“The Office” is the best antidepressant for the pandemic

“The Office” is the best antidepressant for the pandemic

2020 has been one of the most depressing years of the century. Riots are taking place, the basketball legend Kobe Bryant dies, wildfires in Arizona, locust swarm outbreaks in East Africa, and of course the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. In the midst of all the panic and danger, we all reverted to our homes to find peace and safety. 

Peace has been hard to attain lately with all the negative headlines and reports on current events. This is where the multi-awarded mockumentary “The Office” comes along to brighten your day.

Set in Scranton, Pennsylvania, the Office portrays the lives of ordinary office employees who are being filmed 24/7—documentary style. While it may sound plain jane on paper, it is one of the funniest things you can watch right now and no other show can stand up to it.

An office is one of the hardest stages for a sitcom. A lot of rules are set to make you productive and predictable. The white walls, the hum of the air conditioner, and the stacks of paperwork on your desk contribute to a mundane and unexciting atmosphere. But what Greg Daniels and all the writers saw in the office was a playground filled with toys that people thought they couldn’t play with and characters filled to the brim with personality. They cross personal boundaries, overspend company budgets and weaponize A4s, pens, pencils, and staplers. They make us very aware of office rules and regulations to shatter our expectations bit by bit through the outrageous and chaotic behavior of our characters. And unlike most sitcoms that feel like every cast member is trying to snatch the mic for a punchline, the Office explores the personality of each cast member and frames it in a funny manner.

Michael Scott’s laughable effort to be socially acceptable, Dwight’s over the top behavior, and the burning romance between boring office girl Pam and prank master Jim Halpert. The charm, wit, and banter of every single cast member define and colors our understanding of them.

One of the best episodes of the Office is from Season 4 called “Dinner Party.” Without spoiling, in this episode, we see how Michael Scott is handling his new relationship. Inside Dunder Mifflin, Michael boasts about how he is emotionally and sexually satisfied with his relationship. But as their guests pass time in Michael’s house, they unearth the undercurrents of his relationship. Michael keeps adjusting to his girlfriend’s insecurity and selfish desires while she treats him like a doormat. The revelation was so alarming that it needed outside forces to stabilize the situation. This episode starts off laugh out loud then goes downhill into the cringe and unsettling territories of comedy. Which is why it will go down as one of television’s best episodes of all time.

The Office is a show unlike any other. Let me give you a brief background as to how it affected me. One day I woke up sad and depressed. I was unable to proceed with my work let alone get out of my bed. So I tried to buckle up and watch an episode of the Office. I uncontrollably laughed and got the strength to get through the day. And for that…

The Office gets a 10/10

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