Winter break is the perfect time to get organized, be productive, and start the new year with a clean slate. Or, if you’re anything like me, it’s the perfect time to plan to do all of these things and binge-watch Netflix shows instead. Hey, I’m a journalist, I have to be honest.
Despite all the new shows that have come out on Netflix recently, I tend to go back to the same show I always binge this time of year: The Office.
It’s not that the new releases are unsatisfying (if you haven’t watched The Good Place yet, you need to put that at the top of your list), but there’s something to be said about rewatching a classic television show.
Most people have already seen The Office, as it premiered on NBC in 2005 (news flash: we’re now in 2018). It’s a hilarious sitcom that follows the daily life of office workers at Dunder Mifflin Paper Company in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The nine seasons of the show are full of comedy, romance, and lots and lots of pranks (more on that later).
With short 20 minute episodes, you can watch as many as you want guilt-free because “it’s only 5 minutes longer than 15 minutes” (my classic excuse as I sit down to binge-watch 20 episodes). Shows like Black Mirror and Stranger Things are great but I feel so much worse about myself watching an hour long episode versus a 20 minute one. Even though you’re wasting your life away, at least it doesn’t feel like it!
The Office is the perfect show to watch this time of year because with all the stress that may have been brought on by extended family, planning events, or not achieving last year’s New Year’s resolutions, nothing helps quite like some stupid humor. Also, the holiday episodes are all so #relatable.
One of my favorites is Ultimatum from Season 7.
In this episode, Pam creates a board for everyone to publicly display their New Year’s resolutions. Between Kelly’s resolution to “get more attention by any means necessary” and Ryan’s to “live life like it’s an art project”, Pam’s adorable idea doesn’t exactly go as planned. I relate to Michael in this episode, who says his resolution is to floss and thinks he only has to do it on January 1st for it to count.
One of the best reasons to watch The Office is the pranks.
Whether Jim is putting Dwight’s stapler in Jello, leaving a trail of red string for him to follow, or leading him to believe that he’s becoming a vampire, you won’t be able to stop laughing.
While The Office is very silly and a great pick-me-up, there is definitely some heart behind it. Because I’m on my eighth or ninth time rewatching the show, the characters are like family to me, and I become personally invested in their lives every time I see an episode. Even though I know what’s going to happen I can’t help but follow along the ups and downs of Angela and Dwight’s strange relationship and Pam and Jim’s version of phone tag but with dating. The show teaches that true love will find a way even when all hope is lost (and trust me, hope is lost quite a bit before Jim and Pam and Dwight and Angela tie the knot).
Of course, if you’re rewatching, you can skip around and watch most episodes out of order because you know what is going to happen, but I recommend an authentic binge from start to finish. It may take longer, but I find that it’s worth being sentimental to rewatch the story that I fell in love with the first time. And if you need a good happy cry, the finale is the perfect episode for you. With all of the characters finding their happily ever afters, you won’t be able to hold it back. Let’s not forget the sweet cameo from Michael at Dwight’s wedding!
Must-watch episodes (in my opinion):
- Season 1, Episode 2: “Diversity Day”
- Season 2, Episode 12: “The Injury”
- Season 3, Episode 14: “Ben Franklin”
- Season 3, Episode 19: “Safety Training”
- Season 3, Episode 22: “Beach Games”
- Season 4, Episode 1: “Fun Run”
- Season 5, Episode 7: “Customer Survey”
- Season 5, Episode 10: “The Surplus”
- Season 5, Episode 14 and 15: “Stress Relief: Part 1 and 2”
- Season 6, Episode 8: “Koi Pond”
- Season 6, Episode 10: “Murder”
- Season 7, Episode 2: “Counseling”
- Season 7, Episode 8: “Viewing Party”
- Season 7, Episode 17: “Threat Level Midnight”
- Season 8, Episode 11: “Trivia”
- Season 9, Episode 4: “Work Bus”
- Season 9, Episode 9: “Dwight Christmas”
- Season 9, Episode 19: “Stairmageddon”
Cover image via Odyssey