NBC’s The Office began as a series with plots as simple as its title. Each episode focused on the simple drudgery of working in an office that you’re not too found of. While Steve Carrel’s Michael Scott is playbilled as the lead, the reason viewers began to tune in wasn’t for the boss’s crazy antics, but rather for the simple pranks of everyman Jim Halpert. Jim Halpert starts the series as a mid to late twenty something year-old paper sales representative at paper supplier Dunder Mifflin. He is bored, uninterested, and apathetic towards his job. He dreams of a life better than the one he has; yet he does little to change it. He has no higher ambitions for his life other than one ending up with the secretary he spends all his free time flirting with. He is for all intents and purposes, a fictional representative of the recent phenomena that has taken over twenty something year-olds today.
The following is a paper I wrote that identified the culture of Emerson College. It’s not directly about TV, but includes many references and one of my main points revolves around Community. Also I figured I’d post it if only for the fact that in the part about Community I go meta within the essay.
Communities are often identified by the culture that forms around them, but the question of what defines the term “culture” is one of much debate. During a speech to the World Congress, poet, author and politician Aimé César claimed, “Culture is everything. Culture is the way we dress, the way we carry our heads, the way we walk, the way we tie our ties – it is not only the fact of writing books or building houses.” This is a working definition that can easily be applied to help classify what exactly is Emerson College culture. Emerson College is an institution greatly known for its acceptance of a wealth of different lifestyles, a place where everyone is encouraged to be unique and create a name that makes them standout from the crowd. And as a student at the college, I can testify to the truth of that statement. In a population that is meant to be so greatly diverse it may at first seem hard to label what exactly is Emerson culture, but the college’s dedication to media, communications, and the arts makes it an easy pick. Emerson culture is essentially the same as general popular culture.