The Office (2005 — 2013) is one of the best shows ever, and one of the most binged during the pandemic. Watching self-proclaimed “world’s best boss” Michael Scott (Steve Carrell) manage Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton branch through the eyes of an on-site documentary crew is genius.
Based off the cult classic British show of the same name (2001 — 2003), which stars Ricky Gervais and Martin Freeman, The Office features an ensemble of colorful characters, each of whom must endure the narcissistic and child-like, but oftentimes lovable, regional manager Michael Scott.
Sadly, The Office ended in 2013 (although Michael Scott left a good few seasons before). But while there are other mockumentary sitcoms like Parks and Recreation (2009 — 2015), we think that there are existing IPs that need the fly-on-the-wall treatment!
While these IPs would need to be less adult than The Office, they still wield the potential to tell the most ordinary stories they’ve ever told! After all, to quote The Office’s Pam Beasley (Jenna Fischer), “There’s a lot of beauty in ordinary things”. Yes, that’s what she said!
So here are four hugely popular Disney and Universal franchises that we’d love to see done in the style of The Office!
4. The Muppets
You might think we’re cheating a little bit with this one, but if you have no idea what we’re talking about, that’s probably because you’ve never watched the existing Office-style Muppets show. The Muppets (2015 — 2016) was very short-lived, but was made in very much the same style as The Office, as it follows the Muppets’ everyday lives as they work on a late TV broadcast.
But as the show was cancelled after just one season, why do we think it should be revived? While The Muppets was admittedly inspired by The Office, we think that Kermit and the gang have a great mockumentary in them yet. Sometimes first attempts just don’t land – take the Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie (1991) and the hugely popular TV series of the same name, for example!
One of the problems with The Muppets, though, is that it relied heavily on Hollywood stars to entertain (there are plenty of big names throughout the show), which has always been something of a problem with the Muppets in more recent years. So if our favorite foam-made friends ever do ‘return to the office’, they just need to keep the work more ‘in house’!
Having Marvel on our list somehow feels even more ‘out there’ than the Muppets! Nevertheless, the incredibly rich Marvel Cinematic Universe is no stranger to comedy. And while we understand that it might not necessarily be equipped to tackle the kind of awkward, dry humor often seen in mockumentaries, never say never, because the MCU is the gift that keeps on giving.
The franchise is not without its fair share of comedic talent, either, whether it’s Chris Hemsworth, Paul Rudd, or even Florence Pugh! But should a mockumentary sitcom feature the main bread-winners of Avengers HQ, or ‘assemble’ a new line-up altogether? Well, the idea of seeing them all working in a Dunder Mifflin-style office just doesn’t feel right.
And besides, it doesn’t even need to be office-based, which might feel far too derivate anyway. In fact, after enjoying the awesomeness that is Marvel’s Hawkeye on Disney+, we would love to see a fly-on-the-wall sitcom — or perhaps even just a one-off special — that follows Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) and Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh) as they explore the Big Apple together!
2. Jurassic World
You probably think we’re starting to reach a little, but hear us out. While Jurassic World (2015) isn’t exactly a comedy (the same can be said about every Jurassic Park movie), like most blockbusters, it does have many funny moments, most of which take place in the park’s control room (although neither Simon Masrani or Claire Dearing are substitutes for Michael Scott).
While Jake Johnson’s light-relief character Lowery won’t be returning for Jurassic World: Dominion (2022), that doesn’t mean we can’t revisit the control room during the less chaotic days of the park! In fact, there are a few moments in the 2015 film that aren’t just awkward and funny – they’re relatable, something The Office is also known for.
One of the scenes in question is when Lowery is forced to suffer ‘big boss’ Vic Hoskins (Vincent D’Onofrio), who’s sitting far too close for comfort (we’ve all been there). So a show titled “Jurassic World: Control Room”, in which a camera crew observes Jurassic World employees as they monitor a park with dwindling attendance (and escaped dinosaurs, no doubt) sounds perfect!
1. Star Wars
The faraway galaxy was always going to be our number one, largely because it features several potential working environments for a mockumentary. The closest thing to Dunder Mifflin, though? Probably an Imperial setting of some kind, because we haven’t forgotten the genius skit that is Saturday Night Live’s Undercover Boss with Kylo Ren!
The skit is a parody of the popular Undercover Boss show, and follows Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) as he decides to remove his helmet and pose as a First Order trooper to see what everyday life is like for one of his employees. A mockumentary sitcom along these lines would be brilliant, but, of course, it would need to have its own identity.
We happen to think the days of the Empire wield plenty of comedy potential. After all, we’ve all had a boss we’ve found scary (Darth Vader), whose own boss we’ve been absolutely terrified of (Emperor Palpatine). Not only that, but every major organization has an office somewhere, so it’s fair to say that the Force would be strong in a sitcom of this nature!
Would you love to see any of these Disney and Universal franchises take inspiration from The Office? Or are there any others we haven’t listed which you think might work?