‘The Office’: The One Aspect People Love Most About the Show
Nearly 15 years later, The Office remains a wildly popular series streamed by viewers young and old. The NBC comedy series is hilarious and full of relatable characters, but one aspect of the show speaks to fans more than all of that. Find out why people love The Office so much.
Many fans love and relate to the characters on ‘The Office’
For many people, streaming episodes of The Office serves as a security blanket.
“There’s something happening right now where everybody is so fragmented and so divided,” editor Jen Salata explained on Baumgartner’s podcast An Oral History of The Office. “It sounds crazy, but there is comfort [in watching The Office] that is like, ‘I know these people! They’re like me, [and] I’m safe here.’”
For creator Greg Daniels, the approach to always “value character, comedy, and behavior as opposed to jokes” has allowed The Office to transcend generations.
“Jokes don’t last that long, but you fall in love with the characters and you always have something to see,” Daniels said. He also credited the cast with creating such compelling characters viewers want to care about.
‘The Office’ has withstood the test of time because it’s about family
Another fan-favorite aspect of The Office are what Rainn Wilson called “unlikely families” created by the cast.
“I think the reason The Office has lasted the way it has is because all great television is unlikely families,” Wilson said. “[The Office] is the most unlikely family and you love to be with that family. There is something really soothing about showing up, hearing that theme song, [and] you’re in that office with these characters that you love.”
The relationships between the employees of Dunder Mifflin are relatable any at age — they scale. You can find a Dwight Schrute on a kindergarten playground or in a nursing home, according to critic Emily VanDerWerff.
‘The Office’ fans love the format of the show the most
When The Office debuted, the television landscape was vastly different. Viewers had to tune in to a specific network at a certain time to watch one episode. Now, viewers can stream virtually anything whenever and wherever they want to.
“In a way, [The Office] was built for streaming,” explained Paul Lieberstein, who played Toby Flenderson on the show. “The best of streaming is lightly serialized. We told stories over years. We really liked the mini-arcs.”
Miniature stories that played out over four to six episodes, like the Michael Scott Paper Company series, are what The Office did best. That kind of digestable storytelling is what The Office fans adored most about the series.
“It’s very satisfying to watch something for six episodes [and have it be from beginning to end],” Lieberstein added. “Even though we’re playing a giant arc with Michael Scott that takes seven years to go through about him becoming a whole person, I think we’re built for today.”
Mike Schur added how there’s so much of The Office to watch, giving fans all the more reason to love it. Many series that are on for 10 years don’t have 200 episodes like The Office does. Schur thinks fans continue to turn to The Office because they can watch a new episode every night without losing interest.
And as Baumgartner added: “When you do get to the end of the series, you can always watch it again.”