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The Office — Escape from Scranton

When the American version of The Office first appeared, it was condescending in a Hollywood way, written by people who may have once, briefly, worked in a setting similar to Dunder-Mifflin, but always believed they were destined for better things, and got the hell out as soon as they could.

Over time, however, it became habit-forming. Steve Carrell made Michael Scott’s need to be loved idiosyncratic, terribly funny and somehow a reflection of everyone’s inner-narcissist. Contrary to rumor, he was not the terrible boss we’ve all had. He might have shared some traits with bad bosses, but most truly horrific employers want to be feared, not loved. There was also, of course, Jim. From the beginning Jim, and to a lesser extent his beloved Pam, were our surrogates. They were young.  They were not weird. They were more than their jobs, and they fell in love. Communication was not great. It took Pam a while to see what should have been obvious.

Other characters also developed into full-fledged human beings although it took some longer than others. Angela, the office mean girl, needed to be taken down a few dozen pegs before we could consider liking her. As for Oscar, if I’m not mistaken, until the last couple of seasons, he seemed mostly to be there as two-fer, and to make Michael’s jokes that much more embarrassing. Dwight remained eccentric, but matured. Andy’s arc was the strangest. He started out as Continue reading The Office — Escape from Scranton