Friday, December 01, 2006

Pop Culture

I really enjoy the show The Office. In my opinion it is one of the best acted shows on television. The writing and the humor is so over the top and so subtle at the same time that sometimes I am not sure what I am laughing at. There are also moments that the characters do some things that are so off the wall or so wrong that it makes me physically uncomfortable while I am watching. I can feel myself being embarrassed for the characters. To be able to achieve that type of emotional response from a viewer in a half hour sitcom, to me, is outstanding. It is one of those shows where you either get it or you don’t.

One of the greatest aspects of the show is that it is always funnier when you talk about it with other Office fans. There are three or four people that I talk to every Friday about the show from the night before. We discuss different parts and lines from the show that we found funny. More often than not, we all found different parts funnier than others. They get it.

About two months ago, I found out that J. and A., our neighbors down the street, are Office fans. J. and A.’s kids play with our kids and I have been in their company about 2 dozen times in the past two years. I know them well enough to consider them friends, but most of our interactions have been at birthday parties or holiday gatherings where I am usually in mixed company with other people that I do not know and that I try to be on my best behavior. So I don’t know if J. and A. get ME. Besides our kids, we have other common interests but I was very happy to learn that we shared an appreciation for the same show and we discussed different aspects of the show.

The main character in the Office, who often causes my embarrassment for him and for the other characters, is Michael. He is always saying or doing the wrong thing. One of his recurring wrong phrases is “That’s what she said.” For instance, if someone is talking about taking a difficult test, they may say to him “It was long and hard.” And he responds with “That’s what she said.” no matter how inappropriate.

A few weeks ago I was at J. and A.’s house for a birthday party. I went into the living room to check the score of a football game. On the TV was a Nascar race that no one was watching. I grabbed the remote, surfed through the channels, found the game, checked the score and put it back to the race. J. and his dad came into the room to catch up on the race when J. noticed that the race was no longer on the High Definition channel. I must have put the race back on, on the normal channel. J. clicked the remote and the picture changed to unbelievable clarity and, well, high definition. The surround sound was incredible.

As I turned to leave the room, I heard J. say to his dad. “HDTV. Isn’t it amazing?" He pointed to the race on the screen and said, "It’s almost like you can feel the rubber burning.”

Without missing an opportunity to show my quick Office wit to my newfound Office fan friend I said, “That’s what she said.”

I got no reaction.

I paused ready to explain myself but figured it may be a lost cause and I left the room. It bothered me the rest of the night. I kept thinking to myself, “Great, this guy thinks I am a total perv. Maybe he didn’t hear me. The surround sound was pretty loud. Maybe he did, but thinks I am an ass. Maybe he didn’t get the Office reference. Should I explain myself? No. Then I may look like a bigger ass. I will just let it go.”

But I couldn’t. I thought about it and thought about it. I was totally distracted by the thought that J. did not get it or me.


I bet if you were watching me, I would have made you physically uncomfortable.

32 comments:

Kami said...

Darn. I would have got it.

Circus Kelli said...

I bet you're right.

;)


I watch the Office sometimes with Hubby. It's painful, but funny.

Anonymous said...

"Physically Uncomfortable?" That is what she (Lauren) said.

QueenieBadd said...

Totally agree with you about The Office-one of the best things out there. It actually makes me so uncomfortable that I can't actually watch it on a regular basis, and when I do, I have switch back and forth when it gets too uncomfortable. And how dorky is that? I like this show so much I can't watch it...

Also reminds me of a friend of mine from high school, who used to follow every word or phrase ending in -er with "Damn near killed her!" As in "Thermometer? Damn near killed her!" And the less it made sense, the funnier it was...

Sucks to be left hanging out there like that. I totally would have gotten it.

Teri said...

it makes me uncomfortable evertime you throw a zinger in there and you hear *crickets* as your response.

Poor Bill!

Character Builder said...

Oooh, I saw that train wreck coming from a mile away. Sorry about that. I would have gotten it, too.

I love The Office, and I feel uncomfortable and embarrassed sometimes too. The first things that come to mind are when Michael and Dwight tried to help the fat guy up onto the table a couple of episodes ago. Also, just last night, when Prison Mike was going on and on to try to make the jailbird guy feel comfortable. It's tough to watch sometimes, but so damn funny!

Brian (doesn't really get the Office, but figured you'd like the link) said...

Go have Dwight give him a call, that will smooth things over:
http://www.theofficedvd.com/dwight/

Andrea said...

I try to let myself only be "committed" to one show at a time, and currently it's Lost, but I catch The Office from time to time, and it IS hilarious. It's what Dilbert was in the '90s. And anyone who has ever worked in an office of any kind gets it.

