Do you love office based dramas because you can relate to the day-to-day mishaps? The gossiping and stereotypical office kiss-ass are commonplace in most work environments, but do you love the hilarity and brutality of office life, even if you’re yet to experience it yourself? Office dramas are top rated shows and continue to grow in popularity, so let’s take a look at our top office based dramas.
We’ve all heard fantastic reviews from our friends, families and the media about the critically acclaimed office drama Mad Men. Mad Men is set in the 1960s and is initially set at the fictitious advertising agency Sterling Cooper, which later becomes Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce.
The show’s plot focuses upon the work and business within the agencies in addition to the personal lives of the characters, regularly paying homage to the social moralities and behaviours of the general public in 1960’s America.
Mad Men, a slang term coined in the 1950s by advertisers working on Madison Avenue, features all of the office stereotypes of the era. Don Draper, the Creative Director and a Partner at the firm, is twist on the classic office employee who is only really alive when he’s at work. Mad Men is about the American elite during what is regularly viewed as a very tumultuous decade.
For workplace realism and hilarity, look no further than The Office. Written by the much admired Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant and originally aired in the UK in 2001, shortly followed by American Production team NBC in 2005, The Office is an absolute classic.
The original, and often much preferred, version of The Office is set in Slough capturing the daily lives of employees of the fictional firm, Wernham Hogg Paper Company. Part of the draw to The Office was asides from the creative jokes and realistic comparability to a viewers own work life is the style in which it was filmed.
The Office was filmed in the form of a documentary, mockumentary if you will, where the characters often acknowledged the presence of the camera, making the show seem like it was real and unscripted. This TV series rejoices in the cringeworthiness and toe-curling awkwardness of daily office life
Another great office drama classic takes form in the style of literature, a novel written by Don DeLillo in 1971 called Americana. This literary classic is the source from which Ferris (2007) took the title and much of its tone for his office based novel, The We Came to the End, which is an ode to stagnant office life.
His story is told in the plural person and the author asks whether modern corporate culture leaves any room for the individual: “We liked wasting time, but nothing was more annoying than having our wasted time wasted on something not worth wasting it on..”
DeLillo’s Americana tells of the fortunes of the arrogant and amusing TV executive David Bell, a renowned flirt who is recognised as much for his constant womanising as he is for his strategies in how to get ahead at work. The book is full of insight and office irony, so undated the working world remains; the book still feels fresh and relevant more than forty years on.
Finally, another great hit in terms of office drama is the feature film Office Space, directed by Mike Judge in 1999. Depressed software programmer Peter Gibbons visits an occupational hypnotherapist for some help with his problems and suddenly has a bright idea. Why not remove everything at work that gets him down?
It doesn’t take long before he’s moved on from removing an unpleasant door handle and is tearing down partition walls to get a better view of the window. Peter becomes so care-free that when his firm starts to downsize the number of employees, his new attitude only works in his favour and his two best friends are fired whilst he maintains his position. Together, they hatch a plan to plant a virus within the company’s systems which shall deposit money into their bank accounts. This hilarious work place film is definitely not one to miss.
Do you love office based dramas too? Which ones are your favourites? Share them in the comments.
License: Creative Commons
Alice Gorman is a Belfast born writer living in Leeds. In her spare time she likes to try out new restaurants, watch videos of dogs on YouTube and is currently seeking her dream job. She recommends Continua for all your office needs.