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The Office

Andy Greene


  • Hardcover
    $46.18
PUBLISHED: 24th March 2020
ISBN: 9781524744977
ANNOTATION:
"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"--
The Office
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  • Hardcover
    $46.18
PUBLISHED: 24th March 2020
ISBN: 9781524744977
ANNOTATION:
"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"--

Annotation

"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"--

Publisher Description

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.

Author Biography

Andy Greene is from Cleveland, Ohio, attended Kenyon College, and is now a Senior Writer for Rolling Stone. He lives in New York City.

Review

"When Andy Greene interviewed me for this book, he was actually the first person to mention that I had acted in a TV show ... I thought up to that point that I was actually working at a paper company. But in any case, I loved the book. It's spot on, with great background stories, and I learned so much." --Creed Bratton, actor, The Office

"Writer Andy Greene puts one of the most resonant sitcoms in American comedy under a microscope in his in-depth oral history, The Office: The Untold Story Of The Greatest Sitcom Of The 2000s. Even for the most insatiable fan, this rendering provides some of the most surprising revelations via an award-winning (and still quite passionate) cast and crew." --The A.V. Club "It just might be the perfect time to re-binge-watch the iconic TV series, and Greene's 'untold story, ' complete with cast interviews, is the ideal companion volume." --People

"At times poignant, at times hilarious, and always fascinating, Andy Greene's The Office is a treasure chest of new details and photos. Along with your DVDs and bobbleheads, you must add this to your own superfan collection." --Jennie Tan, founder of the top fan site OfficeTally.com

"A tremendously fun must-read for anyone who loves the show! Andy Greene gets you inside the entire process, including the show's creation, casting, what happened inside the writer's room, and what actors were thinking during specific scenes. Reveals so many inside details about the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company, many that even I didn't know--and I played the owner!" --Andy Buckley (aka David Wallace), actor, The Office

"A fascinating behind-the-scenes look at The Office. Even though the show was my home for many years, I still learned a lot by reading this book. I couldn't put it down!" --Jennifer Celotta, executive producer and writer on The Office

"Andy Greene's epic history of The Office is as brilliant, riotous, addictive and essential as the show itself. Greene tells the whole strangely heroic tale of how one weird show accidentally reshaped TV comedy--and makes it feel like a time capsule of our entire culture." --Rob Sheffield, New York Times bestselling author of Dreaming the Beatles and Love is a Mixtape

"In this behind-the-scenes trove for the countless fans of The Office, Rolling Stone senior writer Greene pulls together comments, context, and insights in a round-table style that tracks the sitcom's origins and success... With cogent chapters about key episodes, lead characters... craft talk, and nuts-and-bolts details, Greene smartly lets the contributors elaborate how a workplace mockumentary became a cultural phenomenon... A fond, funny, informative trip down Memory Lane for series buffs and newcomers alike." --Kirkus

"First-time author Greene delivers a fascinating oral history of The Office... Greene, a pop culture writer for Rolling Stone, illuminates the show thanks to nearly 100 interviews with cast members, writers, directors, producers, and crew along with various TV executives and critics... With its wealth of anecdotes, this entertaining history will delight the series's many fans." --Publishers Weekly

"Greene's affectionate tribute will satisfy Office devotees eager for a behind-the-scenes look at this beloved sitcom." --Library Journal

