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The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s: An Oral History

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The untold stories behind The Office, one of the most iconic television shows of the twenty-first century, told by its creators, writers, and actors When did you last hang out with Jim, Pam, Dwight, Michael, and the rest of Dunder Mifflin? It might have been back in 2013, when the series finale aired . . . or it might have been last night, when you watched three episodes in The untold stories behind The Office, one of the most iconic television shows of the twenty-first century, told by its creators, writers, and actors When did you last hang out with Jim, Pam, Dwight, Michael, and the rest of Dunder Mifflin? It might have been back in 2013, when the series finale aired . . . or it might have been last night, when you watched three episodes in a row. But either way, fifteen years after the show first aired, it's more popular than ever, and fans have only one problem--what to watch, or read, next. Fortunately, Rolling Stone writer Andy Greene has that answer. In his brand-new oral history, The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s, Greene will take readers behind the scenes of their favorite moments and characters. Greene gives us the true inside story behind the entire show, from its origins on the BBC through its impressive nine-season run in America, with in-depth research and exclusive interviews. Fans will get the inside scoop on key episodes from "The Dundies" to "Threat Level Midnight" and "Goodbye, Michael," including behind-the-scenes details like the battle to keep it on the air when NBC wanted to pull the plug after just six episodes and the failed attempt to bring in James Gandolfini as the new boss after Steve Carell left, spotlighting the incredible, genre-redefining show created by the family-like team, who together took a quirky British import with dicey prospects and turned it into a primetime giant with true historical and cultural significance. Hilarious, heartwarming, and revelatory, The Office gives fans and pop culture buffs a front-row seat to the phenomenal sequence of events that launched The Office into wild popularity, changing the face of television and how we all see our office lives for decades to come.


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The untold stories behind The Office, one of the most iconic television shows of the twenty-first century, told by its creators, writers, and actors When did you last hang out with Jim, Pam, Dwight, Michael, and the rest of Dunder Mifflin? It might have been back in 2013, when the series finale aired . . . or it might have been last night, when you watched three episodes in The untold stories behind The Office, one of the most iconic television shows of the twenty-first century, told by its creators, writers, and actors When did you last hang out with Jim, Pam, Dwight, Michael, and the rest of Dunder Mifflin? It might have been back in 2013, when the series finale aired . . . or it might have been last night, when you watched three episodes in a row. But either way, fifteen years after the show first aired, it's more popular than ever, and fans have only one problem--what to watch, or read, next. Fortunately, Rolling Stone writer Andy Greene has that answer. In his brand-new oral history, The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s, Greene will take readers behind the scenes of their favorite moments and characters. Greene gives us the true inside story behind the entire show, from its origins on the BBC through its impressive nine-season run in America, with in-depth research and exclusive interviews. Fans will get the inside scoop on key episodes from "The Dundies" to "Threat Level Midnight" and "Goodbye, Michael," including behind-the-scenes details like the battle to keep it on the air when NBC wanted to pull the plug after just six episodes and the failed attempt to bring in James Gandolfini as the new boss after Steve Carell left, spotlighting the incredible, genre-redefining show created by the family-like team, who together took a quirky British import with dicey prospects and turned it into a primetime giant with true historical and cultural significance. Hilarious, heartwarming, and revelatory, The Office gives fans and pop culture buffs a front-row seat to the phenomenal sequence of events that launched The Office into wild popularity, changing the face of television and how we all see our office lives for decades to come.

30 review for The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s: An Oral History

  1. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    Since I'm a huge fan of the mockumentary The Office, I just had to read this oral history of the show related by the creators (UK and American), writers, cast members and crew. Compiled by author Andy Greene, we can read commentaries from 86 "talking heads" about what worked and what didn't work in this unique comedy, from its inception to its finale (and beyond!) Is it LOL funny? Sometimes (and sometimes it made me cry!) Is it informative? Definitely! I loved all the behind-the-scenes comments! Di Since I'm a huge fan of the mockumentary The Office, I just had to read this oral history of the show related by the creators (UK and American), writers, cast members and crew. Compiled by author Andy Greene, we can read commentaries from 86 "talking heads" about what worked and what didn't work in this unique comedy, from its inception to its finale (and beyond!) Is it LOL funny? Sometimes (and sometimes it made me cry!) Is it informative? Definitely! I loved all the behind-the-scenes comments! Did it bring back fond memories? YOU BET! So much so, that it made me pull out all the seasons on my DVDs and do a binge-watch! Some of my favorite things about this book! 1. I learned that my absolute favorite episode ("Stress Relief") was aired right after Super Bowl XLIII in order to draw in new viewers (Note: I was already a big fan by then!) 2. I learned a lot about actor Steve Carell and why The Office just wasn't the same when his character, Michael Scott, left the show; 3. I was amazed by the stories about the writers in Chapter 16 - The Writers' Room; 4. the inclusion of 16 pages of full-color photos; and, 5. the cover design (I loved the hijinks between Jim and Dwight!) This is a must-read for die-hard fans of The Office!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Scott

