Best of the Small Screen, Comedies No. 3

Over the next 13 weeks I'll be taking a look at some of my favorite TV series, broken down into three groups (Limited Run Series, Comedies, and Dramas). In my post on March 1 I laid out the ground rules for these categories and this exploration, the biggest of which is no series that are currently airing. To read the whole thing, check out the post "Best of the Small Screen" from March 1.

And now a new wave classic from NBC

The Office (2005-2013)
Number of Seasons/Episodes: 9/188
Network: NBC
Starring: Steve Carell, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, Rainn Wilson, Ed Helms and Angela Kinsey
Creator: Greg Daniels, Ricky Gervais, and Stephen Merchant
Favorite Season/Episodes: Season 4, 4.07 and 4.08, "Money;" 4.13 "Dinner Party," 2.22, "Casino Night;" 3.23, "Beach Games"
About: Based on the popular British series, people didn't know what to make of "The Office" when it first debuted. The first season, a short six episodes, closely mirrored the plot and characters of the British original. And people weren't immediately taken with it. While the second episode, "Diversity Day," is hailed as one of the series' best, it was a turn off for me. So I bailed on the rest of the first season and never thought I would ever look back. And that, as they say, was that. But some time during the next season, in January I caught episode 2.11, "The Booze Cruise," while I was waiting for another show. This was much different than the show I'd seen before, and I was back in. And I stayed in through the rest of the series nine seasons. And I was glad I did. The show grew, built its characters, and became its own thing. It eventually far surpassed the episode count of the original British series, and grew to be one of the more acclaimed series on NBC. Of course, like so many, my favorites were always Jim and Pam, and I think my favorite episodes reflect that. The finale of season two and the finale of season three were landmark moments in their relationship, and were just plain funny. The two-parter "Money" featured a get away at Dwight's farm, a classic, and "Dinner Party" is probably my favorite episode of the nine seasons. It is a classic for so many reasons, not the least of which is a great performance from Carell as Michael Scott. If you haven't seen "The Office," it's worth seeking out.


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