Now being off the air for over half a decade, The Office still continues to gain fans. The show has been on Netflix practically since it has been the main reason why the show has gotten a second life. The Office is one of the only shows with more than one generation of fans. Being a part of the second generation of fans, I have found this to be the easiest sitcom to rewatch. Time and time again I will find myself rewatching episodes that I have already seen before.
The aspect of The Office that makes it the most rewatchable sitcom ever is the style of comedy that is used. While other sitcoms may be better on the first watch they use a different, more unrealistic style of comedy. If you notice, almost every sitcom but the office uses a laugh track. If you take away these laugh tracks they leave these super long awkward pauses in the show. Not the Office.
To me, this makes the show much more relatable to the viewer. In most other shows like “That 70’s Show” or “Friends”, the story revolves around our main characters doing somewhat outlandish things. To me, this makes it hard to relate to the characters. For instance, Eric and Donna are supposed to be the most relatable characters in That 70’s Show but they still aren’t very relatable. They partake in the almost unbelievable activities that are happening. For instance when Donna runs away to California and Eric hops on a plane to find her, at 17 years of age. Those types of things just don’t happen to such people. There are plenty of other examples of this in these types of shows. Even shows like Parks and rec got a little unrealistic towards the end of it’s run.
Unlike the shows I mentioned above, The Office does not do this. While some of the characters are unbelievable we aren’t supposed to relate to them. Michael is technically the main character of the show, most of the storylines in each episode are revolved around him. Almost every episode is ridiculous, but Michael is not the character we are supposed to relate to, it’s Jim or Pam. The two most average and even-keeled characters in the show. Whether it’s a prank on Dwight or a ridiculous conference room meeting led by Michael, we interoperate how we feel through Jim or Pam. And almost always their reaction is similar to how we would react in a similar situation, very rarely will they interject in these antics but we always know their reaction by how they look at the camera or each other.
Another huge reason for The Office being so easy to rewatch is because of the mockumentary format. Trying to stay true to the original office from the UK, the US version kept this a part of it. The mockumentary format is very unique and was done in shows like Trailer Park Boys. With the huge success of The Office, many shows are now attempting to copy this format. The Office did a fantastic job of using this is telling us how characters may actually feel but can not display these thoughts to the rest of the office. Another great thing about this format is that it allows secondary characters to get some shine. The episode may not be about them and it may be their only significant screen time but it gives us a chance to really understand every character in the office.
Very few sitcoms have had the immense success that The Office has. But even among the few that have, The Office is unique. For the reasons I listed above it is different and attracts a different type of fan base. Therefore it is a much different viewing experience and to me, this makes it much more enjoyable on the second or even third-time re-watching the series.