Although I did not watch The Office as it aired on television, I have done my fair share of binge watching the series. Somehow, I have managed to watch all 9 seasons three times. According to one user on a wikia.com thread dedicated to the series, watching the entire show would mean spending 71.5 hours in front of a screen. Having watched it three times, I have spent almost 9 days of my life with the show. That may seem a little excessive, but I would not hesitate to watch it again.

The Office, an American television show based on the BBC series of the same name, is a mockumentary sitcom that follows the lives of people working in a small office selling paper products and office supplies.

The show debuted as a midseason replacement for a failed sitcom on NBC and was met with varying responses from critics. However, popularity grew over the next four seasons, and it won a Primetime Emmy Award in 2005.

Even after some critics claimed the show lost its quality after the departure of its star, Steve Carell, the show continued on for five more seasons before it concluded in 2013 with a positive reception from viewers.

The Office is a comedy, which makes it easy to watch casually. But after watching a few episodes, it is easy to become invested in the characters and their relationships. Throughout the seasons, characters have to deal with personal issues like failed engagements, office crushes, fears of not being successful and conflicting morals. There are also business-related problems, such as layoffs, budget cuts, and underqualified bosses.

By the end of the series, the characters develop enormously. A failed artist finds fulfilment in marriage and family, a salesman becomes a startup cofounder, a cat lady becomes  a mother, and a determined intern learns life is not just about getting to the top.

The entire workforce becomes one big, supportive family — even though the members of it pull pranks on one another and regularly create awkward moments that would only be funny on television.

The show means a lot to me personally, and I can watch it regardless of the mood I am in. Whether I am stressed from school and in need of a break, or looking for a way to spend a lazy Sunday, it is always a good choice.

More importantly though, the show is special within my friend group. Watching the show is even better when I am with my friends. We have had in-depth discussions about who our favorite characters are, and some of the jokes from the show have become regular catch phrases in our conversations. At one point, there was even a birthday cake made for one of my friends with a quote from the show on it.

The Office is an off-air comedy that has been said to have changed the way comedy is carried out on television. And even though it tells a story about working in an office selling paper products, relatability can be found in the personal lives of each character.

The jokes in the show are great, but they are met with a story that frequently touches on real issues that college students are likely to face after moving on into their careers. All 201 episodes of The Office are available to stream on Netflix.

Dustin Fox
Staff Reporter

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