The first time we binge-watched the American adaptation of the British show “The Office,” we loved it so much that when the credits rolled after the last episode, we went back to the first episode and started watching all nine seasons again.
The show gave the world the gift of Michael Scott, Dwight Schrute, the love story of Pam and Jim, unforgettable office pranks and Kevin’s famous chili. The hilarious series about the Scranton branch of the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company continues to be beloved by fans, six years after the last episode aired. And why wouldn’t they? The writing is excellent, as is the cast which included Steve Carell, John Krasinski, Rainn Wilson, B.J. Novak, Mindy Kaling, Ed Helms, Craig Robinson, Ellie Kemper and more.
A documentary is coming next year in time for the show’s 15th anniversary and there’s been talk about a reunion but that’s all there’s been so far—talk.
Until the documentary drops and the reunion turns into reality, here’s a fresh way to enjoy “The Office.” Two of the cast members (and now best friends) Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey, who played Pam and Angela in the show, have launched “Office Ladies,” a podcast where they rewatch episodes of the show and share behind-the-scenes stories. “Office Ladies” is produced by Earwolf, the same network behind the podcasts of Conan O’Brien, Jonathan Van Ness and more.
The first episode of “Office Ladies,” which came out last week, covered the show’s pilot.
Kinsey said, “We’re watching as an audience and it’s so fun.”
“We’ve become nerdy fans of our own show,” said Fischer.
One of the fascinating things revealed in the episode was something Ricky Gervais, who cocreated both the British and American versions of the office and starred in “The Office” UK as David Brent, said over lunch in the early days of the show. Fischer, who was thrilled to be at that lunch, quoted Gervais, “In England you can be really, really bad at your job and not get fired for a long time. In America, that’s gonna frustrate people. So my one piece of advice is Michael can be a buffoon, he can be silly, he can be irritating but I suggest you show glimpses of him actually being a good salesperson.”
Another interesting tidbit: Phyllis Smith was actually a casting associate who read scenes with the actors as they were auditioning. Director Ken Kwapis loved her and told cocreator and showrunner Greg Daniels that he wanted her on the show. That’s how Smith, who had dreamt of being an actress before becoming a casting associate, was given the role of Phyllis Vance. (She also gave Sadness her distinctive voice in Pixar’s “Inside Out” but we’re sure you know that.)
Through Fischer and Kinsey, we find out that members of the cast were actually asked to sit and pretend to work at their desks starting at 7:30 a.m. each day to give them that real office feeling while they worked on the pilot. They were also asked to personalize their desks. “I have a photo of myself and my grandmother in a frame that says ‘I heart grandma’ and my eyes are closed in the photo but my grandmother framed it anyway,” said Kinsey. “I have that on my desk and it kind of tickled me and made me think of my grandmother.”
In the first episode, you’ll hear Fischer and Kinsey share more secrets about the pilot and talk about Steve Carell, Rainn Wilson, their friendship, deleted scenes, the birth of Sprinkles the cat, fan theories, weird coincidences and the prop Kinsey stole from the set.
It was an enjoyable first hour and the next episodes are bound to be more interactive since they’re encouraging listeners to send in questions. We’re already looking forward to hearing about The Dundies.
You can listen to “Office Ladies” on theofficeladies.com or on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or any app you use to listen to podcasts.