Review Quote

"When Andy Greene interviewed me for this book, he was actually the first person to mention that I had acted in a TV show ... I thought up to that point that I was actually working at a paper company. But in any case, I loved the book. It''s spot on, with great background stories, and I learned so much." -- Creed Bratton, actor, The Office "Writer Andy Greene puts one of the most resonant sitcoms in American comedy under a microscope in his in-depth oral history, The Office: The Untold Story Of The Greatest Sitcom Of The 2000s . Even for the most insatiable fan, this rendering provides some of the most surprising revelations via an award-winning (and still quite passionate) cast and crew." -- The A.V. Club "It just might be the perfect time to re-binge-watch the iconic TV series, and Greene''s ''untold story,'' complete with cast interviews, is the ideal companion volume." -- People "Fans of The Office who are looking for a meaningful way to celebrate the show''s 15th anniversary are in luck... [Author Andy] Greene conducted a whopping 86 interviews for this book, which he combined with archival material, past show-related interviews, and quotes from DVD commentaries. The end result is a masterful, captivating story of The Office'' s nine-season run on NBC that will give fans a deeper understanding of what it was like working on the show, and offer a heavy dose of nostalgia." -- Mashable "[A] love letter to the show... a dream guide and oral history into the full creative process ... The behind-the-scenes detailing of classic episodes along with the thoughts from the people on the front lines of the show make this a perfect book for fans along with students studying how television series are made." -- Jeff Ayers, Associated Press "Perhaps the best review I can give for The Office: An Oral History is that as a huge fan of the show, this book made me laugh out loud and cry on many occasions while managing to surprise me at every turn. I both learned and felt a lot, which is pretty much the best you can hope for in a book." --Hypable "At times poignant, at times hilarious, and always fascinating, Andy Greene''s The Office is a treasure chest of new details and photos. Along with your DVDs and bobbleheads, you must add this to your own superfan collection." -- Jennie Tan, founder of the top fan site OfficeTally.com "A tremendously fun must-read for anyone who loves the show! Andy Greene gets you inside the entire process, including the show''s creation, casting, what happened inside the writer''s room, and what actors were thinking during specific scenes. Reveals so many inside details about the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company, many that even I didn''t know--and I played the owner!" -- Andy Buckley (aka David Wallace), actor, The Office "A fascinating behind-the-scenes look at The Office . Even though the show was my home for many years, I still learned a lot by reading this book. I couldn''t put it down!" --Jennifer Celotta, executive producer and writer on The Office "Andy Greene''s epic history of The Office is as brilliant, riotous, addictive and essential as the show itself. Greene tells the whole strangely heroic tale of how one weird show accidentally reshaped TV comedy--and makes it feel like a time capsule of our entire culture." -- Rob Sheffield, New York Times bestselling author of Dreaming the Beatles and Love is a Mixtape "In this behind-the-scenes trove for the countless fans of The Office , Rolling Stone senior writer Greene pulls together comments, context, and insights in a round-table style that tracks the sitcom''s origins and success... With cogent chapters about key episodes, lead characters... craft talk, and nuts-and-bolts details, Greene smartly lets the contributors elaborate how a workplace mockumentary became a cultural phenomenon... A fond, funny, informative trip down Memory Lane for series buffs and newcomers alike." -- Kirkus "First-time author Greene delivers a fascinating oral history of The Office ... Greene, a pop culture writer for Rolling Stone , illuminates the show thanks to nearly 100 interviews with cast members, writers, directors, producers, and crew along with various TV executives and critics... With its wealth of anecdotes, this entertaining history will delight the series''s many fans." -- Publishers Weekly "Greene''s affectionate tribute will satisfy Office devotees eager for a behind-the-scenes look at this beloved sitcom." --Library Journal

Promotional "Headline"

