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An Odessy Into NBC's 'The Office' Television Series

I recently spent the last few weeks watching every single episode of NBC's "The Office".  No, I had never really watched it before.

Yes, I had watched select episodes from time to time like when Pam and Karen were vying for Jim, but I just could not get into the show.

(Image of 'The Office' cast on "Niagara" Episode 604/605 -Pictured: (standing, l-r) Leslie David Baker as Stanley Hudson, Angela Kinsey as Angela Martin, Ellie Kemper as Kelly Erin Hannon, Creed Bratton as Creed, Phyllis Smith as Phyllis Lapin, Bobby Ray Shafer as Bob Vance, Kate Flannery as Meredith Palmer, Jenna Fischer as Pam Beesly, John Krasinski as Jim Halpert, Mindy Kaling as Kelly Kapoor, B.J. Novak as Ryan Howard; (seated, l-r) Steve Carell as Michael Scott, Rainn Wilson as Dwight Schrute, Brian Baumgartner as Kevin Malone, Ed Helms as Andy Bernard, Oscar Nunez as Oscar Martinez -- NBC Photo: Chris Haston

It has different pacing than normal sitcoms and it's created to be a fly-on-the-wall "docu-reality" parody, where the actors will turn and talk or roll their eyes towards the cameras.

About "The Office"

It is a parody about modern American office life, but in some cases it hits very close to home for some of the companies I have actually worked for in the past.  Which in itself, is quite scary.

From Deedle-Dee Productions, Reveille and Universal Media Studios the hilarious documentary-style look into the humorous and sometimes poignant foolishness that plagues the world of 9-to-5 in the half-hour comedy "The Office," is based on the award-winning BBC hit.

(The Office - "Niagara" Episode 604/605 - Pictured: (l-r) Jenna Fischer as Pam Beesly, Ken Kreps as Minister, John Krasinski as Jim Halpert -- NBC Photo: Byron Cohen - All Rights Reserved)

"The Office" delves into the lives of the workers at Dunder Mifflin paper supply company in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

After watching from Episode 1 at the very beginning of the show, until the most recent December 2009 episode, I have a completely different feeling about the show.  Yes, I love it.  One thing about watching a series straight through from the beginning to the end like I did is that you really see the transformation of the characters in real time.

Pam, Jim, Dwight, Kelly

Although I initially thought Jim and Pam were my favorite characters, I have developed a special fondness for the crazy Dwight (Rainn Wilson) and the bizarre Kelly Kapoor (Mindy Kaling).   I really like all the characters, but perk up when Dwight and Mindy have special scenes, either alone, or together.

(The Office- Pictured: Jenna Fischer as Pam Beesly - NBC Photo: Mitchell Haaseth - All Rights Reserved)

The only problem with watching 'The Office' from beginning to end is that I have run out of more episodes to watch.  The show is beyond hilarious.  Many times I would burst into laughter over the most bizarre things.

Awards

Since its premiere on NBC in March 2005, "The Office" has established itself as a genuine hit, earning prestigious television honors such as the 2006 Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series, 2006 Peabody Award, 2006 and 2008 AFI Honor, Producers Guild Award, Writers Guild Award, SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy, Ace Eddie Award for editing and a Television Critic's Association Award for Outstanding Achievement in Comedy.

Steve Carell As Michael Scott

Although Steve Carell ("Get Smart," "Little Miss Sunshine," "The 40-Year-Old Virgin")  is brilliant as Michael Scott, the boastful Regional Manager, sometimes I want to reach into the TV and literally smack him.  Other times I just want him to be quiet.  Most of the time I really enjoy his antics as a single, middle-aged man who has bizarre romantic entanglements.

(Pictured: Steve Carell as Michael Scott -- NBC Photo: Mitchell Haaseth - All Rights Reserved)

With unshaken enthusiasm, Michael believes he is the office funnyman, a fountain of business wisdom and his employees' cool friend.

He has no clue that his employees tolerate his inappropriate behavior only because he signs their paychecks. Painstakingly trying to be liked and to look cool, Michael comes off alternately absurd and pathetic. His prize possession is his "World's Greatest Boss" mug which he had to buy for himself.

Pam Beesly & Jim Halpert

Pam Beesly (Jenna Fischer, "Walk Hard," "Blades of Glory") is the reasonable and friendly office receptionist who bears the brunt of Michael's routines.

(Pictured: John Krasinski as Jim Halpert - NBC Photo: Mitchell Haaseth - All Rights Reserved)

The bright spots in Pam's day are her conversations with Jim Halpert (John Krasinski, "Leatherheads" "The Holiday"), a likable sales rep with a good sense of humor who should have found a better job years ago, but is too comfortable with his office mates and routine to leave.

Dwight Schrute

Jim shares his working space with Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson, "The Rocker," "The Last Mimzy"), the arrogant assistant to the regional manager. Dwight is intensely irritating to normal people while Jim spends a lot of time finding new, interesting ways to drive Dwight crazy.

Mindy Kaling

Mindy Kaling ("The 40-Year-Old Virgin") as Kelly Kapoor is obsessed with celebrities and Ryan Howard.  Kelly talks non-stop and desparately wants a man.  Well, she really wants Ryan but if that doesn't work, she will take whatever guy is willing including the no-nonsense Darryl Philpin from the warehouse.

Kelly is fickle and holds grudges but has a fun side.  She was the one worker who embraced Michael's disco.  Her enthusiam for dancing attracted the rest of the employees whereas Michael was not able to entice anyone to come into or stay in his room.

Ryan Howard

Ryan Howard (B.J. Novak, "Punk'd") is the young, smart, former temp, who quickly figured out the real office politics despite Michael's attempts to instill the official point-of-view.

Andy Bernard

Ed Helms ("The Daily Show with Jon Stewart") co-stars as Andy Bernard, a graduate of an Ivy League school.   Andy is a classic brown nose to the boss.  He is also naive but oddly likable.  He was engaged to cat lady Angela Martin until he found out she was sleeping with Dwight.  Although he had to forfeit a lot of the wedding deposits he went on some of the pre-paid honeymoons by himself.

Kevin Malone

Brian Baumgartner ("Arrested Development") plays accountant Kevin Malone.  Although his roles are usually not as large as the rest of the cast, he is beyond hilarious with his facial expressions and voice.  He is a fantastic supporting cast member, but I would love to see him have a full story arc.

Other Co-Stars

Also starring are Melora Hardin ("Monk") as Jan Levenson, Leslie David Baker ("Malcolm in the Middle") as Stanley Hudson, Kate Flannery ("The Heir Apparent") as Meredith Palmer, Angela Kinsey ("Tripping Forward") as Angela Martin, Paul Lieberstein (writer, "King of the Hill") as Toby Flenderson, Oscar Nuñez ("Halfway Home") as Oscar Martinez, Phyllis Smith ("Arrested Development") as Phyllis Lapin, Creed Bratton (former member of The Grass Roots) as Creed Bratton and Craig Robinson ("Curb Your Enthusiasm") as Darryl Philpin.

"The Office" is executive-produced by Ben Silverman, Greg Daniels, who developed the series for American audiences, Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant, Howard Klein and Paul Lieberstein and Jennifer Celotta.

More Information

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