You take some of your favorite TV series over the years, & there’s a reason it works. The unheralded glue that binds the magic of those shows is the writing. That writing is done by writers. So off the top of my head I’m thinking, Northern Exposure, Scrubs, Seinfield, Parks & Rec, The Office, all such great and rich shows with strong characters, bound together through unique circumstances and relationshiops. That’s writing baby!!
Greg Daniels, gets the writing credit for Fun Run, season 4 episode 1. It is Heel-arious!! For you Office junkies (and non-junkies alike), you’ve probably watched this episode. Meredith gets hit by Michael’s car, somehow this turns to her having rabies, Michale leads up the most ridiculous fund-raiser 5K for Rabies Awareness. He carb loads, Pam and Jim fall deeper in love, Andy’s nipples get chaffed, a stripper nurse gets hired to receive the very large donation check. All so funny, all built on the foundation that the writers built, with creativity.
Greg Daniels, graduate of Harvard (like Conan O’Brien) also wrote for Parks & Rec, King of the Hill, Saturday Night Live, and the Simpsons. All shows you’ve laughed at prodigously. But when you think of The Office, who do you think about? Probably Pam and Jim first, Jenna Fischer and John Krasinski because they are two attractive people, funny, in love, pranking on Dwight but those characters and their lines were written by people who knew how to write, who were able to keep the dialogue true to what each character would think and do in certain circumstances. The actors get all the glory, while the writers are the foundation, the inner guts of the walls, the electricity, the plumbing, the ducting that delivers air to the house that is the show. Sure without teamwork and both actors and writers, you got nothing. But takeaway the writers and the actors would never steal the scene.
Evidently it was Greg Daniels idea to have writer-actors and Paul Lieberstein (16 credits) as Toby was the most reluctant (and darkest). BJ Novak (15 Credits) as Temp turned boss Ryan was a gifted wunderkind writing Diversity Day at aged 25. Mindy Kaling as Kelly Kapoor receives the most writing credits of the actors with 26, and lastly Michael Schur as Mose Schrute (10 credits), the weirdest oddest funniest character who isn’t named Creed.
I could go into each of the writers, their personal styles, their lives. Like did you know that BJ Novak (Ryan) says Paul Lieberman (Toby) is the most likely to come up with ideas that end in mass suicide of all the characters. Dark comedy which the Office achieves quite well at times. But it also has heart, love, and all shades of awkwardness. The character of Michael is perhaps the worst boss of all times and sad, but the beauty of the writing is there is depth and nuances in that character as he loves (in a very weird way that people would never want to be loved) all the office people he is responsible for. Michael is, at the same time, very sad but also a ray of hope. That’s writing.
I’ll just leave you with scenes from some of my favorite episodes as a way to show the nod to the brillant writing that is the Office. And also personalize it to say, I watched the Office with C & Z, binge watched, got them hooked at an early age, and it times where it’s a struggle to stay cooped up inside in each other’s company, we can always sit together, the three of us, and again just spend time in each other’s company laughing at the Office. They can kick my butt royally in Office Trivia. We love it.