Thursday, September 25, 2008

Did You See It?

by Elodia Strain

Last year, as far as I remember, September 25th passed without much fanfare.

Not so of this year. Because if the buzz at my local grocery store, doctor’s office, and library—not to mention hundreds of thousands of Facebook pages—are any indication, September 25th was nothing short of a holiday this year.

Why, you ask. Well, the Season Premiere of The Office, of course.

Yes, I watched it. And then as I read a book just before bed, I thought about the show. And I came to a very strange conclusion: I really should hate The Office.

I mean, in its four seasons (and one episode), the show has managed to make jokes about the elderly, the mentally handicapped, and those who don’t wear a size four. Plus, it’s included a number of degrading comments and storylines about women and minorities, and even poked fun at depression and suicide.

When I put it all down like that, I can’t help but wonder: Why the heck do I like this show? Why do millions of people like this show?

Is it because we live in a society where everything we say can get us into trouble? An age of political correctness that causes us to breath a sigh of relief that the ole’ First Amendment is alive and well.

Or is it simpler than all that? Is it the fact that, mixed in with all the non-pc humor, is sheer ingenuity? I mean, Jim sending faxes to Dwight from “Future Dwight”—I’m laughing just thinking about it. Do those moments sort of make us excuse the rest?

What do you think? Am I concerning myself over nothing? Or should I be worried that I’m willing to put up with so much that makes me cringe for those genius moments?

I don’t know if I want to know.

Because I really want to watch next week.


Annette Lyon said...

I think the fact that the show manages to talk about these things is half its brilliance.

The audience cringes any time Michael holds his education-type meetings about sexual harassment, the handicapped, gay issues, etc.

It lets real people behave like real people without all the PC propaganda--but at the same time, it's clear that we're not necessarily supposed to approve of what these characters think and do.

To me, it's a breath of fresh air to be able to laugh about such serious issues--and it takes great writing to take those issues out of being so darn serious all the time and into reality.

Nancy Campbell Allen said...

I have last night's episode DVRed and I'm waiting for a quiet moment with my husband to sit down and enjoy it!

I absolutely love that show because Michael is such an IDIOT! There's his obvious issue with being cluelessly un-PC, but beyond that, he's just so stinkin' dumb! And I love it, I have laughed so hard at that show I've cried. The episode where he speaks to the college class and enters the lecture hall carrying the boom box so he has music to enter by...and then his lecture! Wow. Makes me laugh just thinking about it.

And I think the thing that's funny to me with his social idiocy is the way people around him react. He's such a good counterpoint to humor from the other characters as they deal with whatever he's said/done.

Wow, I could go on forever. Good blog!

Marcia Mickelson said...

I love, love, love The Office. I couldn't wait for Thursday either. I think that by having Michael say those things- racist, anti-fat, rude things, it reminds how lame it is to say or think those things.