Remember your life before the pandemic? We used to have unexciting office jobs, dread all Mondays without exception and always celebrate Fridays like a mini-Diwali each week. But being stuck at home has made us realise how much we miss our beloved workplace after being apart for so long.
To remind you of what the good old days were like, here are 14 sitcoms set against workplace backdrops.
Although they may have been set in seemingly boring offices, each workday was so relatably entertaining, we kept going back for more. ‘Cause let’s face it, we secretly want our office life back.
1. The Office
Life at the Scranton branch of Dunder Mifflin Paper Company is anything but ordinary. With a boss like Michael Scott, how could they be? A day at The Office‘s office ain’t complete without some painful awkwardness from the ‘Best Boss In The World’, hilarious Jim and Dwight pranks, Angela’s unnecessary bitchiness, and Creed’s unfathomable weirdness.
2. Parks And Recreation
We all have a Leslie Knope in our lives – someone who is more enthusiastic about mundane office work than can be explained. But Ron Swanson’s apathy towards government work of any kind, pretty much balances it out in the show. Besides, with Andy Dwyer, April Ludgate and Tom Haverford bringing all kinds of goofiness to the Parks & Rec office, this show is about way more than just parks.
3. Silicon Valley
A distinct favourite with IT professionals, this show about a tech start-up is all the rage because it highlights just how hilariously entertaining the inside of an IT-nerd circle can be. The famously awkward gang of coders Richard, Dinesh, Gilfoyle, ever-so-sweet Jared and the unpredictable Erlich come together to start a company and the results are ree-DONK-ulously funny.
Three TelAmeriCorp employees that are more enthusiastic about getting high and drunk and all other kinds of intoxicated, than they are about telemarketing, make for a pretty promising premise to begin with. But with Ders, Adam and Blake, along with their dealer and certified weirdo Karl, every day at this telemarketing office is more bizarre than the last.
5. The IT Crowd
A classic British comedy about the forgotten IT department in a corporate office, The IT Crowd is exemplary in the it’s-funny-because-it’s-true variety of sitcoms. Apart from them having to respond to most tech-related queries with, “Have you tried turning it off and on again?” the kinds of misadventures these isolated, socially inept IT professionals of Reynholm Industries find themselves in, make for some solid laughs.
Scrubs being on this list is as obvious as Dr. Perry Cox’s rants are long and hilariously insulting. JD and Turk work at a hospital – a grim place to work, admittedly. But not only have they given us by far one of the best bromances in all of pop culture (nuh-uh, don’t even try to debate that), but a boss like Bob Kelso, a resident sad-sack like Ted and a janitor like Janitor, may have made the Sacred Heart Hospital one of the funnest places to work in the fictional world.
The life of a vice-president may not sound thrilling, but Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer makes it more so than imaginable. The poor former senator somehow always finds herself dealing with vain D.C. politicians, craven bureaucrats and a distant POTUS. Together with her inner circle of too-dedicated Amy, sycophantic Gary and ever-evasive Mike, Veep‘s characters leave no stone unturned in making this an absolute riot of government awkwardness.
8. 30 Rock
The show that made Tina Fey a household name around the world, 30 Rock showed us what it’s like to work behind the scenes at an American cable network. Playing on a number of showbiz stereotypes – unstable celebrities, ambitious egos and unkempt creatives – this show will always be one of the funniest workplace sitcoms of all time.
9. Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Working at the NYPD must be anything but funny, right? Wrong! The detectives at forever-stoic Captain Raymond Holt’s police station make for a dynamite team that make police work funnier than you ever thought it could be. Main prank-man Jake Peralta, sensitive Boyle, dedicated Amy, scary AF Rosa and the precinct’s wildcard Gina Linetti truly are New York’s finest… at making you laugh!
10. Getting On
Centred around the staff members of the elderly care unit of a downtrodden hospital in Southern California, Getting On is set in the most sombre workplace imaginable. But it’s this dull setting that gives the show’s highly dysfunctional characters a hilarious edge. The crazy, accidental mishandling of the patients, the socially awkward nurses and the abusive director of medicine that runs illicit research studies on the side will certainly keep you entertained.
11. Alpha House
A group of Republican senators are put in one house on Capitol Hill, what could go wrong? Well, everything. Alpha House traffics in the awkward interactions, political machinations and calculated relationships that make up life in the seemingly beaten down arena of American politics. The show’s ensemble cast includes John Goodman and Clark Johnson, which practically ensures you the comedic equivalent of attending a $10,000-a-plate dinner.
12. Are You Being Served?
One of UK’s longest running sitcoms, Are You Being Served? is an innuendo rich show set in a department store – a working environment not many would expect to be exciting. It’s got colourful characters that happen upon plenty of mishaps in the ladies’ and gentlemen’s clothing retail departments that will certainly not disappoint.
13. Ugly Betty
An ugly duckling finds herself surrounded by super hot models and snooty fashion experts at her new job at Mode magazine and obviously stumbles her way through the challenges of this unfamiliar world. Ugly Betty was a sweeping hit with the audiences, because we saw through Betty what a ridiculous adventure it would be if ‘normal’ folk worked at a high-end fashion magazine.
14. It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia
Alright, I guess running a bar doesn’t really count as working at an office. But Paddy’s Pub is the work place of Dennis, Mac, Dee and legit crazy man Charlie. Every episode of this show is a cringe-inducing laugh riot and while most other sitcoms make you wonder which character you love the most, this one will make you think about who the worst one is. That’s the beauty of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia and it makes the dark parts of me wish I worked at Paddy’s Pub.
Well, if only our days at the office were half as blindingly fun as on any of these shows, life truly would be amazing. *sigh* Enough dreaming, though. Back to work.