    "I thought, 'This is really cool. This feels like lightning in a bottle. This chemistry. This group of people. I think we have something here.'" -- actress Angela Kinsey (a.k.a. accountant Angela Martin), page 67 Similar in format to James Andrew Miller's Live from New York: An Oral History of Saturday Night Live and Craig Marks' I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution (to name just two examples), Greene's The Office: The Untold Story . . . utilizes the 'talking head' pa "I thought, 'This is really cool. This feels like lightning in a bottle. This chemistry. This group of people. I think we have something here.'" -- actress Angela Kinsey (a.k.a. accountant Angela Martin), page 67 Similar in format to James Andrew Miller's Live from New York: An Oral History of Saturday Night Live and Craig Marks' I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution (to name just two examples), Greene's The Office: The Untold Story . . . utilizes the 'talking head' paragraph format in chronologically tracing the development and execution of this American workplace sitcom - about the fictional 'Dunder-Mifflin' paper company employees in northeastern Pennsylvania - which originally aired for nine seasons, from 2005 to 2013. As he sort of modestly notes in the intro, the author either busted his tail conducting interviews (with many of the cast, crew members, producers, writers and network executives) or gleaned detailed information from DVD commentaries and/or various previously published print articles. I bet that was very hard -- That's what she said!!! But seriously, what does this all add up to? A fairly thorough behind-the-scenes look at a now-beloved series, which featured a talented and eclectic group of folks in front of and behind the cameras. I've never been much of a fan of sitcoms, but the NBC network really did something right when they placed The Office (and, a few years later, Parks & Recreation, which was similar in tone, and featured some of the same production staff) on their prime-time schedule. It's one of those rare shows that's just as popular now (if not more so, thanks to Netflix streaming and endless cable-TV reruns) as it was during its original network airing. Author Greene also spotlights a dozen particular episodes - fan and critical favorites like 'Diversity Day,' 'The Dundies,' 'The Injury,' and the classic cringe-fest 'Dinner Party' (which coincidentally aired on Comedy Central channel the same day I finished this book - I love that one's awkwardness!) - and included about twenty pages of unique behind-the-scenes production photographs. If you are a fan of the series this book is not to be missed.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    I received a copy of this title via NetGalley. It does not impact my review. The Office is one of my all time favorite tv shows. I can’t even tell you how many times I have binged it (though I often skip those last two dumpster fire seasons after Steve Carell left). When I saw this book, I knew I had to read it. I was hoping for lots of behind the scenes trivia and maybe some juicy scandal, but it wasn’t quite what I expected. The format of the book is mostly excerpts from interviews from people i I received a copy of this title via NetGalley. It does not impact my review. The Office is one of my all time favorite tv shows. I can’t even tell you how many times I have binged it (though I often skip those last two dumpster fire seasons after Steve Carell left). When I saw this book, I knew I had to read it. I was hoping for lots of behind the scenes trivia and maybe some juicy scandal, but it wasn’t quite what I expected. The format of the book is mostly excerpts from interviews from people involved with the show – ranging anywhere from cast and crew to Scranton Chamber of Commerce employees. The author did a lot of interviews with these people, but he also utilized other published interviews, quotes from dvd commentary, etc. to fill things in. The quotes are arranged in a way that almost feels like a conversation, but there were often times where it was just quote after quote basically saying the same thing (i.e. everyone commenting on what a hard worker Steve Carell is or how Greg Daniels [the man responsible for adapting The Office from the UK] was the best). It didn’t always work for me and there were a few times where I skimmed through it. Most of the quotes were also from writers, producers, or less central cast members, so I wasn’t always hearing from the people I wanted to the most. Here are a few things I learned that stood out to me: *I’ve heard it said numerous times that the Chili’s Manager in The Dundies episode that bans Pam from the restaurant for being drunk was an actual Chili’s manager, but that’s not true. He was an actor. They weren’t even filming in an actual Chili’s, they had just worked with the restaurant chain to bring in fixtures, etc. *Instead of the big dance number at Jim and Pam’s wedding, the original script had Roy riding in on a white horse to try to stop the wedding. Then Dwight takes the horse to Niagara Falls and it was going to fall down them. Greg Daniels was apparently the only one who liked this idea and there were a lot of fights about it before the idea was finally scrapped. *Supposedly, Steve Carell wanted his contract to be renewed after the seventh season, but there was change in leadership at the network that wasn’t a big fan of the show and they didn’t try to make any deals about paying him more money, so he left. *There was a big debate about whether to make Andy or Dwight manager in season 8 and most people wanted Dwight, but the network wanted Andy because he was a bigger star at the time, thanks to The Hangover movies. *James Spader basically took the job because he was broke. *The network really wanted a spin-off and they wanted Parks and Rec to be that spin-off, but the creators wanted it to be it’s own show and casting Rashida Jones as a different character ensured the shows couldn’t be related and kind of came across as a “screw you” to the network. There was also talk of doing a family-centered spin-off and everyone was annoyed when Modern Family came out using their mockumentary style. *Most of the cast and crew considered Steve Carell leaving the end of the show. (I 100% agree with this.) *There was a plan to kind of reboot the show in season ten with a new cast and that’s why “New Jim and Dwight” were brought on, but then they decided to end after season 9 because the network wanted to work on developing new shows and the writers were pretty burned out. Overall, there were enjoyable things in the book, but I wouldn’t consider it a “must read” for The Office fans. While there was definitely a sense of all the the cast and crew being family and loving the show, there was also a whole lot of negativity and blame coming across and it kind of made me like the show less instead of more. It will still be one of my go-to binge shows, though. Overall Rating (out of 5): 3 Stars

