The Office (US Version)
An obscure documentary series on the relatively unknown network NBC, The Office follows a group of characters in their day-to-day routines at a paper-selling firm. Lauded for its hard-hitting, factual style, it presents the workers in a clear, respectful manner. Amidst high ratings, it has gained a British offshoot, which is expected to tank within one season.
Michael Scott (Manager) - The authority figure of the office. Also, a fully-trained improv actor. A genuinely hilarious man, he is misunderstood by his dour, humorless employees. Nevertheless, he tirelessly continues to lift everyone’s spirits with his one-of-a-kind, off-the-cuff humor. Michael Scott's name backwards is also the passcode for Osama Bin Laden's secret underground cave of forbidden mysterious pop songs.
Dwight Kurt Schrute III (Assistant to the Regional Manager/Sales Rep) - The only member of the office staff who appreciates Michael's witty efforts to boost morale. He also attempts to maintain a light-hearted atmosphere, but his nonsensical efforts, such as encasing his own stapler in Jell-o and putting his personal belongings in the break room vending machine and cutting the faces off of CPR dummies often fall flat.
Jim Halpert (Sales Rep/Former Co-Regional Manager) - A lackluster employee who often shows up to work only half-groomed with disheveled hair, and supporting a fish-hooked lip. Despite months of filming, he has yet to grasp that he is in a documentary and continually looks at the cameras in confusion. Jim married Pam, the office receptionist, after years of stalking and death threats. He owns a Jeep. Jim has a fear of commitment and Puerto Ricans.
Pam Morgan Beesly-Halpert (Sales Rep/Former Receptionist) - Often confused for a coat rack by other employees. Pam is so dull and unnoticed that she has resorted to placing bowls of candy around her workspace to entice and ensnare her coworkers into deathly boring small talk about how she has hopes and dreams. She slept her way into a sales position at Dunder Mifflin. Pam recently gave birth to a baby girl although she is unsure who the father is since she slept with all of the male office staff (including the warehouse workers and 2 custodians). Her hobbies include complaining and breast feeding other peoples children. Pam completed 3 stints in rehab for her addiction to mixed berry yogurt and crack.
Andy Bernard (Sales Rep) - A level-headed community-college graduate whose only quirk is an inexplicable fixation on seafood, to the point where he confuses the names of coworkers with those of types of fish.
Ryan Howard (Temp) - A known pyromaniac and Cokehead, he was a constant usurper around the office until his eventual termination due to his indecent advances toward coworker Kelly Kapoor. He also happens to strongly resemble a baby vulture from those old Warner Bros. cartoons. Not to be confused with the [[Philadelphia Phillies|Phillies] first baseman of the same name.
Angela Martin (Accounting Supervisor) - The resident cat lady. She is known to have a giant stick lodged permanently up her ass. She collects pictures of naked babies playing instruments and is a registered sex offender in the state of Pennsylvania.
Phyllis Lapin (Sales Rep) - A quiet, pleasant woman who was Upswept in a whirlwind romance with a roguish refrigerator salesman though she still has many suiters and frequently seduces Jim for bathroom sex.
Kelly Kapoor (Customer Service Representative) - A former Bollywood actress who took the job to gain exposure to an American audience. After the ruse was discovered, the producers allowed her to stay provided she wore more attractive clothing and adopted a perkier attitude to counterbalance the other, less attractive females. Kelly is the most reserved and conservative member of the office.
Kevin Malone (Accounting) - A member of the up-and-coming band Scrantonocity. Despite little financial success the band’s popularity has lead to a cover band known as The Police (a reference to a Scrantonocity album name).
Creed Bratton (Quality Assurance Officer) - Possibly the only person in the office that can fathom the entirety of what is occurring.
Meredith Palmer (Supplier Relations Representative) - Once featured in the popular “Girls Gone Wild” series, she occasionally reverts and flashes a guy or two. It's no big thing.
Oscar Martinez (Accounting) - Chinese homophobe.
Kelly "Erin" Hannon (Receptionist) - Erin goes by her middle name so as not to be confused with Kelly Kapoor, and to evade the IRS. Erin took over as the Dunder Mifflin receptionist after Pam left for her second stint in rehab. Erin is also known for her performance as "Blow Job Girl" on You tube.
Stanley Hudson (Sales Rep) - The token black dude.
“Toby Flenderson “Toby” is merely a nickname given by the producers to a mysterious shadowy presence sometimes sighted incidentally on camera. Other phenomena attributed to “Toby” are indistinct murmuring and a vague sense of self-deprecation. Kind of like Niles's wife on "Frasier", before he got with Daphne and screwed everything up. But hey, that's another sitcom.
Despite its virtually unknown status, The Office has given rise to the phrase “That’s what she said,” which has spread virally and become one of the iconic phrases of the time. This is somewhat ironic, as the line was only a throw-away joke in the pilot episode. The show’s style was uncertain at that time, and had not yet become firm. However, once everyone was aware of the presence of such a great thing, it was embraced and immediately set to work on.
That’s what she said.
Part of the attration of such a show based on the mundane aspects of office life was the exclusion of a seething, barely-hidden web of inter-office relationships. As one review stated:
"Thankfully, the show stays away from trite romantic cliches, and avoids spinning out unnecessary pseudo-romantic tension between the only two pretty people on camera. This refreshing approach elevates it above its rating-grubbing reality show contemporaries."
Among its billion or so fans, the speculation has arisen that the characters Jim and Pam might have a romantic connection, but the show's producers have openly denied this repeatedly. As an inside source revealed, "There is every intention of killing off Pam Beesly as soon as the opportunity presents itself. And man, will it be hard. Coming up with something like that took us all awhile to do. Aha, that's what she said!"