The Office is a phenomenally popular show and fans can't seem to get enough, even after its 9 seasons ended in 2012. Is it the best show ever made or a moment in time that's shown itself to be problematic?
## Episode Outline
**Topics:** The Office, Sitcoms, Long-Running Shows, Problematic Characters, Feel-Good Shows, Cringe Comedy
### First Impressions
Honestly, this wasn't a show that I thought about much when it was first airing and I'd hear people talking about it. I'd watched the UK version of Life on Mars around that time, and after hearing about how it had been butchered in its American adaptation, I was skeptical about the US The Office's quality.
This impression only strengthened after I binged my way through the UK version of the show, and was completely and utterly impressed by just how hilarious it was while centring on Ricky Gervais' utterly despicable and inept David Brent. There was no way an American adaptation could take this witty and dry show and make something good -- plus there was no way that American audiences would have the patience to make it through the lead's eventual, though rocky, transformation into a caring, compassionate human being.
But, here we are, covering this ongoing fandom on the show, so I must've been wrong about some aspect of the show...
I mostly have seen the Office in gifs and memes (either referencing the show or involving the show), so I got the impression that the Office is kind of like the Simpsons or flossing in that it's just something that people have experienced and use a shared cultural reference.
I don't know of any die-hard fans, and it doesn't seem like the sort of thing that folks are super passionate about, but sort of passively love? Also, it seems pretty cringey and I'm not super a fan of that style of humour.
The cringiest thing on TV, where everything being a bummer and having awkward resolutions was the order of the day. Didn't really ever see where the 'heart' came from, let alone people watching it multiple times.
### Some Observations
- The show's setting is psychologically comforting and neutral and the way that it finds humour in mundane situations leads people to watch and feel calmed/destressed
- According to [Google Trends](https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&geo=US&q=%2Fm%2F08jgk1,%2Fm%2F07zhjj,%2Fm%2F0557yqh) the show's popularity has beaten out rival shows (Parks and Recreation, How I Met Your Mother) in recent years
- Dwight Schrute's character arc could be the best in American TV
- People who like the office are likely to be those who want to have control over others
- Z is going to watch the whole dang series
- T might watch another episode or two, but the show didn't really get its hooks into him
- G has already watched the series once, and would rather just go back and re-watch Parks and Rec
### Famous Last Words
What did we have to say about next week's topic, Rush, with only our first impressions?
**Z:** In fans' opinion… how does Clockwork Angels stack up to 2112?
**T:** How much of Rush fandom is about Rush vs Prog Rock?
**G:** I know a lot about the band… they seem to have a lot of fans… have they continually collected fans, or did everyone just show up around Tom Sawyer and aged?
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## What is "Fanthropological"?
Every week, Fanthropological delivers over an hour of fandom-related "fanalysis" covering a different fandom every week and giving you hard data, history, special guests, and, of course, speculation!
We cover topics spanning the gamut of anime, manga, comics, video games, comics, movies, books, television, and, in general, geek culture.
* ["Bass Meant Jazz"](https://freepd.com/music/Bass%20Meant%20Jazz.mp3) by [Kevin MacLeod](https://freepd.com/artists.php), which he donated to the [Public Domain](https://freepd.com)
* All other music and sound for this week's episode were provided by Nick Green!
## Top Links
[r/DunderMifflin - Theory on Why The Office is so Appealing](https://www.reddit.com/r/DunderMifflin/comments/a95acz/theory_on_why_the_office_is_so_appealing/)
[Collider - Michael Schur Explains Why "The Office" Survived Past Season 1 Against All Odds](http://collider.com/why-the-office-survived-past-season-1/#steve-carell)
[Bustle - Can You Be Addicted to Watching "The Office"? Here's Why You Actually Can't Ge Enough](https://www.bustle.com/p/can-you-be-addicted-to-watching-the-office-heres-why-you-actually-cant-get-enough-8073956)