  4. 5 out of 5

    Katie B

    The Office is a show that for the most part stands up pretty well all these years later and Netflix has really helped boost its popularity especially with the younger generation. This book provides a great behind the scenes look at the tv show. The author pieced together old interviews and conducted new interviews with cast members, writers, crew, etc, and presented everything in an easy to read format similar to the Live From New York book about Saturday Night Live. I'm a pop culture junkie but The Office is a show that for the most part stands up pretty well all these years later and Netflix has really helped boost its popularity especially with the younger generation. This book provides a great behind the scenes look at the tv show. The author pieced together old interviews and conducted new interviews with cast members, writers, crew, etc, and presented everything in an easy to read format similar to the Live From New York book about Saturday Night Live. I'm a pop culture junkie but I wouldn't count myself as a diehard fan of the show. And what I mean by that is I have an above average knowledge of the show but it's not like I have watched or read every single interview with the actors over the years. So this book contained a good mix of things I already knew, stuff I had long forgotten, as well as some brand new information, or at least new to me. I think this will be a fun read for both casual and diehard fans of the show. I knew Steve Carell had a good reputation but it was obvious from all of the interviews with people who worked with him he is genuinely a wonderful human being and fame did not go to his head one bit. The cast and crew did seem to get along pretty well and a lot of credit was given to Steve for setting the tone of how people should behave in a professional environment. What blew my mind was learning Steve didn't want to leave the show when he did but NBC didn't bother to try to get a deal in place for him to stay. What was NBC thinking letting a comic genius like that walk away when he was willing to stick around for another year or two? While I wouldn't say the book is heavy on juicy behind the scenes gossip there were a couple things I found fascinating. A few unnamed actors maybe got a little too big for their britches when the show became popular and would show up late or wanted preferential treatment for their shooting schedules. It was mainly one crew member who complained about having to deal with all of it and said it got annoying after awhile. I also enjoyed learning about the things that didn't seem to work on the show regarding different characters and plots. It was nice knowing that what the audience loved or didn't like was pretty much inline with what the cast and crew thought as well. Definitely recommend checking this one out. I actually found this book comforting in the same way I find the show comforting and one I turn to when I am feeling stressed out. It was like visiting with old friends that have made you laugh and cry over the years.

  5. 5 out of 5

    La Crosse County Library

    Review originally published May 25, 2021 The Office is the ultimate in cringey TV. Either you’re not into that style of humor, or you’re a huge fan and you’ve watched all nine seasons, in order, dozens of times. (Don’t judge me.) For those of us in the latter group, Andy Greene’s The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s is a lively behind-the-cameras read as told by the people who made the show. The book is presented as a series of anecdotes from all the major players Review originally published May 25, 2021 The Office is the ultimate in cringey TV. Either you’re not into that style of humor, or you’re a huge fan and you’ve watched all nine seasons, in order, dozens of times. (Don’t judge me.) For those of us in the latter group, Andy Greene’s The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s is a lively behind-the-cameras read as told by the people who made the show. The book is presented as a series of anecdotes from all the major players. There’s not a lot that most fans don’t already know. (Steve Carrell is really nice guy, John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer getting along in real life, too, and the guy who plays Dwight is a little eccentric.) But it’s fun to read about how the show, in so many ways, almost didn’t happen. And the chapter on casting is wild. Imagine Seth Rogan as Dwight. There’s also a significant amount of time spent, and rightly so, on adapting the source material: the original British series with Ricky Gervais, which is brilliant and far cringe-ier. If you’re a fan of The Office, either version, this book makes a nice supplement to the show, and it’s an easy, breezy look back at the history of Dunder-Mifflin Paper. See for yourself, and check it out at www.lacrossecountylibrary.org. Keith O’D