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

Excerpt from Book

Introduction: An American Workplace Throughout the nine-season run of The Office, the Dunder Mifflin ware- house set was the filming location for everything from a brutal all-staff roast of regional manager Michael Scott to the casino party where paper salesman Jim Halpert finally gathered up the courage to tell his longtime crush, receptionist Pam Beesly, that he was hopelessly in love with her. But near the end of the seventh season, in the spring of 2011, it was used for a far more somber occasion: the real-life goodbye party for Steve Carell. The cast had spent the entire day fighting off real tears while Carell filmed his final few scenes as Michael Scott, and now they were finally able to let them out as he gave a private farewell address standing next to an enormous white cake shaped like his already-iconic World''s Best Boss mug, a framed Dunder Mifflin hockey jersey, and four rectangular pizzas from his favorite Italian spot, Barone''s. Someone had even had the fore- sight to place a box of tissues on a red table just a couple feet away from Carell''s microphone, knowing tears were likely to come. Nearly everyone who worked on the show--including John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, Ed Helms, Mindy Kaling, and Rainn Wilson (still wearing the mustard-yellow shirt favored by his quasi-Amish beet farmer charac- ter, Dwight Schrute)--was crammed in front of a makeshift stage, and Carell addressed each department individually as he tried to keep the mood light after a rough day of shooting. "To construction," he said. "Thank you for making it strong, durable, and able to withstand a strong pounding." And then, with just minimal guidance from Carell, everyone gleefully yelled out Michael Scott''s (slightly problematic by today''s stan- dards) catchphrase in unison: "That''s what she said!" He went around the entire room ("To set dressing and art, thank you for your constant tweaking and making something small look so big. . . . That''s what she said! To production, thank you for keeping so many balls in the air That''s what she said!") before he put down his prepared re- marks, removed his reading glasses, and took a truly goofy moment and made it gut-wrenchingly sincere, just like many of the greatest episodes of The Office . "I didn''t prepare really anything else to say," he said. "This is over- whelming, obviously. It''s been a fantastic seven years for me. I was talking to [my wife] Nancy about it a few days ago as this was all hitting me and she said something that I thought really nailed it. And that was, ''Well, your professional identity is wrapped up in this show,'' which I knew. And then she said so simply, ''And they''re your friends.'' That''s really it. You''re my friends." On that last word, friends, Carell choked up so badly he could barely get it out and he had to run offstage toward his wife as cries of "We love you, Steve" filled the cavernous space. "I remember somebody wanted to do an ''O Captain! My Captain!'' speech," says Kate Flannery, who played boozy supplier-relations representative Meredith Palmer. "John Krasinski talked us out of it. I think it would have been too uncomfortable because Steve was just too emotional. We did put together a scrapbook for him with some old pictures. Steve actually gave us all Rolex watches that he had engraved. I wear it to this day because it reminds me that everything that happened did actually happen. I know it sounds crazy because things are so fleeting in the TV business, but we were family. We really were." When that family had first come together to shoot the Office pilot seven years earlier, Carell was the most famous face in the group only because everyone else was a complete unknown, many still working day jobs to pay the bills. Carell had just wrapped up a long stint as a Daily Show correspondent, but his recent shift into the world of sitcoms with support- ing roles on Julia Louis-Dreyfus''s Watching Ellie and Tom Papa''s Come to Papa had been catastrophic. Both shows were canceled within weeks of NBC''s putting them on the air, leaving barely a dent in the public con- sciousness. When The Office premiered on March 24, 2005, it seemed like it was destined to suffer a similar fate after airing a pilot that was practically a shot-for-shot remake of the original UK Office --a groundbreaking BBC show helmed by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant--and was dismissed as a pale, pointless retread by critics. What saved it was Carell, who throughout the second season transformed Michael Scott from an unre- pentant asshole to a genuinely lovable doofus acting out due to crushing loneliness and a desperate need for love. The show would limp ahead for two seasons after Carell''s farewell party, but even at the time most of the cast and crew knew that an Office without Michael Scott was a very dicey proposition. The main cast swelled to a ridiculous high of nineteen people in the final season, only underscor- ing the fact that, in the words of one writer, Michael Scott was a "load- bearing character" that the show simply couldn''t function without, no matter how many bodies they crammed into the Dunder Mifflin bullpen. But time has dimmed the bitter aftertaste of those last two years and restored The Office to its rightful place as one of the greatest sitcoms of all time, right up there with I Love Lucy, Seinfeld, Cheers, and The Simpsons . (Unlike those shows, however, The Office is a "single camera" show and presents the action through the eyes of a documentary film crew.) Bars across the country pack in hordes of college-age fans during weekly Office trivia battles, Comedy Central and Nick at Nite air the reruns nearly every night to enormous ratings, and Comcast recently shelled out $500 million to obtain the streaming rights from Netflix in 2021 so The Office can be- come the centerpiece of their new streaming service. (Netflix doesn''t re- lease numbers publicly, but according to multiple sources The Office is consistently their most popular offering, eclipsing even Friends reruns and their original hit shows like Stranger Things, Black Mirror, and Orange Is the New Black .) The show started at a time when audiences had little reason to expect anything even remotely watchable from the four major networks beyond occasional brilliant flukes like Arrested Development or Freaks and Geeks . And after years of pathetic attempts to clone Friends, they''d resorted to soulless, paint-by-numbers sitcoms like According to Jim, My Wife and Kids, and George Lopez, complete with sappy music cues, wisecracking kids, and laugh tracks that went off after every lame zinger of a joke. Out of this scene somehow came a faux-documentary show about the sad, often des- perate lives of the employees at a struggling paper company. Amelie Gillette (Writer, Seasons 7 and 8): Nothing on TV was like The Office back then. The comedy was small and it was dry. The people looked like real people, which was a rare thing, especially for a sitcom. It proved that you could do something romantic without being dramatic and that you can do something that feels real, that feels grounded, even though there is this artifice of it being a documentary that tricks you into thinking it''s real. Jen Celotta (Writer, Seasons 2-6): What made The Office relatable, I think, was the fact that people were bored at their jobs. They felt like, "Oh, I can relate to this. I can relate to this feeling of having to sit at the desk next to someone who, outside of work, I wouldn''t necessarily be friends with." Lee Eisenberg (Writer, Seasons 2-6): We really liked cringe comedy and the show can be the cringiest of cringe comedy, but there was also a love story that was so compelling. You hadn''t really seen anything like that before where the comedy was so great and then in the background was this story that you''re just completely drawn to. You really gave a shit about all the characters. Gene Stupnitsky (Writer, Seasons 2-6): In some ways it reminded me of a show like Friends where you laugh and you care. It''s so hard to pull that off. To make you feel something is the hardest thing. Ken Kwapis (Director): The Office had the idea that the comedy was be- havioral. The stories weren''t joke driven. The comedy focused on human behavior. And I think one of the secret weapons of the show is that not only is the humor dry, but the show is literally dry. There''s no music. J. J. Abrams (Director): I think what Ricky [Gervais] and Stephen [Mer- chant] created was a completely relatable, universal idea in the same way that [other British imports] Sanford and Son and All in the Family did as well. There are certain ideas--whether it''s about being the underdog, liv- ing with a bigot, or being in an office setting with people that you''re forced to make your family--that work anywhere. Obviously the David Brent character and Michael Scott were both a very relatable idea, the sort of inadvertently, unbearably offensive coworker. The nugget of the idea was so perfect and so rich that it could probably work in most any culture. Clark Duke (Clark Green, Season 9): The Office replicated a thing that I love about Robert Altman movies in that it wasn''t afraid of boredom and silence. Those things can be powerful tools if you use them correctly. And people love watching shows about rich people, but you rarely saw some- thing about middle-class people in the middle o

Product Details

Author
Andy Greene
Publisher
Penguin Putnam Inc
Year
2020
ISBN-10
1524744972
ISBN-13
9781524744977
Format
Hardcover
Publication Date
2020-03-24
Country of Publication
United States
Pages
336
Subtitle
The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s: An Oral History
Illustrations
6 Illustrations, unspecified
Short Title
The Office
Language
English
Audience
General/Trade