Too bad your neighbors don't get you! We here all do.

Tx Mom said...

I love The Office. I think it is the best show since Seinfeld. I actually made that same mistake one day, and believe me, it is much more embarrassing if you are a girl.

Much More Than A Mom said...

Dude, I would have laughed my ass off. I love that show. It's a terrible addiction.

Hey, has Dwight called you yet?
http://www.theofficedvd.com/dwight/

I got him to call several of my friends and my husband. We laughed our asses off. Some of our friends (who don't "get us") didn't even mention it ~ probably thought it was a prank call. I still think it's funny!

thisbiochemicallife said...

Actually, I was uncomfortable just thinking about it! My wife and I love The Office. There are times I want to run and hide it's so uncomfortable!

kimmyk said...

I've never seen it. I must be missing out on somethin.

It was physically uncomfortable to read that post I must admit. I imagine the live version musta been 10x's worse.

Maybe you won't have to see them til like Christmas and by then it'll be all blown over.

The Bents said...

Oh no..I keep getting flashbacks of one of the most uncomfortable scenes ever!! The one where he "outted" one of his staff members. Oh dear god that was horrible (I think you may know which scene was the most "physically uncomfortable" in THAT one..LOL). Yet so hilarious. "The Office" is brilliant. It's the only show I look forward to..besides Ghosthunters. LOL

susie said...

One of the best shows ever. I saw Steve Carrell (sp?) on the Tonight Show one time and he said his own father had to physically leave the room during shows because he was so horrified by Michael's behavior. Now THAT'S acting.

Linda said...

omg I would have laughed and found a new best friend! I absolutely love The Office! My hubby is in charge of our 19 month old during that show every week while I watch! lol

Annie said...

How can I be the 16th person to comment on a snide remark you made in my very own living room???? What you didn't tell is the part where you tried it again later in the evening and then the fax you sent to J (best scene of the season! I was rolling!) and the calls he's sent to you. So glad that you all get it... even if we occassionally miss it ourselves! I knew that man was deaf...

ali said...

the husband doesn't GET the office and it drives me batty. i'll sit and watch and with a gigantic smile on my face and he is all "is it over yet?"

Reverend Sumangali Tania Pink said...

Ugh. Well Carol Burnett says comedy is tragedy plus time. Maybe thats why I love the office -reminds me of being an awkward teenager. Sorry that time bit you in the bum again. ;)

Mainline Mom said...

Love the Office. Dont get to watch it enough.

Platypus said...

I watch The Office through my fingers and end up curling my toes but I can't help myself. I actually find the US version less excruciating than the UK one...

Susie said...

Ooh, that's a tough one. But I LOVE the show. Last night, Jif had to watch the Ravens game while The Office was on. I got belly laughs just from flipping over to it during the breaks in the game. Prison Mike! ohlord. Plus, Jif has a lot of family in the Scranton area, so that's fun, too.
I just skimmed comments. You can get Dwight to call somebody? Oh, I am so there...

Katherine said...

Too funny! I was just talking with a friend today about The Office. And she also said how uncomfortable she gets watching Michael's character. I get so embarrassed for him. But I so love Dwight's character - hysterical!

Jem said...

I used to watch the office, but it was a long time ago and I don't remember much (I find it funny, my boyfriend doesn't get it). Anyway, it was the British version. I don't remember the "thats what she said" quote but one of my best friends ALWAYS says it without fail, so now I always say it too. So we would have gotten it, we say it at least twice a day.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I have been saying, "That's what she said" for years to each other. It is amazing how often one can use it in a conversation. Honestly, we do it so much we forget that it is inappropriate and say it when we really shouldn't.
Interesting that your character says it on The Office. I'll have to start watching.

kalki said...

This show makes Rob so uncomfortable that he watches it through splayed fingers. And squirms in his seat. But we LOVE it.

grace said...

yo homes. I still haven;t received your address for the christmas card sending extravaganza

momo9 said...

Don't get the show, don't want to get the show!

Tori Spelling said...

Send him a fax from his future self explaining the whole thing.

Julie said...

Ya, stuff like that happens all the time. ;-) You'll get over it...sometime. lol

eclectic said...

In law school, my classmates and I killed each other with the "That's what she said" / "That's what he said" remarks during lecture. And these people become judges and legislators! Be very worried. The three most hysterical years of my life.

The infamous J said...

Good thing I wasn't already offended by your remarks... because I’m sure making light of it on the Internet would have smoothed things over.

Sorry Bill you going to have to work harder than that to offend me.
I guess next time you'll have to work harder at being conspicuous with your Office remarks.

Slinger said...

Hilarious. Love the Office, and I do feel uncomfortable for you.