The Office, Individualism, and the American Dream

Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

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11 Responses

  1. Kyle says:

    “Jamelle mentions ambition, and being “an ambitious guy” in his post. That’s key. Will mentions being a little older and realizing that life is full of little trade-offs. That’s key also. In many ways, The Office is a show about power and ambition and it is a show about trade-offs.”

    Broderist television criticism much?

    I kid. Good post.Report

  2. Lev says:

    Well said. I’ve read some of these posts about The Office, and while I’ve heard/had much criticism for The Office over the years, despite generally liking the show (though I still prefer the UK version), this particular line of criticism had never occurred to me. I wish there were more shows that took a skeptical view of the career-orientedness of American society. Frankly, after you’re dead, nobody’s going to care whether you made VP or didn’t. It’s not going to make people show up to the funeral. It’s the human connections you make that will be your real legacy. I like that The Office explores this sort of territory, and its popularity makes me optimistic that we might be moving beyond this particular complex as a people. Maybe…Report

    • E.D. Kain in reply to Lev says:

      Thanks. It is interesting that a show that explores some of the more common conundrums of daily life should be criticized as despairing, depressing, and so forth. I find the shows that lie about our expectations much more so.Report

  3. ThatPirateGuy says:

    My jobs doesn’t define me, it enables me.Report