Office antics reflected
Viewers can learn a lot about how to survive the daily grind via television shows depicting the workplace
EVEN the Manhattan television studio in NBC’s 30Rock isn’t immune to the recession. As many are facing the stress of corporate downsizing, 30Rock returns in its fourth season to deal with some business hardships.
The boss, Jack Donaghy’s Alec Baldwin, receives a huge bonus amid threats of cost-cutting. Kenneth (Jack McBrayer) stands up to the corporate hypocrisy, staging a mini-strike. While set in the privileged world of showbiz, 30Rock has managed to find a way to reflect the state of many workplaces.
In fact, we can learn a lot about how to survive the daily grind via television. Shows as diverse as The Office, Curb Your Enthusiasm and How I Met Your Mother are loaded with conflict. But they also teach us a little bit about resolution.
Newsradio: Weekdays, SET, 9am and Fridays double bill at 6.50pm. Co-workers talking behind your back.
Conflict: Dave (Dave Foley) overhears his station staff having a little fun at his expense. With his ego bruised, he tur ns to head boss Jimmy James (Stephen Root), who sets everyone straight. Jimmy stashes Dave behind a curtain and then calls the group into his office. When he announces that he’s letting Dave go, they rush to his defence, proving that they really do appreciate him. Resolution: Things aren’t always as bad as they seem.
Ugly Betty: Wednesdays, 5pm, Vuzu. Backstabbing co-workers.
Conflict: Betty (America Ferrera) gets her friend and former nemesis a job at Mode, but Kimmie (Lindsay Lohan) hasn’t changed a bit since high school, and she’s just using Betty to get what she wants. The battle between the two comes to a head at a Mode cover shoot, when Betty gives Kimmie good advice, knowing she’ll never listen. Resolution: Sometimes it pays to play by the rules.
Just Shoot Me! SET, Fridays, 12.40pm. Climbing the corporate ladder.
Conflict: Amy Watson (Tiffani Amber Thiesen) gets a job as Maya’s (Laura San Giacomo) assistant at Blush, but her hopes of climbing through the ranks are crushed when her new boss won’t take her writing seriously. Amy bypasses Maya and goes to Jack (George Segal) and gets the job she wants. Resolution: Don’t take no for an answer.
The Office: on M-Net Series at 8pm, Wednesday: Discretion with employees on financial matters
Conflict: The Dunder-Mifflin home office infor ms co-branch managers Jim (John Krasinski) and Michael (Steve Carell) that not everyone will be able to receive an annual raise. Jim thinks the employees can be dealt with openly. Michael thinks they should be left in the dark. Resolution: When both approaches anger the staff, Jim and Michael retreat to an office and drink gin.
How I Met Your Mother: e.tv, Fridays at noon. Office acquaintances
Conflict: Barney Stinson needs a new pal for nights out on the town. He ends up drinking with co-workers and drafts college pal Randy (Will Forte) to be his new wingman. Resolution: Mixing work and pleasure turns out, not surprisingly, to be a bad idea. An acceptable working acquaintance Randy is no more, as personal details are no longer hidden. Awkwardness ensues.
Spin City: Being supportive of an eccentric boss, especially in politics.
Conflict: Deputy mayor Mike Flaherty (Michael J Fox) must deal with the quirks of his boss, DC Mayor Randall Winston (Barry Bostwick). Resolution: Flaherty is so supportive of his boss that his final act as deputy mayor is to take the rap for a link to the Mafia the mayor unwittingly had. – Los Angles Times