Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Stew, Cats, and The Office

The typical cubicle workplace. Endless clicking away and checking the time to see if you can leave. America has many of workplaces, and the common stereotypes that is both associated with the workers and the job itself are still very relevant to today's culture. The Office, an American- made comedy created around the style of it's British made counterpart tells the stories of a cast of odd but regular people at a paper company in Pennsylvania. Once (and still) a very popular show, the cast is shown in such a way that each stereotype surrounding its very specific set of people is very clear for comedic effect.

Let's start with the obese guy. Three of the many stereotypes incorporated with large people include being slow, clumsy, and being overly obsessed with food. Throughout the entire show, Kevin Malone is shown as both of these stereotypes in the film such. This can be seen around the middle of the series. Kevin has just made a big pot of stew, and is happily bringing it into the office. He however trips, hurling is newly made stew into the floor. Out of desperation (and this is sad), he drops down and starts to try to scoop the stew back into the pot with his hands.  Although this is very funny, the show uses the stereotypes already common in society and puts it into this character to get the most out of this comedic act. Here is one out of the many acts the show uses these stereotypes to portray Kevin in a funny way. Image result for kevin famous chili gif

Another common stereotype would be that women who aren't married by their mid 30-40’s automatically become non social and cranky “cat lady”, who make up for the lack of loving by buying and keeping lots and lots of cats. Angelina Martine is the perfect example of this. In one such episode, the fire alarm in the office begins to go off. Now although the fire is a false alarm, the staff doesn't know this and everyone begins to go into a panic. The camera pans over to watch Angelina start to pull multiple cats out of her drawers and toss them into the now broken ceiling to save them from the fire. In another example, Angelina starts to talk about her relationship with her sister. She continues by telling us that she hasn't talked to her sister in 16 years, because of some fight she can't even remember, and remarking the she is that good (at fights). These examples use these stereotypes to mold the character in the show.

Here are just two examples of stereotypes used, although there are many more used in the show. This however applies to much more than The Office, as media everywhere uses these common stereotypes to increase the number of viewers or enhance their popularity in american culture. I think comedies however use this most of all, as these stereotypes can make some funny scenes.


  1. I totally agree with your analysis of the stereotypes in The Office. Really great evidence to back up your thesis.

  2. I've never thought about how stereotypical Kevin is, great job.

  3. I've never thought about how stereotypical Kevin is, great job.