Office Space and The Office
FruitVendor
The Office is by far one of the best propaganda pieces ever created, unintentional or not. 


The idea of working a cubicle job is this fun place filled with goofy characters who have a team of scriptwriters making every second interesting. In reality it's just passive aggressive normies making cookie cutter conversation who can't wait to get on with their day, would gladly throw you under the bus for a slight increase in pay all while working a job that can be completely replaced via automation.   

Being NPCs and the #1 consumers women seem to absolutely love it, the mental imprint is so strong they talk about it 10+ years later. She can meet the love of her life like Jim while monkey branching from one engagement and get married in Niagra falls because working in an office building is just this zany romantic fun place with dramatic climaxes and it's just a big happy ending.



While Office space brought to light the nihilism of this line of work and made a lot of people want to quit their jobs 'The Office' is the inverse. It was a generational gap that I experienced real time growing up. All of a sudden TV in general started glamorizing the workforce in this manner - think of Hospital Sitcoms. A large amount of media started moving away from escapism and fantasy into this all masking quirkyness of everyday life. 

Imo this was a big contribution to early "Bugman" culture, the idea of working a job to come home and sit in front of a TV and watch an idealized version of a character's life after checking the front page of reddit. Around this time I started watching Anime because western media would become increasingly unwatchable year after year. 


This is getting long winded but I felt like typing out this cultural phenomenon I noticed.
Guest
Jim Halpert is also a template for Normie Sadism. Everyone but him is dehumanized for being less good looking or socially savvy and he ruthlessly bullies and condescends to them at every opportunity. He gives the impression of someone who, with some effort, could get a much better job and station in life but chooses not to because he would rather keep bullying his idiot coworkers and spend literal years slowly seducing an aging 7.5/10 who is already engaged to a blue collar guy.
Guest
Quote:Jim Halpert is also a template for Normie Sadism. Everyone but him is dehumanized for being less good looking or socially savvy and he ruthlessly bullies and condescends to them at every opportunity. He gives the impression of someone who, with some effort, could get a much better job and station in life but chooses not to because he would rather keep bullying his idiot coworkers and spend literal years slowly seducing an aging 7.5/10 who is already engaged to a blue collar guy.

He and Pam are both perfect audience self-inserts; the only other characters who aren't total buffoons are the fat no nonsense black man and the gay hispanic accountant
Vitilitagation
I never watched a single episode of The Office and never will.
FruitVendor
I remember one episode where Jim and Pam were invited to Roy's wedding years later and he turned out to be a 6 fig businessman with a much hotter & younger wife. Jim and Pam both left early and in the car back were questioning eachother "w-we still fun stuff right?"


Human anchors.
capgras
Quote:He and Pam are both perfect audience self-inserts; the only other characters who aren't total buffoons are the fat no nonsense black man and the gay hispanic accountant
On the one hand the self-insert is supposed to be an everyman, but at the same time is written as to reinforce the viewer's narcissism. The presence or absence of this dynamic correlates with sitcom quality. The best (peep show, iasip) portray the main characters as idiots and society as relatively normal, the good (arrested development, seinfeld) portray everyone as idiots, the poor (workplace comedies) portray everyone but the inserts as idiots, and I imagine there's some that are even worse where everyone is a nice person.
Hardcore Happiness
Interesting how the Office needed to be repackaged as a quirky wagie coping mechanism to work for a US audience, whereas the original depicted Hieronymus Bosch-like living Hell lit by cold fluorescent lights. The incompetent boss as rendered by Steve Carrell is simpleminded but charming, his oafish behavior is the excusable result of good intentions. Gervais's version is far more bleak, where the workers are repeatedly forced to endure the indignity of his trampling over social decorum. David Brent is occasionally sympathetic but the overall timbre of the show makes one's skin crawl. In contrast the antics of Michael Scott are a light diversion. It was the right move to re-interpret the show entirely, since most Americans can't stomach this level of wretchedness and humiliation. In general though I wonder to what degree the propaganda element is integral to this or any other show's success in the US.
mikkafan1488
(05-06-2022, 01:24 AM)Hardcore Happiness Wrote: Interesting how the Office needed to be repackaged as a quirky wagie coping mechanism to work for a US audience, whereas the original depicted Hieronymus Bosch-like living Hell lit by cold fluorescent lights. The incompetent boss as rendered by Steve Carrell is simpleminded but charming, his oafish behavior is the excusable result of good intentions. Gervais's version is far more bleak, where the workers are repeatedly forced to endure the indignity of his trampling over social decorum. David Brent is occasionally sympathetic but the overall timbre of the show makes one's skin crawl. In contrast the antics of Michael Scott are a light diversion. It was the right move to re-interpret the show entirely, since most Americans can't stomach this level of wretchedness and humiliation. In general though I wonder to what degree the propaganda element is integral to this or any other show's success in the US.

