Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Office

I think TV stinks and sucks. It causes parents to neglect their kids. It robs us of creating our own entertainment.The commercials try to sell us things we don't need. They also try to shape our thinking so that we will think we need what they sell. They warp children's minds by lying to them about 1.) what sex should be like, 2.) what will make them valuable, and 3.) what happiness looks like. And then they tell the same lies to adults. People's marriages are messed up because of these TV lies, especially the ones about sex. On top of all the destructive stuff, it is most of the time, just really bad entertainment.

Ok. End of rant. All of that being said, I really like The Office.

The characters in The Office are true. They are oh-so-shallow, and selfish, and the Writers show that as much as they can. Not, I think, as a celebration of shallowness, but as a poking fun. And poking fun at the flimsy fabric of our character and shallowness of our thought as Americans is to be appreciated. As crazy and maddening as they are, the people on the show are very much like real people. It is made clear that Michael Scott mainly, but others, too, are motivated to act like lunatics because of their own insecurities. Here is Michael talking about his desire to be liked (which motivates him to do be the odious man he is):

The show is also well-written. There will be 4 straight episodes of plain old goofy scenarios, when something strikingly poignant will happen. Like when Pam came clean about her feelings she'd been harboring on the beach in front of everyone. I thought the writers showed a good understanding of human nature when they then showed the freedom the coming clean gave her. They do a good job with taking moments everyone knows are coming, like the engagement or the announcement of Pam's pregnancy, and playing them out in a believable, but not-too-cheesy way. I also appreciate how the Writers take characters who at first seem normal, like Jan or Ryan, and show how if you watch for long enough, they turn out to be just as crazy as the rest. And I think the inclusion of the 'Nard Dog took the show to a whole new level.

And here's another good Office memory:

I appreciate that its dirtiness is not glamourized. The show jokes about things that I wouldn't let my kids see for many years to come. But its wanton immorality is not done in a way that makes immoral behavior look attractive. And I think without immoral and thoughtless behavior from everyday people, the show would lose its ring of truth.

So it's a good show. Don't tell me what happens in Season 6, because it's not out on Netlix for another couple months.

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