Labor Day Part II: “Have you tried turning it on and off again?”
In yesterday’s post, we explored some films that pay tribute to the worker and the working class experience. Today we lighten the mood with a selection of films and television programs available for checkout at the Media Library that celebrate the fun, the heartbreak, and the boredom of working.
This Mike Judge comedy was such an overwhelmingly obvious choice that I almost omitted it. I don’t even know where to begin as pretty much every scene in this movie about fed-up office workers and IT employees is memorable and quotable.
“Shock me, shock me, shock me with that deviant behavior…” A coming-of-age movie that led many to aspire to be underpaid record store employees, this cult classic takes place at an independent Delaware record store that is way cooler than anywhere I’ve worked. The store is populated by eccentric and very mid-90s characters who (in the course of one day) attempt to stop the store from being sold-out to a large chain. Enjoy some early performances from Ethan Embry, Liv Tyler, Robin Tunney, and Renee Zellweger.
I’m going to go ahead and say (against somewhat popular opinion) that I don’t actually like this movie. I’m sorry, I just don’t think it’s funny. That said, I do appreciate the depiction of the mundane and painfully boring parts of work. Also, other people like it.
Cancelled much too soon, this is one of two British television comedies I find funny (see below for the second). Set in London at Reyhnholm Industries, the show revolves around 3 awkward and slightly inept IT staff members and their ridiculous upper management. Recommending Season 3 Episode 4, “The Speech,” wherein the guys convince Jen that the Internet is contained in a box.
Come for the great 1980s fashion, stay for the highly problematic look at women in the workforce. Though this really is an unfortunate depiction of women and work, it has some entertainment value as a look back at 1980s “feminism” and fashion.
Although I’m not a fan of British television comedy (see above), The Office is certainly one of the finest television comedies produced in the US or the UK. On that note, I would like to heavily endorse the UK version over the comedically inferior US series. Although Steve Carrell plays the awkward and inept boss well, the ensemble is seriously lacking in comparison to its UK counterpart.