I think you would find that the US version is king in the UK too. When people say they watched "the office", that means the American version. The UK version is qualified as such, is not the default because no one watches it.

US office provides an illusion and template to lay over your life. It redeems your workplace as wacky, full of interesting characters, the cringe is funny. It is propaganda and people love it for that very reason. But this characteristic is also in the Uk version, those elements are just more restrained and the reality of the setting is closer.

US show allows the make-work Slough Slave to delude himself about what his life is. I think that people do not want to be reminded that they live in hell.
Coyote


Skip to about 3:26.
griffith
I recommend Il Posto…
A D. L
(05-06-2022, 01:24 AM)Hardcore Happiness Wrote: Interesting how the Office needed to be repackaged as a quirky wagie coping mechanism to work for a US audience, whereas the original depicted Hieronymus Bosch-like living Hell lit by cold fluorescent lights. The incompetent boss as rendered by Steve Carrell is simpleminded but charming, his oafish behavior is the excusable result of good intentions. Gervais's version is far more bleak, where the workers are repeatedly forced to endure the indignity of his trampling over social decorum. David Brent is occasionally sympathetic but the overall timbre of the show makes one's skin crawl. In contrast the antics of Michael Scott are a light diversion. It was the right move to re-interpret the show entirely, since most Americans can't stomach this level of wretchedness and humiliation. In general though I wonder to what degree the propaganda element is integral to this or any other show's success in the US.

This point is central to understanding the intellectual and artistic bankruptcy of The Office (US).

If you watch the very earliest episodes of the American version, you can see that it was more in line with the depressing (realistic) mien of the British original. As time went on, it evolved into a more and more cloying and escapist enterprise in line with the demands of the American market. (You can see this physically encapsulated in Steve Carell’s hair transplant between season one and two, which not coincidentally made him look less “severe” and more cuddly.)

By the final few seasons, it’s totally fantastic and sentimental “everyone is friends” drivel that is frankly embarrassing to watch.
Morgante
(05-06-2022, 12:37 PM)mikkafan1488 Wrote:
(05-06-2022, 01:24 AM)Hardcore Happiness Wrote: Interesting how the Office needed to be repackaged as a quirky wagie coping mechanism to work for a US audience, whereas the original depicted Hieronymus Bosch-like living Hell lit by cold fluorescent lights. The incompetent boss as rendered by Steve Carrell is simpleminded but charming, his oafish behavior is the excusable result of good intentions. Gervais's version is far more bleak, where the workers are repeatedly forced to endure the indignity of his trampling over social decorum. David Brent is occasionally sympathetic but the overall timbre of the show makes one's skin crawl. In contrast the antics of Michael Scott are a light diversion. It was the right move to re-interpret the show entirely, since most Americans can't stomach this level of wretchedness and humiliation. In general though I wonder to what degree the propaganda element is integral to this or any other show's success in the US.

I think you would find that the US version is king in the UK too. When people say they watched "the office", that means the American version. The UK version is qualified as such, is not the default because no one watches it.

US office provides an illusion and template to lay over your life. It redeems your workplace as wacky, full of interesting characters, the cringe is funny. It is propaganda and people love it for that very reason. But this characteristic is also in the Uk version, those elements are just more restrained and the reality of the setting is closer.

US show allows the make-work Slough Slave to delude himself about what his life is. I think that people do not want to be reminded that they live in hell.
I think there was something brilliant about the UK original. It was not at all acute or fun romp around an office but a rather darkly humorous look into its empty, lonely and narcissistic heart. And it killed the laugh-track for which I will be forever grateful.
Michael
Yes, it really is ingenius propaganda. Whether intentional or not. The concept of these officer character tropes has been firmly established in everyone's minds and they all see themselves in the guy who's name I forgot. Making subtle little faces to the camera and hoping to make a move on the cute desk girl. People have been programed to where if they're suffering or in a bizarre moment they look off to a non-existent camera and smirk. It appeals to the way we've been atomized and just how much we all live in our own heads.
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