  6. 4 out of 5

    BookOfCinz

    But all in all, I think an ordinary paper company like Dunder Mifflin is a great subject for a documentary. There’s a lot of beauty in ordinary things. Isn’t that kind of the point? When I saw this book, I knew I had to read it! I am such a big fan of The Office. To date I have watched the entire 9 seasons seven times in full. Whenever I am feeling sad or out of sorts in this world I turn to The Office to cheer me up. I really feel this weird attachment to the characters and everything this sh But all in all, I think an ordinary paper company like Dunder Mifflin is a great subject for a documentary. There’s a lot of beauty in ordinary things. Isn’t that kind of the point? When I saw this book, I knew I had to read it! I am such a big fan of The Office. To date I have watched the entire 9 seasons seven times in full. Whenever I am feeling sad or out of sorts in this world I turn to The Office to cheer me up. I really feel this weird attachment to the characters and everything this show stands for and I want more of it. Along came Andy Greene's The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s Reading this book felt like I was getting to hang out with my friends again. Greene pulled together hours of interviews from the cast members, writers, directors and producers that gave us an in-depth look into what it was like working with the cast and crew. We got a look into how they went about casting, getting NBC to buy the show and the highs and lows of each season. If you are a fan of The Office is HIGHLY recommend this. A MUST read.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jocelyn

    A book about my all time fave show? Count me in.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Traci Thomas

    I really liked this book and thought it was fun. I’m a huge fan of the show so I understood every reference. The start was really strong but the book went on way too long. It got to be redundant in boring ways. I loved the “key episodes” and would’ve loved more of that and less of the focus on the writers room. I liked the book but wished it was shorter overall as it lagged by the end. Sort of like The Office itself, so that works I guess.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)

    4.0 Stars This was such an entertaining deep dive into the production of the Office. I would highly recommend this book to any mega fans of the show. I loved learning all the little details behind so many of the iconic scenes.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Angela (BlondeBooks)

    Thank you NetGalley for providing me with a digital arc of this book. When it comes out I will definitely be purchasing a final copy. If you're a big fan of the office, then you'll love this book. This book is formatted in an interview style, this makes it very easy to read. It was cool to hear from members of the cast, as well as crew members and the writers. The book is laid out by season and then there are chapters on notable episodes within each season. There is so much behind the scenes inf Thank you NetGalley for providing me with a digital arc of this book. When it comes out I will definitely be purchasing a final copy. If you're a big fan of the office, then you'll love this book. This book is formatted in an interview style, this makes it very easy to read. It was cool to hear from members of the cast, as well as crew members and the writers. The book is laid out by season and then there are chapters on notable episodes within each season. There is so much behind the scenes information in this book. I absolutely loved it and can't wait to get my hands on the final copy. I wish that someone would do this same book concept but for the Television show Parks and Recreation. I guess if no one else will then I might have to do it.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Brandie

    4.5 stars. The Office is one of my favorite shows and I loved hearing all of the behind the scenes stuff. My husband and I started rewatching the show yesterday, because I had to after listening to this book!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sunshine Rodgers

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. If you are a fan of the hit NBC show, THE OFFICE, you will definitely enjoy reading “The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s” by Andy Greene. In his acknowledgements section, he thanked all 86 people who he talked to/interviewed for this book!! First, I loved how Greene set up the book. He talked about the British version first. And also shared a lot about The Casting and the reviews and anticipation leading up the show as well as highlighting all the sets and background If you are a fan of the hit NBC show, THE OFFICE, you will definitely enjoy reading “The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s” by Andy Greene. In his acknowledgements section, he thanked all 86 people who he talked to/interviewed for this book!! First, I loved how Greene set up the book. He talked about the British version first. And also shared a lot about The Casting and the reviews and anticipation leading up the show as well as highlighting all the sets and background characters and cameramen. I liked how Greene talked about key episodes in each season and why they were important. I have even more respect for the writers of the show like B.J. Novak, Mindy Kaling and Paul Lieberstein. I loved hearing about how professional and talented Steve Carell is and how much everyone liked him on the set! (positive remarks were also written about Will Ferrell and Kathy Bates). And it was so much fun to learn about the song “That one night” from the iconic Dinner Party episode. And I loved the behind-the-scenes photos and casting sheet and audition pages! There was an entire chapter on just the character of Dwight, and the rise of Creed and of course, Michael Scott. I learned so much…like when Andy left for Anger Management, Ed Helms was really going to star in a movie (also the case when he left on a boat trip in the later seasons). And I loved hearing about how it was all secretive the have Michael Scott return for the finale episode…how no one knew of his “return.” And how they wanted to make a Spin-Off show with Dwight. I started watching Parks and Recreation now just to see the obvious connections to The Office as the same creators and producers worked on that show. Even as a fanatic of the show, I wasn’t a fan of Seasons 8-9 so when the actors of those seasons “spoke up”, I didn’t really know who they were. There IS a cast of characters at the front of the book, but it was very difficult to distinguish between all the names. When it’s someone new “speaking”, Greene will only then introduce their title and position, but when that same person appears chapters later and adds some new information…it’s hard to pinpoint who that person is. Even though Greene interviewed so many people, I was surprised that Todd Packer wasn’t one of them. If you want an all-inclusive look into this beloved show…look no further than “The Office” by Andy Greene. Like the show, it will keep you entertained from beginning to end!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Yesenia Cash

