An 8-year-old explains the appeal of The Office

THE OFFICE -- "Goodbye Michale, Part 2" Episode 722 -- Pictured: (l-r) Kate Flannery as Meredith Palmer, Steve Carell as Michael Scott, Brian Baumgartner as Kevin Malone (Photo by Chris Haston/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE OFFICE -- "Goodbye Michale, Part 2" Episode 722 -- Pictured: (l-r) Kate Flannery as Meredith Palmer, Steve Carell as Michael Scott, Brian Baumgartner as Kevin Malone (Photo by Chris Haston/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images) /

Even the kids are sad that The Office is leaving Netflix

I am not really a fan of The Office.

I know, I know. That is kind of sacrilegious to say in 2020. The Office has become the mecca of streaming television, the gold standard for shows that outlive their initial run on network TV, and the biggest beneficiary of the industry’s transition into streaming services.

It isn’t that I don’t like the show, I think it is quite funny. Steve Carell is one of my favorite actors and is fantastic as Michael Scott. Jim and Pam provide the emotional motor and chemistry, Dwight is a great, absurd comedic driver and then there is my personal favorite side character, Kevin, who is just… Kevin.

I just haven’t seen enough of it to really call myself a fan of the show. Quarantine quickly lured me in to watching the most episodes I have watched in a one week span (about 10), but that was the closest I got.

I escaped The Office fandom before it consumed me.

I am not a big television guy. I love sports. I love writing. I love gaming. I love movies. I don’t have the capacity to sit and binge a show. The Office, being as funny as it is, does not change that for me.

I sound like a complete outlier and at times I feel like one, too. My girlfriend of five years loves the show and her entire family does, too. She has seen every episode… multiple times. She read the books, listened to the podcasts and owns a collection of merchandise. Her dad sports a Dunder Mifflin shirt frequently. Her mom has a letter board in the kitchen that, for quite some time, read “bears, beets, Battlestar Galactica.

None of that compares to the most interesting Office fan of her family, her eight-year-old brother Gavin. Gavin turns nine in January and was born one day after episode 164 of the show titled “Pool Party,” which was 15 episodes after the show’s flagship star, Steve Carell, left the production.

Gavin is a superfan of The Office at such a young age. The adult jokes fly over his head while the humor in Jim pranking Dwight does not (Jim is his favorite character because of the pranks he pulls on Dwight). He may not fully understand the premise of the “that’s what she said” joke, but he still laughs every time Michael says it.

Gavin is such a big fan that he can rattle off his favorite episode of the show without hesitation. “Season 2 Episode 12 ‘The Injury’,” he said promptly when asked.

He nailed the exact season, episode number and episode name despite the episode coming out six years before he was born.

The episode, for those who may not remember by name, is when Michael Scott injures his foot after stepping on a George Foreman grill that he set up because he loves waking up to the smell of bacon. One of the few episodes of the show that I myself have seen. It is wonderful.

This is the beauty of The Office, though. It can connect with an eight-year-old based on an episode of the show that he shockingly loves and I shockingly do not. Neither of us fit the mold, yet both of us erupt in belly laughs at the sheer ludicrousy of the episode’s premise.

So how does an eight-year-old connect to a show that is obviously not made for him? Comfort. Gavin loves The Office because “[he] grew up watching it and it makes me laugh and I find it very comforting.”

While The Office is not dying and being sent to streaming purgatory, it is going to be less available to a lot of people. The show is moving onto NBC’s streaming service, Peacock, which is yet another streaming service fee for people to pay, really, just to watch The Office.

Time will tell if Gavin’s mom will cave into paying for Peacock, but I would not be surprised if she does.

When asked how he felt about the show leaving Netflix, Gavin simply said, “Very sad, because I grew up watching it and there was never a time that I felt sad while watching the show and now that it is leaving Netflix, I feel sad.”

C’mon, mom! How can you deny him Peacock? Christmas is around the corner! (Also thank you in advance for my gift).

Who can be sad at Michael burning his foot on a George Foreman grill, or Jim impersonating Dwight, or Dwight’s “Staying Alive” CPR session, or Kevin dropping his sacred bowl of chili? Nobody.

It is a show based in a very real-world setting that provides such an escape from the crazy reality we live in. Gavin has used this escape along with millions of other people from all backgrounds, genders, and especially in Gavin’s case, ages. It is a show that is so simple, yet so complex. So ridiculous, yet so endearing.

Even the guy who is not a big fan of the show can recognize the beauty in that.

Next. 15 best episodes of The Office to watch before it leaves Netflix. dark