The Office (BBC America)
2003 | BBC
With no predictable jokes, no easy punch lines, no laugh track, and no known stars, The Office still manages to make audiences laugh out loud for thirty minutes at a time. Yet its quirky oh-so-real characters and situations set in an oh-so-ordinary British business office are sometimes as poignant as they are comic. Shot in “mockumentary” style, this skewed glimpse into office politics and mundane workday routines rings true for anyone who has spent time in an office. Each episode manages to offer a hilarious dose of social commentary, while capturing the drudgery and deceit that go hand-in-hand when ordinary humans are forced to work in neon-lit cubicles. Petty arguments, contrived jokes between co-workers, a delusional manager, and bizarre attempts at political correctness are among the treats served up at The Office each week. Executive producers Anil Gupta (BBC), Paul Lee (BBC America) and producer Ash Atalla gambled and won when they took on this project. Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, who write and direct the show, have created an instant international sensation that takes half-hour television comedy into welcome new realms. For refreshing writing, understated performance, and unparalleled comic brilliance, The Office receives a Peabody Award.