    Of course the show is better, still interesting nonetheless.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Christine (Queen of Books)

    Thank you to Dutton and NetGalley for a free e-arc of this title for review. This book was such a treat. I didn't watch the Office from the beginning, but became a loyal viewer by the second half of the third season. I came to it as one often comes to the best things - a friend was like, "You've gotta watch it." In college, it was a way to instantly bond with new acquaintances. A friend I made during the fourth season still texts me Office quotes during a long work day - 12 years later. Which is t Thank you to Dutton and NetGalley for a free e-arc of this title for review. This book was such a treat. I didn't watch the Office from the beginning, but became a loyal viewer by the second half of the third season. I came to it as one often comes to the best things - a friend was like, "You've gotta watch it." In college, it was a way to instantly bond with new acquaintances. A friend I made during the fourth season still texts me Office quotes during a long work day - 12 years later. Which is to say, this not-so-little TV show is part of my life. It's in the fabric of my memories, and I'm almost certain it's influenced my sense of humor - and probably even my approach to working in an office. I'm pleased to report that The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s by Andy Greene gave the show its due. This oral history was well-constructed, and taught me things I hadn't known. Honestly, if I have any complaints it's probably that I'd have read another 100-200 pages. I really enjoyed reading it, and yes...I cried reading about the show's finale. I highly recommend a read if you're at all a fan of the show, and/or have an interest in television. It's a book about the Office, yes, but it's also about how a show gets made.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Tess Taylor

    3- The Office Ladies podcast has become a staple of mine, so I've been in a very Office mood lately. It's such a great show, and I love it more and more as time goes on. Because of this, I expected to like this book more than I did. It was enjoyable to go back in time, hear how it all played out, and reminisce about some hilarious moments. However, a lot of the book had a dark aura around it- a bitterness that I didn't like. I think you can tell that this oral history was compiled by someone who 3- The Office Ladies podcast has become a staple of mine, so I've been in a very Office mood lately. It's such a great show, and I love it more and more as time goes on. Because of this, I expected to like this book more than I did. It was enjoyable to go back in time, hear how it all played out, and reminisce about some hilarious moments. However, a lot of the book had a dark aura around it- a bitterness that I didn't like. I think you can tell that this oral history was compiled by someone who is not associated with the show because it really didn't have that quintessential Office writing or feel to it.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Christina Pilkington

    If you are a fan of the show The Office, you have to read this book! I've watched all nine seasons of the office twice now, and it's one of my favorite TV comedy shows of all time. I love learning the behind the scenes details of what goes into making a TV show or movie, so this book was written for me :) Each chapter of the book is divided into one season from the show. As the seasons progress and new actors are introduced into the cast, the chapter highlights each new actor and their contribut If you are a fan of the show The Office, you have to read this book! I've watched all nine seasons of the office twice now, and it's one of my favorite TV comedy shows of all time. I love learning the behind the scenes details of what goes into making a TV show or movie, so this book was written for me :) Each chapter of the book is divided into one season from the show. As the seasons progress and new actors are introduced into the cast, the chapter highlights each new actor and their contribution to the show. And each chapter also highlights one standout episode from that season and gives more specific details of how that episode was made. Highly recommended!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Brianne

    This was so interesting and I loved hearing from the cast and crew. I already loved the show so much, and this some how made me love it that much more. Also, Steve Carell sounds like a wonderful gentleman. Be warned, you will want to start another rewatch...jk...who isn't constantly rewatching the Office?! 😝 This was so interesting and I loved hearing from the cast and crew. I already loved the show so much, and this some how made me love it that much more. Also, Steve Carell sounds like a wonderful gentleman. Be warned, you will want to start another rewatch...jk...who isn't constantly rewatching the Office?! 😝

