“Wow! Lady, that is Amazing!”
These emboldened words perfectly describe the sassy, empowered duo of Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey. According to research done by a fan, Dr. Peter Thibodeau, Lady was said 636 times and Amazing was said 786 times by the 92nd episode. It investigates their friendship and emphasizes the show’s friendly atmosphere.
“The Office” co-stars, Angela Kinsey and Jenna Fischer who play Angela Martin and Pam Beasley respectively, launched their podcast (or rather their homage) to the workplace comedy that literally changed their lives. Their friendship formed on set during the “Basketball” episode (Season 1, Episode 5). They sat next to each other on the sidelines, and once they started talking the rest was history. Their friendship flourished and strengthened throughout the show. Once the show ended, they remained best friends, continuing to navigate the acting world, but they missed the constant camaraderie of working together, so then the genius idea was born. They created a rewatch podcast of “The Office” in 2019, inviting fans to satisfy their need for more Office content through the eyes of two strong and unique best friends.
The podcast’s premise is simple: the two actors rewatch every episode of “The Office” while providing their commentary. However, this podcast is more complex and enlightening than a basic conversation about fond memories. There is a reason that these ladies said in a People magazine article that the podcast is a “love letter to fans.” It’s a goldmine for “The Office” fans, capturing technical details, personal memories and hysterical comedy that satisfies our need for more Office content.
The podcast stands out in many ways. Most importantly is the friendship between Kinsey and Fischer. Their conversations on each episode easily stray away from the topic at hand, but this is an essential part of the podcast. It’s as if you’re chatting with your own friends, sharing anecdotes, teasing each other and supporting one another all while delving deeper into the history of “The Office.” We get to know these ladies as real people instead of their characters that we have come to know as family through our tv screens.
Kinsey is a chatty, sassy ball of sunshine, enjoying life with a positive spirit and possessing the power to make friends wherever she goes. She shares behind-the-scenes stories about the contrast between her own loquacious nature with castmates versus her character of a judgmental accountant. This was a shock after only knowing the uptight Angela Martin, although they both share a love of cats. Fischer is more like Pam in certain ways, sharing a journey of finding themselves, as Jenna stated in an interview with CheatSheet, “it took me a long time, like Pam, to figure out how to speak up for myself.” However, each episode reveals the true Jenna Fischer: organized, passionate, hard-working and confident. This podcast has allowed fans to understand these two “boss ladies” on a personal level.
The intense attention to detail and thorough research is another compelling quality of the podcast. Instead of simply rewatching the episode and sharing their own experiences, these boss ladies showcase extensive details that reveal the complexity of the show and prove its legacy as a sitcom. There are interviews with the cast, crew and directors that give a special insight into what it took to produce each episode. Even guest actors are interviewed extensively. We learn how the documentary style provides an intimate perspective that three-camera comedies are unable to capture. The camera is another character, adding to the unique storytelling. We even learn production costs, prop information and location details that may seem boring to some but to other fans it cures their need for “The Office” knowledge, myself included.
Fischer and Kinsey have coined several terms unique to their podcast that demonstrate their dedication to a well-developed podcast with a quirky charisma. After several rewatches, Kinsey began to write on her infamous sticky note system, instances of “_____ Sass” where she observed characters who quipped bits of sarcasm during the scene. Observations such as these are an amusing addition to the commentary. The two often refer to each other as “Ladies who Google,” as they meticulously research and plan for each episode. This has also led to the Office Ladies’ classic bit called “Deep Dives” where they get sidetracked by research that sometimes has only a little to do with the actual episode. It is entertaining nonetheless, such as discovering that there are no gas stations in Carbondale that sell yams. Both Kinsey and Fischer’s personalities shine through to create an intricate and amusing podcast.
Another enthralling facet of the podcast is the vital life advice that has created a beautiful community of podcast fans. These two ladies often seem like your best friends, talking through issues and personal experiences that are easily relatable to our own lives. There is a strong female presence that empowers and inspires many viewers. This podcast has been a reassuring companion during difficult times in people’s lives and illustrates its power to influence its listeners heartily.
As a veteran listener, the podcast has remained a constant source of joy throughout the past few years of my life. College, quarantine, mental health events and times of grief all were characterized by podcast episodes which ensured a sense of comfort during these challenging chapters. Fischer and Kinsey feel like my friends and their strength reminds me to persevere and unleash my inner boss lady.
The Office Ladies have reinvigorated the podcast world. They have developed a special world for their fans, sharing the collaborative process between actors and production that has made “The Office” so notable and historic. The show is still going strong with the latest episode, “Costume Contest” (Season 7, Episode 6), which premiered on Sept. 29. The show is slowly coming to an end, with two more seasons to go, but its influence will endure for years.
Categories: Arts & Entertainment, featured
Good insight on several levels of the podcast