The Office or Modern Theatre of the Absurd


The US version of the show is not news. It has been around since 2005 and I started binged watching it since last week lying on bed for I must recover from my lower back pain. Anyways, I think that this series is more than a mere sitcom or a light comedy, it is a modern version of the Theatre of the Absurd. So let’s break it down to see the resemblances:

1) You have the classical duo Vladimir and Estragon “Waiting for Godot” by Samuel Beckett,  who are now Micheal, the boss, played by Steve Carell and Dwight, the apprentice, played by  Rainn Wilson. Both are excellent performances and absolutely convincing in their irrationality. The ability to delve into awkwardness is the strong card of Carell and he perfectly achieves his goal.

2) You have the environment in the office of supporting equally vain characters who have essentially given up in their lives and are just waiting for something interesting to happen, respectively for the “Godot to come”. Moreover, they represent all what is considered failure in today’s society. The only bright exception is a young couple who constantly makes fun of everyone pulling innocent pranks but doesn’t realize the simple fact, that it is as much invested in the Absurd as the rest of the crew.

3) You have the philosophical concerns about life, relationships and society. Where are those come from? Of course they are aptly incorporated into each episode as short monologue interviews conducted by “the cameras”. Every actor here and then confesses in front of an imaginary audience their deepest inner thoughts which have exactly the structure of philosophical quotes. Absurdity is as always the common denominator, however, through its blatant delivery it unveils the darkest side of reality. As a common Greek saying goes, you only find out the truth from either the crazy or the children.

As final remark I would like to include one of my favorite moments from this tragicomedy: when the fantastic duo, Michael and Dwight, embark on a mission to save their business from termination by waiting outside the head of the company’s house and in the end no one appears, the problem is self-sorted out but they do claim full credit! I hope you don’t consider my take on The Office too extreme and still enjoy the show.


About Απολύτως Διαλλακτικός

Logical stories of everyday madness
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3 Responses to The Office or Modern Theatre of the Absurd

  1. eebrinker says:

    i think you’re right, a similar theme to waiting for godot. i never enjoyed the office, because unlike godot, there seems to be no conclusion. it’s all about disjointed discontent. theater of the absurd, yes. rats in a maze, but the exit sign is right there.



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