  18. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Mae

    This was an absolutely delightful read! Like many white women of my age demographic, I'm a big fan of The Office. I followed every episode until Michael left... and was a little intermittent after that. But I loved the show, I loved the characters, and I could feel the love and devotion everyone working on the show had for it. I've watched the episodes with the commentaries and am currently an avid listener of the Office Ladies Podcast, and even with all that random trivia in my head, I learned This was an absolutely delightful read! Like many white women of my age demographic, I'm a big fan of The Office. I followed every episode until Michael left... and was a little intermittent after that. But I loved the show, I loved the characters, and I could feel the love and devotion everyone working on the show had for it. I've watched the episodes with the commentaries and am currently an avid listener of the Office Ladies Podcast, and even with all that random trivia in my head, I learned so many fun facts about the show through this book. So many gems! Well worth reading for any fan of the show. You're going to fall in love with the episodes and actors (in particular Steve Carell!!) and gain a whole new appreciation for the writers and crew. Highly recommended!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Morris

    I'm an avid The Office fan, so I couldn't wait to get my eyes on this one. It didn't disappoint! It's filled with trivia and just plain fun stories from the show about the place we love to hate. Highly recommended for any fan! This unbiased review is based on a complimentary copy provided by the publisher. I'm an avid The Office fan, so I couldn't wait to get my eyes on this one. It didn't disappoint! It's filled with trivia and just plain fun stories from the show about the place we love to hate. Highly recommended for any fan! This unbiased review is based on a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Eli Hornyak

    Good easy read, well organized storytelling. Happy to learn more about one of my favorite shows.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Crystal

    So fun! You have to read this if you are a fan of The Office!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Dan Connors

    Comedy is not easy, so when a great comedy comes along, it's important to recognize what made it great. I've read two books on landmark comedies- Live From New York, which details the story of Saturday Night Live from the people who lived it, and the Daily Show Book, from the Comedy Central writers and stars who launched that juggernaut of comedy. Now there is an oral history of NBC's the Office by Andy Greene that gives it the treatment it richly deserves, following the most revolutionary sitco Comedy is not easy, so when a great comedy comes along, it's important to recognize what made it great. I've read two books on landmark comedies- Live From New York, which details the story of Saturday Night Live from the people who lived it, and the Daily Show Book, from the Comedy Central writers and stars who launched that juggernaut of comedy. Now there is an oral history of NBC's the Office by Andy Greene that gives it the treatment it richly deserves, following the most revolutionary sitcom of the 21st century from its humble beginnings to today. The Office was revolutionary for four reasons- There was no laugh track, a crutch that sitcoms had used to decades to tell the audience when to laugh. It used normal looking actors and not model-quality stars to create a realistic depiction of a workplace. Women didn't wear much makeup, and the large casting ensemble included a wide variety of ages and body types. The Office introduced the mockumentary style of comedy to US audiences, allowing characters to use "talking head" segments to express their feelings to the camera privately, and letting the camera linger over embarrassing situations to milk the comedy out of realistic events. They used cameramen from the show Survivor to take realistic shots of each of the actors as if they were really being shot for a documentary. Greene's book faithfully follows the show from its beginnings in the United Kingdom under Ricky Gervais to its eventual US update. The UK version had the same basic setup as the US version, with a clueless boss, two lovelorn workers, and a jerk lieutenant. It only lasted two years in the UK and was cancelled in 2003 But luckily, US producer Greg Daniels stumbled upon the UK version and asked Gervais, who created and controlled the show, if he could bring the show to the US. The book uses interviews from all the people involved to paint a detailed look at how the US version got off the ground in 2005, from casting, to creating a pilot and to finding a network to take them on. Steve Carrell was a relative unknown when he was first cast, and the rest of the actors were all total unknowns. Bob Odenkirk and Paul Giamatti were both considered for the role of Michael Scott before they finally settled on Carrell, and many have said since that Carrell made that show the success that it was. The Office was almost not picked up as a pilot, as several networks passed on it, and NBC gave it a short 6 episode run that almost was the end of the show. After the first season, most of the cast and crew had no idea it would ever be renewed. The head executives at NBC didn't care for the show and didn't get its awkward humor. Three things saved the show from oblivion: - Steve Carrell had a movie come out in 2005 called the 40 Year Old Virgin that became a box office blockbuster. His starpower got the network's attention. - Apple began streaming shows on its Ipod devices, and the Office was the most popular tv show for Apple. - Young viewers greatly appreciated The Office and it's kind of comedy, and NBC executives renewed the show mostly on the strength of their loyalty. The book goes into lengthy detail on several "key" episodes like Beach Day, Diversity Day, and Casino Night where important events changed the direction of the show. In addition it goes season by season reviewing the important cast and writing changes and what was going on behind the scenes. This kind of insight is great at giving us a feel for how things developed now that we can see it all in hindsight. In addition to the season and episode recaps, the book takes deep dives into what it was like to write for the show, how the physical office was created on a set far away from the studios, and how the many background players like Kevin, Phyllis, and Creed saw their place in the Office hierarchy. There is an entire chapter devoted to Steve Carrell, and his character Michael Scott. Everybody that dealt with Carrell had nothing but good things to say about him- he was professional, funny, smart, kind and devoted to the show. They all say he was snubbed when he was overlooked for an Emmy award, and he was the glue that held that show together. This later proves shocking when the book details how Carrell was not asked back by NBC after season 7, leaving the show permanently. Carrell became the biggest star on the Office, and filming had to accommodate his movie schedule. It still boggles the mind that NBC couldn't figure something out, though it's possible that Carrell was ready to move on by then. Without Michael Scott, the show suffered a predictable decline. Seasons 8 and 9 are detailed in the book along with attempts to breathe new life into the franchise with James Spader, Will Ferrell, and Katherine Tate. There seems to be a wall into which most sitcoms run around the 7th or 8th season when the stories are harder to come by and the characters get stale. Rarely does a comedy last more than 10 seasons and that can be said of The Office. Shortly into the 9th season, the entire cast was told it would be the last one. Knowing that the 9th season would be the last allowed the writers to plan accordingly, and it's noticeable looking backward that they had a plan. The book spends almost an entire chapter discussing the finale episode, which covers the showing of the fake documentary that they had been filming all that time. It also includes Dwight's wedding and the biggest secret of the finale, that Steve Carrell would be back for a cameo appearance. The testimonials that both cast and crew relate in that final episode are both touching and impressive. Greg Daniels succeeded in not only producing a hit, groundbreaking television show, but in creating a tight-knit family of actors and writers who for the most part got along famously and hated to see the show end. The final two chapters surprisingly cover events since the shows' finale in 2013. The Office has exploded in popularity since it left the air, mostly thanks to the platform Netflix. The show is the most popular streamed show on Netflix and has attracted an entirely new audience of young people who binge the entire 9 seasons repeatedly. This has promoted growth of Office memorabilia, podcasts ("Office Ladies"), Office-themed trivia nights and board games, and meet-and-greet conventions for former stars of the show. This kind of devotion is normally reserved for science fiction franchises, but The Office has broken new ground even after its demise. The last chapter talks about a possible rumored reboot of the show, which looks inevitable. The concept and writing of the show were so good that it's surprising that more comedies aren't using it today. After The Office aired, two huge hits followed that used the same mockumentary format- Parks and Recreation, and Modern Family. As I write this today sitcoms have mostly reverted to their laugh track roots, and NBC announced its 2020 schedule with only two comedies on its entire roster. There was one attempt to spin-off The Office, (the failed pilot, "The Farm") and many missed opportunities by NBC. A reboot could include some original cast members or perhaps a younger generation, but all agree that the participation of Greg Daniels is essential if anything is to happen, and he's not talking much about it now. In all, this book is a blast, especially for fans of the show or those who've always wanted to see how comedy is made. If you get the audiobook, they hired voice actors to read the parts of all the dozens of contributors, which gives it a certain authenticity, even if they don't exactly sound like the real people.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ginger

