The typical office, regardless of the country or era, is a prime spot for a television or movie set because it’s so relatable. No matter what kind of job you have now, there’s a good chance you worked in an office at one point, or at least you hear your friends talking about it. An office environment itself can even take on a character role, showing viewers instantly whether the environment is prim and proper, boring, sleek and modern, or a veritable hell hole that drives the characters insane.
It’s the addition to such environment such as gorgeous desktop displays that can suggest the environment is nurturing. However, stark white cubicles where everyone seems to be in mini prisons suggests the opposite. Check out these iconic office characters from the big and small screen and choose your favorite:
1. Michael from “The Office”
Carell adapted the equally mentionable UK’s “The Office” for an American audience perfectly. In fact, every character on the show deserves mention for perfectly mimicking and poking fun at the average office life. While few people (fortunately) had a boss like Michael, it was easy to spot the worst characteristics of your office-mates in his character and everyone else’s.
2. Don Draper, “Mad Men”
“Mad Men” is revered just as much for the costumes and production as it is for the acting and storyline. Would Draper be Draper if it weren’t for the wet bar tucked next to his desk or the mid-century décor? Probably not, and although some of the characters have modern day office workers wishing for a throwback (who wouldn’t want to work with Joan or Don?), it’s a reminder that for the most part times have changed for the better.
3. Milton, “Office Space”
Nowhere near a major character, Milton still stole the scene whenever he popped up. To this day, office workers are still seeking out red Swingline staples and quotes from this film have withstood the test of the time. It doesn’t matter that this movie is over 15 years old. It still rings true, and the production (complete with zero plants) showcased what a worst case office environment looked like.
4. Liz Lemon, “30 Rock”
30 Rockefeller Center does indeed include fictional office spaces along with sound stages and the excitement of a New York production. However, it was in the VIP’s offices, Liz’s own office and of course the conference room where a lot of the most memorable scenes took place. This show married every American’s fantasies of a fast paced NYC lifestyle with the humorous realities in extreme situations.
From Mary Tyler Moore to Rules of Engagement, on-screen offices are just as diverse as real-life. Take a close look at the office environment the next time you’re on the job hunt; it can clue you in to the real company culture.