Podcast Review : An Oral History of The Office

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

With the soothing voice of Brian Baumgartner and expertly-edited oral history covering tidbits from the entire cast and crew, the podcast provides first-hand account of how the show that struggled initially (struggled is being rather moderate taking into account the abysmal ratings of the show after Season 1 !!) , but a crazy confluence of like a million things kept it afloat and eventually became one of television’s most beloved and enduring comedies…

The Office' Oral History Podcast to Stream on Spotify | Hollywood Reporter

Exclusive to Spotify and produced by Propagate Content, the podcast covers everything an Office diehard fan could possibly think of… from the first meetings held by co-creator Ben Silverman and UK Office creator Ricky Gervais to the network pitch and the unique search for cast members to the best bits and most memorable cold opens. All of the episodes involves convoluted mix of behind-the-scenes interviews involving almost the entire cast and crew.

Some of the most interesting tidbits in the initial episodes were… How Ricky Gervais got the idea of the UK version and how he pitched it to BBC (British Bureaucratic Corporation as he puts it !!) , how the sudden superstardom of Steve Carell thanks to The 40-Year-Old Virgin after a lack-luster Season 1 convinced NBC to consider an extension of at least 6 episodes in Season 2 and how Steve’s portrayal in that movie convinced Greg Daniels to spin the character in a positive manner and shaped Michael Scott in a completely different manner. Also interesting was how the usage of iPod Video in the Christmas episode and subsequent release of the show on iTunes resonated so much with the younger audience and helped propel its popularity.

While the listeners might feel conflicted with 2 podcasts currently running on The Office by their cast members and whether this is too much of The Office nostalgia. I’m of course talking about the The Office Ladies Podcast hosted by Angela Kinsey and Jenna Fischer… The Office Ladies is a charming podcast in which two best friends reminisce about their days on the long-running podcast, while An Oral History Of The Office is more like a full-length oral history expertly edited with talking heads (including the very gracious Kinsey and Fischer).

Is one better than the other ? Absolutely not !! This is a rather crisp overview of the entire series instead of a episode-by-episode play, its origins, its impact, etc. And it is brilliantly done. The 12 episode limitation for this podcast is very helpful when compared to “The Office Ladies” podcast since it has a more of a “no non-sense” vibe and every minute and conversation shouldn’t be missed…


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