TheLatch— Rewind: I Watched The Office For the First Time During Isolation

The Office

Confession… I’ve never seen a full episode of The Office until recently. Now, don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t because I hadn’t heard of the series — quite the contrary.

Of course, I had seen the memes, watched a few scenes here and there and even listened to my friends go on about it for years, however, I was a Friends fan first and foremost, and after the show’s run ended in 2004, my sitcom repertoire was watching The One With All the Re-Runs.

After a truly delicious roast dinner, on a Thursday no-less (has anyone else’ culinary skills excelled during this period?), my boyfriend suggested we put a few episodes of The Office on which are part of the “iconic” series on streaming service Stan.

So, with this, we settled in to watch the 2005 workplace comedy starring Steve Carrell, John Krasinksi and Jenna Fischer.

And hoo boy! Did I have some serious thoughts…

The Office
The Office. NBC.

So many cast members have had a successful career since the show

This one really blew me out of the water. While they all look incredibly young — it was 16 years ago after all — there is a slew of recognisable faces in the first few episodes (and I believe a ton more to come) that still have very successful careers to this day.

Of course, Carrell is arguably the most successful and during the show’s run went on to star in 40-Year-Old Virgin and Despicable Me, whilst riding high on the wave that came before the series premiere with Anchorman and Bruce Almighty.

This series was also Krasinski’s breakout role, who had a few of small parts before the show but went on to star in Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan and write, direct and produce the successful A Quiet Place films.

This was Mindy Kaling’s breakout role before she had her own television show The Mindy Project and went onto produce and write a series of others, including a new Netflix series Never Have I Ever.

Other stars include Rainn Wilson (Utopia), Fischer (Splitting Up Together), Angela Kinsey (Fresh off the Boat), Phyllis Smith (Inside Out) and The Bold Type’s Melora Hardin.

The Office
The cast of The Office season 1. NBC.

I had some confusion

Specifically, who are they talking to when they look at the camera? Are they talking to me like I work there? Are they talking to documentary makers? Or are they talking to the camera crew that happen to be documenting their lives?

This certainly was a little bit confusing, because there is no explanation at all — but maybe this comes a little later on?

And there are also some seriously cringe-worthy moments

The overt racism, the sexism and the absolutely horrific way that Michael Scott (Carell) treats Pam (Jenna Fischer) would not stand in today’s world. In fact, there’s a lot that doesn’t hold up — but it shows the humour of the time.

But there were some truly laugh-out-loud moments

I have to admit, I laughed out loud quite a fair bit. The perfect portrayal of a workplace is so damn relatable it’s scary. And Dwight (Wilson) was a personal favourite. But everyone’s disdain for their boss, Scott was by far the best — oh, and Carell’s completely inappropriate Chris Rock impersonation during diversity day? Spot on.

Steve Carrell is the best and worst thing about the show

Michael Scott is arguably the worst example of white male privilege in an office environment in the early 00s. He is sexist, racist, unencumbered and has zero self-awareness. It’s cringe, disgusting and outright ridiculous — but that’s what made it so good at the time, right?

Carell’s portrayal of Scott is spot on. He’s a man you absolutely want to hate on every single level. I found myself wanting him to stop talking most of the time, however, the actor gave him a vulnerable side — he just wants to be liked.

Everyone has had an epic glow-up since the show began

Sixteen years is a long time since the very first episode aired, and while you can expect everyone to have aged, you could never have anticipated it to be like a fine wine.

By far, Kasinski — who looked like Hiccup in the How to Train Your Dragon franchise has gone from this to this:

John Krasinski
John Krasinski. NBC/Getty Images.

And Carell? Age did not weary him.

Steve Carrell
Steve Carrell. NBC/Getty Images.

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