When The Office first came on the air in 2015, no one knew how much of a cultural phenomenon it would ultimately become. The buffoonery of Michael Scott and his employees who have to deal with his behavior warmed the hearts of millions worldwide. Despite ending nearly ten years ago, it remains one of the most popular sitcoms ever. However, times have certainly changed since 2013. We live in a woke culture, wheree everyone becomes offended by nearly everything, especially humor based on race, weight, sexuality, or gender. Who could forget Michael Scott’s numerous jabs at Kevin’s weight? Or him blatantly making fun of Phyllis after she was sexually assaulted? Or Prison Mike? There are plenty of jokes that cover a broad spectrum of the topics mentioned above, and Mindy Kaling feels that the show just wouldn’t fly today:
“The writers I’m still in touch with now, we always talk about how so much of that show we probably couldn’t make now,” Kaling said on Good Morning America. “Tastes have changed; honestly, what offends people has changed so much now. I think that is one of the reasons the show is popular: people feel like there’s something kind of fearless about it or taboo that it talks about on the show.”
In today’s landscape, Kaling is undoubtedly correct, but the fact that the show couldn’t be made today is ridiculous. Entertainment is meant to push the boundaries of something fresh and new that paves the way for future content. Shows like The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, Seinfeld, and The Office pushed the envelope in a way that made them stand out as unique products that helped the business grow in the long term. Comedy is subjective, and if people don’t like The Office for its brand of humor, then that’s okay. What’s not okay is trying to cancel something someone deems offensive, even though the simple solution should be changing the channel if the content bothers you. However, I understand Kaling’s sentiment on the culture itself, though comedians like Dave Chappelle and Bill Burr or shows like Rick and Morty have proven that edgy humor still exists in today’s landscape.
Kaling thinks the world and characters of The Office would be different in a 2022 version, “I think she would have quit Dunder Mifflin to become an influencer, and then probably be canceled, almost immediately. Most of the characters on that show would be canceled by now.”
Various cast members have talked about a reboot of the show, though nothing has been confirmed. Kaling isn’t the first to say that the original American Office wouldn’t fly in modern times, so it’s best never to reboot the show. Given the current culture, everything would feel too woke and safe, and it wouldn’t even come close to matching the charm of the original NBC series. Steve Carrell said it best in his interview with Collider about a potential Office reboot, “I’ll tell you, no. The show is way more popular now than when it was on the air. I can’t see it being the same thing, and I think most folks would want it to be the same, but it wouldn’t be. So ultimately, I think it’s best to leave well enough alone and let it exist as it was.”
The Office will always have a special place in the heart of fans of the American or even British version. The times may y have changed, but The Official remains one of the funniest shows to grace television.
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