So, I finished The Office. It was like saying goodbye to a good friend. I am sure that all of us have felt that way at one time or another when finishing a series. I watched The Office over the years, but not in sequence and not regularly. When sick a few weeks ago, I started watching it from the very beginning. It will soon be 4 weeks and I have had the time of my life with all of these ridiculous characters. Funnily enough, I see myself in several of them.
I think that is what makes many of these shows so successful, the ability to relate. The extreme characters like the ones in Seinfeld, Friends, Sex and the City and The Office have people in it who have qualities that we can identify with. Of course, the average person is no Dwight, Kramer, Joey or Samantha. But, there are some qualities in each of those zany personalities that speak to us in some way.
If we can’t imagine exactly what it’s like to be them, we can put ourselves in their shoes or wish we could be wearing them! When watching Rachel or Carrie Brasdshaw, I wished so badly I could be like them in my 20’s in New York City and dating. I was younger than they were, but I would fantasize how it would be to live a happening life with great friends in one of the most exciting city’s in the world.
What all of my favorite shows have in common is that they took place in NYC. I wanted to move there since I was a little girl, so perhaps that part of me helped me to be more connected to my fave characters. So why would The Office, a show set in Scranton, the opposite of an exciting city and the lack of fabulously coiffed and dressed people appeal to me and to so many others? This show could not be more opposite.
But there is a quality that these quirky and eccentric characters have that has hooked millions of people, perhaps an X Factor that can’t be explained. Is it the uncanny and bi-polar tendencies of Michael, the high school sweetheart like couple that are Pam and Jim, or the insane desire of Dwight to be the important? Most of us cannot say that we know someone like any of these people, yet their chemistry is somehow endearing.
It is quite curious, yet this show has left so many people wanting more. More episodes, hopes for a reunion, and has spurned many binge sessions. The Office now has a new generation of people watching for the first time. Will these younger people “get” the attachment that many of us have or have had while watching a series being that they can spend a couple of weeks watching what many people spent years investing in?
I don’t know if it is the same feeling. Because when I started watching many of these shows, I was young and single and had never been married or had a child. And as years went by my life went through many changes like what these characters were experiencing. I moved, got married, had a kid, got a divorce, met someone new. Maybe the answer for many of us is that as the character developed and grew over time, so did we.
It remains to be seen if people watch a show through these online apps for the first time in one fell swoop will have that same connection or dedication if they can do so during one period of their life. No matter, I am glad to have the chance to relive my favorite moments on these shows and reacquaint myself with what feels like old friends at any time without waiting for TBS reruns. I guess Netflix/Hulu/Amazon can be considered a blessing and a curse…
~Dee ( or Rachel or Carrie or Elaine 🙂 )