I have watched “The Office” four times in my life and am currently going through it for a fifth time. “The Office” is nine seasons-six of which are great, one that is uncomfortable, and two that are only slightly above average. That being said, I will gladly choose to sit through all 201 episodes over and over and over again.
It’s true that there is a large population of devoted “Office” fans on campus. I find myself in conversations about the show one to three times a day, on average. But, to say that the fans of this show create a “secret club” is a bit of a stretch. I personally would never want to exclude someone who has not seen or does not like “The Office”; rather, I try to convince them to watch it or give it another chance. Yes, the show gets crazy, and yes, it’s often absurd… but there’s a reality to it that draws you in and makes you want to continue being a part of it, even if that means starting over from the beginning.
Like I said earlier, I’ve watched “The Office” four times. I know almost every joke, and I can hear the beginning of an episode and likely be able to tell you what’s about to happen. And while I’ve seen every episode many times, I’ve also watched a lot of other shows and movies, I’ve read books, I listen to music, I like to be entertained. Not to toot my own horn, but I’ve watched all of “The Office” this school year, as well as many seasons, if not all, of “New Girl,” “The Good Place,” “America’s Next Top Model,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and a few other shows.
Now, this is not just to say that I’ve watched way too much TV (which is probably super true), because I still have time to do my homework, read books, spend time with friends, watch documentaries, talk about social issues, read news articles, take stupid Buzzfeed quizzes… you name it. But it’s about the fact that it’s so incredibly possible for someone to re-watch a comedy like “The Office” while still enjoying a vast array of different genres of shows. These two ideas aren’t mutually exclusive. While, yes, it takes creativity to find time to do all these different things, it’s not that unrealistic.
One of the draws of re-watching a show is that you pick up on things you hadn’t noticed the first or third time around. You catch funny one-liners you didn’t catch before, you see hidden jokes. And while some may not think it’s the greatest TV show, others would firmly disagree. Matthew Shuka, a well-known fan of “The Office,” believes wholeheartedly that “it is by far the best television series that has ever graced the screen,” and I can’t help but agree with him. I haven’t watched anything that has made me laugh, cry, cringe or smile more than “The Office.”
I watch “The Office” because watching it hasn’t gotten old, yet. If it ever does, I’ll stop… But until then, I’m going to re-watch it over and over and over again. And I’m going to laugh at every “That’s what she said” joke, even when I know they’re coming.