My favorite character from The Office is Oscar Martinez. Also, they are all my favorite character. I've watched all nine seasons twice (more about that later) and could talk about The Office all day. It turns out, the actors who portray the characters Pam and Angela could talk about it all day, too, and they do on their Office Ladies podcast! The two have been best friends since the first episodes of the show and this book is about their enduring relationship with each other, with the cast and crew from the show, interesting tidbits about filming and production, and how they are now their own bosses.
Jenna Fischer (Pam Beesly) and Angela Kinsey (Angela Martin) are the kind of best friends and people that you might have in your own life. They are chatty and welcoming, generous and kind, reliable and super funny. They throw baby showers for each other and those on their show. They plan viewing parties and holiday events and run errands together. They also send flowers and cards if someone is sick or there's a death in the family. They are incredibly decent people and co-workers and I enjoyed reading all about it. Coincidentally, Angela Kinsey's real life neighbor is the wonderfully weird Creed Bratton and reading about their "sauce walks" around the neighborhood with adult beverages in red Solo cups cracked me up!
This book made it onto many of the "Best of 2022" lists and because I generally run about six months behind in life (just kidding! but not really!) I read it now and loved every word of it. It is a fun read and the layout is adorably shared in alternating color coded Jenna and Angela segments. I did not start watching the show when it first came out, either. I started watching once season one or two became available on DVD from the library. I got caught up and then started watching "live" or with a DVR for the remaining seasons. All of the changes in technology since The Office first aired in 2005 are too numerous to mention, but there's a lot of discussion about that in the book. The lack of GPS, smart phones, and wireless technology were a few of the big ones. Some of the photos included in the book were originally taken as Polaroids and others were printed from film or digital. There's an original sign-in sheet from auditions where actors signed in with paper and pen and other memorable items.
In my opinion, experiencing The Office BFFs in print AND audio formats is the way to go and I'll explain why. It is chock-full of photos and images of documents and art shared in a scrapbook-style format and that does not translate in the audiobook. The audiobook is read by Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey, which is hilarious in and of itself, but also includes original music by Creed Bratton and Ed Helms, and bonus material not included in the book. There are special audio contributions from Rainn Wilson, Oscar Nuñez, Brian Baumgartner, Steve Carell, Ellie Kemper, Kate Flannery and Jennifer Garner. Jennifer Garner watched all the seasons of The Office with her kids during pandemic times and talks about what that meant for her and her family. I did the same thing at my house with The Office and spent a lot of time explaining that everything Michael Scott does on the show is the opposite of what is considered acceptable behavior at work and that's why it's funny. Overall, I found all of the stories interesting, relevant and relatable. Definitely worth your time.