“World’s Best Boss” mugs across the globe were dropped on the floor when Netflix announced it would be removing cult favorite “The Office” from its streaming services back in 2019. Luckily for lovers of the sitcom, the show has been revived by the spinoff podcast “Office Ladies.”
Rather than reprising their famed roles as Dunder Mifflin employees Pam and Angela on the “Office Ladies” podcast, actresses Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey instead take listeners on a nostalgic journey back to the set of “The Office” by exploring what went on behind the small screen. Fischer and Kinsey’s podcast gives listeners the opportunity to transform into flies on the wall on the set of the popular television series.
The podcast includes weekly installments, each between 60 and 90 minutes, which focus on one episode from the hit series. The stars break “The Office” episodes down scene by scene to reveal all the background work, decisions and behind the scenes shenanigans that were not shown on air.
Quick episode summaries are followed by scene-by-scene analysis filled with what Fischer calls Fast Facts, which are fun facts about filming, props or scripts. Another segment of the show includes Kinsey’s Tidbits, interjections by Kinsey about the meaning behind a certain prop or some inconsistency she noticed while rewatching an episode.
Due to constant reruns and its availability on streaming services, “The Office” has curated an unprecedented intragenerational audience that is constantly growing. However, fans of the show tend to focus on what they can see: the actors and the characters they play on screen.
The work done behind the scenes is often forgotten by its fandom, which is what makes “Office Ladies” so valuable. The impact of this podcast lies in Fischer and Kinsey’s ability to highlight critical crew members who were entrenched in the creation and production of “The Office” but are often left unacknowledged.
Fischer and Kinsey clearly do their research before sitting down to record. The actresses’ preparation includes a careful and attentive rewatch of the particular episode and reaching out to prop managers, writers, actors and directors for any extra information they may have about what happened that specific day on set.
One standout feature of the show is its guest list. Fischer and Kinsey have brought on many “The Office” alumni to reflect on the series with them. Among these guests are stars Mindy Kaling and John Krasinski, both of whom were involved in the writing and directing of the show in addition to their acting roles. Other guests on the podcast include members of the production team listeners may not recognize, as they were not on screen, such as producer and production manager Kent Zbornak.
Yet another well-executed feature of the podcast includes a question and answer section, which renders listening to “Office Ladies” an interactive experience for fans by allowing them to send questions to the hosts. Questions range from “Did you actually film at XYZ location?” to “Was this joke improvised by Steve Carell or actually written in the script?”
“Office Ladies” creates a warm and welcoming atmosphere for those tuning in. From Fischer and Kinsey occasionally going off on tangents about their personal lives to the way they refer to each other with “hey lady!” the hosts build a sense of familiarity. This casual nature is essential to the podcast as listeners most likely spent a few years of their lives watching these actresses on the television screen.
Listening to Fischer and Kinsey feels like listening in on a conversation between two friends reminiscing about a shared experience. For the most part, this dynamic succeeds at drawing in listeners; however, it does have its drawbacks.
At times, listening can feel like third-wheeling in a conversation. When the hosts reference specific moments on set, listeners can feel out of the loop on an inside joke. The banter can leave the audience laughing awkwardly and acutely aware they are fans of “The Office” and not cast members.
Despite these occasional, forced moments, “Office Ladies” continues to breathe new life into a series which has survived long past its 2013 finale, with each episode revealing new, never-before-known stories. Behind-the-scenes stories satisfy listeners’ desires to learn more about their beloved show.
With fun stories retold in a captivating and comedic manner, Fischer and Kinsey have succeeded in creating a place where fans of “The Office” can come together to geek out over fun facts of life at Dunder Mifflin while simultaneously validating the efforts of the behind-the-scenes crew that worked endlessly to craft the show so many fans miss.