    This was just ok, and good enough to make the time pass quickly on a road trip with Mr. Horton when we're both fans, but the good stories, a fan has likely already heard, and most of the other oral history was so behind the scenes it was a little dull for a television outsider. I don't much care about the network, writers, boom operators (though I'm thankful they exist). The production itself of this audiobook was a tad uneven. I didn't expect them to actually get the actors voices to perform the This was just ok, and good enough to make the time pass quickly on a road trip with Mr. Horton when we're both fans, but the good stories, a fan has likely already heard, and most of the other oral history was so behind the scenes it was a little dull for a television outsider. I don't much care about the network, writers, boom operators (though I'm thankful they exist). The production itself of this audiobook was a tad uneven. I didn't expect them to actually get the actors voices to perform their speaking parts, but I wish they had been consistent in using the characters' names from the show rather than the actors' names. I realize the actors are the real people, but it was such a large cast, I often didn't remember how so-and-so was (but I would have remembered had they said the character name). Worst of it was, they bounced back and forth; so sometimes it was the actor, and sometimes it was the character which really confused who the story was coming from. A bit of a hot mess. This could have used a healthy edit (for instance, if an actor doesn't have a comment on one particular issue, you can just leave that out; we don't need you to put in "I don't really have a comment about that, sorry!"), and should have been a digital short, or even a magazine article. Save your time and just watch your favorite season of The Office again instead.

