When you watch The Office for the first time you actually don't laugh though it is a comedy. You are so embarrassed and amazed to see your own life that you are not able to laugh. When you see an episode of The Office for the second time you begin to laugh and then even more - perhaps to cry from laughter. And when you watch an episode of The Office for the third time you see you need to change your life. Hard to say whether the producers and actors of The Office were working for it intentionally, but I guess now they are happy to have such a great result.
We should say The Office is in a way a very British thing and not every foreigner can understand it even from the third time. But the moment he or she begins to understand is actually the moment of international unity.
There is always only a light vein of humor but that is the thing that makes you laugh hard long after the joke was said. Just imagine, you are at work and your boss says you something very serious about racial intolerance and your friend say he knows this problem is also discussed at the British Family dinners! For someone he actually would sound so smart, but surely not for you and your friend, who have watched one of the first series!
The series helps people not only to laugh at their colleagues, bosses and neighbors, but what is so important at themselves. And maybe this effect "of the third time" made the series so famous and so many times rewarded. The Office is so close to real life that it seems they have filmed it at your working place, and there are guys from the next room starring. So, we should say thanks to guys, especially to Ricky Gervais and David Brent who are so great actors to make us believe in the story!
Sometimes we are really rude at work, or may be too attached to the carrier and to the boy from the next table. We don't notice that but now we have a chance to look at it from the outside. We watch The Office after work and that is the kind of therapy. It is like having a diary. You watch and see: ha! That guy is so silly, he always tries to seem funny and easy-going, but why is he so rude? Why that guy is so self-assured and bossy? He is just a clerk he should work harder to become the boss and not to watch the lady at the reception all the day long. Ricky Gervais and David Brent have succeeded in imitating the best and worst parts of ourselves.
And then you understand that you are laughing and criticizing yourself. And it is you who should be more hardworking and not to gaze at the girl. It is you who offended the guy from the warehouse and did not notice it. It is you who was so bossy to another clerk of The Office just because he failed to fulfill the given task.
This series is surely a kind of "how-to-do" series. But not in the way Sex in the City does it, when you feel like imitating the characters: dress like the four friends, behave alike, and talk in the same manner. "The Office" is better to say a "how-not-to-do" kind. And it is surely a more effective way. One would never behave like a person, he or she is going to laugh at in the evening. In fact, we have such kind of "manuals" in our every day life. Unintentionally, we estimate the acts of different people and can use them as the example. But we have The Office to do it for us: to notice, to analyze and to get the lesson.