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Six days of The Office

31 Mar 2015

Hipsters might disagree, but I think there’s a special joy in finding out that someone out there loves the same things as you do, for the same reasons as you do. It validates your tastes while providing some reassurance that you’re not completely crazy (or if you are, you’re not alone).

While scouring the depths of Tumblr for something remotely interesting (it’s remarkable where your boredom will lead you if you just give it time), I found a blog called 138 Days of 30 Rock, and a little part of me came back from the dead. The blog is a work of creative genius by Victoria Edel (Twitter), who took it upon herself to watch an episode of 30 Rock every day, for 138 days, and write a post about it. The writing is marvellous, detailing her love for the characters, recording the life-lessons that Tina Fey throws our way and following the various running gags that the writers have hidden in plain sight. I loved the idea because it uses something you love (Tina Fey 30 Rock) to foster a daily writing habit, which I’ve been told is something we all should do.

30 Rock is certainly the greatest TV comedy I’ve ever watched, but since it was already taken (and I don’t think I could’ve done as good a job as Victoria), I decided to replicate the exercise using another sitcom - The Office (US) as my muse. This remake of the British show of the same name is another masterclass in sitcom culture, combining intelligent writing with brilliant acting and some moments of real emotion (which 30 Rock chooses to largely avoid, due to its intrinsically whimsical nature). It follows the lives of office workers in a remote town in Pennsylvania, led by the inimitable wizard of comedy, Steve Carell as Michael Scott. The premise of the show is deliberately simplistic - this allows the writers a great deal of artistic freedom. What’s great about the show is the format - it’s shot as a mockumentary where a crew is filming the office workers, complete with the actors speaking directly into the camera.

I know myself well enough to realize that committing to more than a few days of this exercise would be pointless, so I’m going to start small - just the first season for now, which, luckily has only six episodes. So here we are - starting tomorrow, April 1st 2015, I will watch exactly (and no more than) one episode every day for a week and try to write about it. Wish me luck!