American version of the British mockumentary series originally created by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. It 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 (a man punches a wall, characters wrestle, etc.) that's played for laughs. In addition, characters make racist and sexist remarks, but they're often taught lessons about acceptance. Expect references to drugs and smoking, drinking (including one character who abuses alcohol, which is played for laughs). The central cast is White; supporting characters span body size, race, and religion, but are mostly tokenized.
Outstanding sitcom with plenty of mature elements.
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What's the Story?
In this mockumentary sitcom 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. There's bumbling branch manager Michael Scott (Steve Carell); 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 on-and-off office flame; dry-humored Jim (John Krasinski), a prank-loving sales rep who's in love with his co-worker Pam (Jenna Fischer); and many other memorable folks.
Is It Any Good?
Though some viewers might find this series' intentional awkwardness uncomfortable, others will think it's well worth the investment. Inefficiency runs amok in The Office, a deft remake of Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's classic BBC mockumentary that cemented its status as a stand-alone hit. As Michael Scott, Carell set the bar high (and won a Golden Globe Award) by creating a character who is both offensive and oddly endearing. While The Office became a different sort of workplace for sure once he left the show after season 7, it's still one that keeps fans 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 get away with poking fun at serious subjects like racism or sexism?
Do you think the series paints an accurate picture of office behavior? Or 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?
What are some pitfalls Michael stumbles into as he attempts to build team morale? How would you foster a positive work culture if you were in his shoes?
- Premiere date: March 24, 2005
- Cast: Jenna Fischer, John Krasinski, Rainn Wilson, Steve Carell
- Networks: NBC, Syndicated
- Genre: Comedy
- Character Strengths: Self-control, Teamwork
- TV rating: TV-14
- Awards: Emmy, Golden Globe
- Last updated: March 11, 2023
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