Purpose: The purpose of the paper is to show how though the U.S. version of “The Office” is a comedy; it also has many elements of romance. Thesis: “The Office” is a romantic show.
- Adapted for the U.S. in 2005, “The Office” is typically thought of as a comedy.
- For nine seasons, the show brought laughter to the homes of millions.
- With the humorous styling of comedians such as Ed Helms and Steve Carell, not many would believe that the show is interwoven with many elements of romance.
Thesis Statement: “The Office” is a romantic show.
Transition: To begin with
- In episode 16 of season 2, entitled “Valentine’s Day”, Angela gives Dwight a bobble head figure as a gift .
- The figure is modeled after Dwight himself.
- This gesture demonstrates the romance of subtlety as demonstrated by Walter J. Ong, in his book, “Rhetoric, Romance, and Technology: Studies in the Interaction of Expression and Culture.”
- Ong says, “Subtlety shows that you are listening to your partner, sometimes even when they are not speaking. You pay attention to their mannerisms, their habits, things they like and do not like. This subtlety and silence is romantic in today’s technological world, where we notice nothing unless it is on a screen (45).”
- Angela’s gesture catches Dwight by surprise because he does not realize she has been paying attention to his love of bobble heads, furthering the romance.
- Season 5’s second half of “Weight Loss” saw Jim finally propose to longtime sweetheart, Pam.
- In the rain at a gas station, in the most seemingly unromantic of circumstances, Jim whispers, “I can’t wait” and Pam, beaming, agrees to marry him .
- If you don’t cry, you have no heart!
- Pam and Jim have been separated for several weeks at this point, thanks to Pam’s art program, making the scene more romantic
- This is addressed by Susan Hart in her book, “Studying Sex, Romance, and Love: A Long Distance Romance.”
- “Absence can make the heart grow fonder or it can make the heart forget. If it grows fonder, the bond that is forged creates a romance unlike any other (67).
- At this point, Jim and Pam prove that they do not forget one another, only miss one another. Their love strengthens, and though the location is not ideal, the circumstances are still romantic.
- Ong has something to add to this, saying, “The location does not have to mean anything. The actions do not have to hold any empirical meaning to anybody either. As long as the two parties involved are able to connect, there will be romance .”
- Michael Scott is on a continuous quest through the series to find love and make us all nearly pass out from how awkward he is.
- He comes close to finding love a few times but never really connects with anybody, until he meets Holly Flax.
- In “Goodbye, Toby”, episode 18 of season 4, Holly comes to replace Toby of HR, and we see that she is just as big of a dork as Michael.
- The two connect immediately and, after a long series of tribulations, eventually marry.
- They are equally awkward, talking to one another in Greek accents or as Yoda. Nobody seems to understand one as well as the other.
- Ong offers that, “Connection is the end all, be all of romance. If you cannot understand your partner, you cannot understand how to romance them. What may be strange to somebody else will seem romantic to your partner. If you cannot connect on that level, however, the romance is lost (51).”
- This goes to show that though the audience may be cringing as Holly and Michael speak to each other as if they were a Greek couple, Yoda, or a couple of 1920’s mob bosses, to them their behavior is romantic.
- They connect; therefore, they are able to romance one another. Their connection in itself is romantic.
- In sum, “The Office” may be unorthodox but it is romantic.
- Angela and Dwight show how subtle the art of romance can be.
- They pay attention to one another when the rest of the world is caught up staring at their cell phones.
- Jim and Pam show that romance has more to do with the relationship and the two people involved, than society’s empirical view of romance.
- Being proposed to at a gas station is not every little girl’s fantasy but it was that Jim proposed that made it romantic for Pam.
- And finally, Michael and Holly show that no matter how misunderstood a relationship may be, as long as the people in the relationship connect, that is all that matter.
- These couples prove that, in a variety of ways, “The Office” is a romantic show.
Goodbye Toby. Perf. Steve Carell, John Krasinski and Amy Ryan. The Office. 15 May 2008.
Hart, Susan. Studying Sex, Romance And Love: A Long Distance Romance. 2013.
Ong, Walter J. Rhetoric, Romance, and Technology: Studies in the Interaction of Expression and Culture. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2012. Print.
Valentine's Day. By Michael Schur. Dir. Greg Daniels. Perf. Rainn Wilson. The Office. 9 February 2006.
Weight Loss, Part 2. By Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky. Perf. John Krasinski and Steve, Fisher, Jenna Carell. The Office. 25 September 2008.