  24. 4 out of 5

    kristin

    I loved this! I was apprehensive about this book at first because I worried it would be hours and hours of over-dissecting characters, scenes, and concepts, but I was so pleasantly surprised! Basically, it’s a compilation of interviews with the writers, cast, and crew of the American version of the show (with an introduction section on the original British version). While the quotes about how brilliant and smart and original the show was do get a little old, most of the info centers around the be I loved this! I was apprehensive about this book at first because I worried it would be hours and hours of over-dissecting characters, scenes, and concepts, but I was so pleasantly surprised! Basically, it’s a compilation of interviews with the writers, cast, and crew of the American version of the show (with an introduction section on the original British version). While the quotes about how brilliant and smart and original the show was do get a little old, most of the info centers around the behind the scenes of writing, filming, and acting. It was fascinating to hear the original character descriptions and the ins and outs of the casting process. I loved the bits about set design, tossed episodes, and the stories of the small roles/actors. I also appreciated that the book was critical of the show at times and didn’t shy away from talking about less-than-flattering things that happened during its run. Also, I love the dramaaaaa and the gossipy deetzzzzz. I truly felt I knew a lot about the show before reading this and boy was I wrong! Also, for christ’s sake, we know Steve Carrell is kind and professional and very very very good at his job. We GET IT! WE HEAR YOU! GOOD JOB STEVE CARRELL! ALL HAIL STEVE CARRELL!!! (are you satified, Andy Greene?)

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mom_Loves_Reading

    We LOVE "The Office" at my house, & are constantly quoting the show! It's so freaking awesome! (That's what she said!) I loved going behind the scenes with the actors & writers & reading about some of my fave episodes (Hello, "Dinner Party"!) The book is written in interview form, it's insightful, fun, & fans will LOVE it! . Even though I was gifted an ARC of the book, I plan to buy the hardback when it comes out (which is TOMORROW, 3/24!) This will make an AWESOME gift for fans as well! Thank you We LOVE "The Office" at my house, & are constantly quoting the show! It's so freaking awesome! (That's what she said!) I loved going behind the scenes with the actors & writers & reading about some of my fave episodes (Hello, "Dinner Party"!) The book is written in interview form, it's insightful, fun, & fans will LOVE it! . Even though I was gifted an ARC of the book, I plan to buy the hardback when it comes out (which is TOMORROW, 3/24!) This will make an AWESOME gift for fans as well! Thank you to the publisher for my free copy.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Buzzard

    *THE CHILIS MANAGER WAS AN ACTOR & THEY WEREN'T EVEN AT A REAL CHILI'S. THANK YOU* Office fans will LOVE this book. If you haven't watched The Office - this book is going to do nothing for you. So many neat facts and I loved the "Key Episode" segments. I've been so sad since they took the show off of Netflix and this was such a good listen for me. Would recommend *THE CHILIS MANAGER WAS AN ACTOR & THEY WEREN'T EVEN AT A REAL CHILI'S. THANK YOU* Office fans will LOVE this book. If you haven't watched The Office - this book is going to do nothing for you. So many neat facts and I loved the "Key Episode" segments. I've been so sad since they took the show off of Netflix and this was such a good listen for me. Would recommend

  27. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    I really wish Goodreads would let you do half star ratings because this is more 3.5 for me. I really enjoyed most of it but man, it needed some major editing because a lot of the comments were repetitive or completely unnecessary.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jason Koivu

    If you love the U.S. version of The Office tv show and want to learn more about the behind-the-scenes activities that went into its creation, The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s: An Oral History by Andy Greene is the book for you. It's basically a big collection of quotes from the show-runners, actors, writers, crew, and more. Starting from the formation of the original British version, the book takes readers all the way to the end of the 9-year run of the U.S. versio If you love the U.S. version of The Office tv show and want to learn more about the behind-the-scenes activities that went into its creation, The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s: An Oral History by Andy Greene is the book for you. It's basically a big collection of quotes from the show-runners, actors, writers, crew, and more. Starting from the formation of the original British version, the book takes readers all the way to the end of the 9-year run of the U.S. version. Hearing what people like Greg Daniels, Ricky Gervais, Steve Carell, and others thought of it all was fascinating, but I really liked the use of quotes when they offered up the disparate opinions and perceptions different people had of the same event. I listened to the audiobook. They used a different narrator for each person. Sometimes the quotes were very short, so there could be times when there was a lot of quick switching from narrator to narrator. That could be distracting. I got used to the various voices, but at first it was a trial. I gave this 5-stars. Is it perfect? Yes, in my eyes. My eyes are blurred by my love for The Office, so I hope you have plenty of salt to take with this review.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Meg

    I thought this would be really redundant, because at this point who doesn’t know a ton about The Office, but it was a surprisingly fun and interesting and varied look at the show. (Not captivating enough to make me want to watch the post-Steve seasons, but you can’t win ‘em all.)

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sanjana Datla

    I want to best friends with Steve Carell (and everyone that ever worked with Jon Stewart) and this book is half behind the scenes story of a phenomenal sitcom, and half a continuous effusion on how Steve Carell is the greatest human being alive. So there was really no chance of me not liking this book.

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