Is The Office this century’s Seinfeld?

March 24th, 2005. Markdown that date. 

The only thing that I can mention about the beginning of the 2020 decade that isn’t COVID—19 related, is the bizarro aspect of it. Roaring 20’s, my ass. I am surprised my eyeballs haven’t drooped out of my sockets. Ever since Rudy Gobert was proverbially dubbed as “Patient-Zero” for testing positive for the novel coronavirus and single-handedly halted the professional and collegiate sports universe, I have watched way too much television.

 During this hiatus, one of the numerous programs I have watched a ridiculous amount of times is NBC’s, The Office.

Here is my Starting 5 and 6th man off the bench for episode rankings:

During the 1990’s, a popular program that commanded the attention of many Americans was Seinfeld. I always wondered if streaming was invented back then, what would the viewership numbers look like? This got me thinking:

Is The Office This Century’s Seinfeld

Let’s go ahead and place the United States adaptation of this program on the television sitcom pantheon. Applause to Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant and the rest of the British cast that originally put pen to paper for this brilliant idea of a show. Greg Daniels (U.S Creator) incorporates a mockumentary style throughout the broadcast and it delivers hysterical jokes and one-liners that are still quoted regularly in American society. Part of the obnoxious humor in the show is out-dated which makes it intriguing because it challenges the status-quo of scriptwriting in today’s sensitive political climate.

Some other great mockumentary-style shows are Parks and Recreation, Trailer Park Boys and Reno 911!  

The Office Finale aired in the Spring of 2013!!! Yet, it is still one of the most-streamed programs on Netflix, Comedy Central and well, everything. How much are those residual checks worth? Hmm…..

Similar to The Office, NBC was also the network Seinfeld debuted on during the summer of 1989. Jerry, Elaine Benes, George Costanza, and (Cosmo) Kramer dominated the sitcom ratings in the 1990s similar to how Jordan, Pippen, and Rodman ran the NBA off the court for the Chicago Bulls during that era. Fans patiently waited for Larry (David) and Jerry to pump out episodes weekly for a decade.

Ask your parents, grandparents, dentist, orthopedist, therapist, favorite radio personality, or anyone born before 1975 and they will analytically break down their favorite episode of Seinfeld akin to Cris Collinsworth in the booth on Sunday Night Football.  

Larry David, the creator of Seinfeld, took the minutiae of everyday life and comically based the premise of the show on a simple concept, “it’s a show about nothing.” Half of every episode’s setting is in Jerry’s Upper West Side apartment in New York or the fictional coffee shop inside of Tom’s Restaurant. The fictitious Dunder Mifflin Paper Company building is portrayed in Scranton, Pennsylvania. SPOILER ALERT; a majority of the filming was shot in Los Angeles, Califonia. Sorry to burst your bubble.

Dwight Schrute (played by Rainn Wilson) was routinely the highest-ranking salesman in the office but more importantly, the assistant TO the regional manager. His sales numbers were never revealed to the audience. Here are some astounding numbers that can be revealed though.  

In 2018, Netflix viewers spent 52.1 billion minutes streaming The Office!!! 52.1 billion minutes of Michael Scott hitting Meredith with his Chrysler Sebring, Jim Halpert convincing Dwight he smoked marijuana or Kevin bathing in Chili were consumed, according to Neilson research (Google it).

Wayne Gretzky scored 2,857 points in his illustrious NHL career. That record will not be broken. The 52.1 billion minutes people spent watching The Office is a record that will not be broken.

Hello, immortality? 

Shall we peak at the Hall of Fame numbers between these show behemoths? 

Here is a snapshot of The Office vs Seinfeld statistical comparisons spent on-air:

THE OFFICESEINFELD 
9 SEASONS9 SEASONS
201 EPISODES 180 EPISODES 
2975 DAYS ON-AIR3285 DAYS ON-AIR
PRIMETIME EMMY AWARDS: 5PRIMETIME EMMY AWARDS: 10
NETWORK DEBUT: NBC NETWORK DEBUT: NBC

What is Greg Daniels’s secret weapon to success? Is it, Steve Carrell’s masterful portrayal of an ignoramus manager? Was it the palpable connection between Jim and Pam that tugs on the emotional string for the audience? Ed Helms fitting the obsequious ass-kisser mold every one of us hates? Rit-Dit-Dit-Di-Doo!

I believe the chemistry between Kelly Kapoor (Mindy Kaling) and Ryan Howard (BJ Novak) on-screen is severely underrated. They both were acclaimed in the writer’s room and it clearly showed. 

Happy Belated 15th Birthday to The Office. Two weeks ago was the 15th anniversary of one of the greatest shows that have aired in the last thirty-five years. 

Is The Office this century’s Seinfeld

It’s subjective. I was always taught not to lump greatness together but to still acknowledge. One sitcom just gave their HOF speech shortly before the other did is all I’m saying.

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