As millions of people receive their vaccinations, discussions have begun to address what returning to work will look like. Undoubtedly, some of us will still be video conferencing in our PJ’s while shoveling guacamole into our mouths with our cameras off.
Getting Ready for Work Doesn’t Have to be Terrible
But as more and more folks get ready for work again, we wanted to provide a reminder of how entertaining, funny, and exciting work life can be.
Granted, this list would require a time machine, but there were too many good options from the past to ignore. Below are five fictional workplaces that we would be willing to commute to every day.
The Mindy Project
(Streaming on Hulu)
Mindy Kaling writes, directs, produces, and is the lead character, Mindy Lahiri, in this star-studded comedy. Lahiri, a successful ob-gyn with impeccable fashion sense, is determined to discover the disciplined, centered, responsible adult she knows exists inside her. This journey of discovery typically results in social blunders, overeating and some eminently quotable lines like, “I want you to love me in a way that I can show on instagram.” Yes, Mindy, we get you.
(Streaming on Hulu and Available on Amazon Prime)
We traveled back in time a bit for this one, but it feels worth the trip. It’s the place where everybody knows your name and they are always glad you came (the catchy theme song is one of its perks).
Sam Malone is a retired Red Sox player who now runs a bar. Helped out by the hilariously literal barkeep, Coach, and the hot-tempered Carla, the series begins with Sam hiring a second waitress, Diane Chambers. Diane’s interest in the intellectual puts her at odds with the regulars, except Cliff Claven, the bar’s know-it-all and former Jeopardy contestant. And of course, Norm Peterson, the fixture at the front corner of the bar whose responses to “How’s it going?” are generally something like, “It’s a dog-eat-dog world, and I’ve got milkbone underwear” are not to be missed. The ensemble cast changes throughout the years and the cameo appearances are fun spots of “Remember when” Hollywood’s legendary stars were just getting going.
(Still broadcasting on NBC and streaming on Hulu)
If you have an appreciation for the ridiculous, Superstore is your workplace of choice. Although the recent departure of the show’s anchor, the ever-practical Amy, (America Ferrera), each member of the ensemble cast brings their own brand of quirk. From the militant Dina obsessed with store security to the insistently naive Glenn, Superstore is place to enjoy the full variety of humanity including some heartwarming moments that are sure to give you the feels.
(Available on Peacock for free and Hulu with a premium subscription)
“The Office” is about a an office in Scranton, Pennsylvania that is part of the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company. The branch is run by the initially-horrifyingly-cringey-but-ultimately-endearing, Michael Scott (Steve Carell) who is rarely ready for work. Dwight (Rainn Wilson) plays his obsessively loyal sidekick and the office romance between Jim (John Krasinski) and Pam (Jenna Fischer) is one of the better tv romances of the decade. Kelly Kapoor is played by none other than Mindy Kaling who clearly has an eye for fun places to work.
Parks and Rec
(Available on Peacock for free and Hulu with a Premium subscription)
According to the main character, Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler), there is no better place in the world to work than the parks department in Pawnee, Indiana. Everyone is ready for work according to Leslie. By the end of this series, there is a good chance you will agree with her that government work is great. (Or you might agree more with Andy). In a small town, this ensemble cast generates global-level optimism and inspiration in every season. Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman) becomes your favorite person to quote. April (Aubrey Plaza) and Andy (Chris Pratt) warm your heart. Tom (Aziz Ansari) and Jerry (Jim O’Heir) become the two underdogs you root for and Donna (Retta) shows you the true meaning of the word confidence. TREAT YO SELF.
Bonus option: Mad Men
(Available for free on Amazon Prime)
Set in the 1960’s, this seven-season drama depicts the high-pressure existence of Madison Avenue advertising executives. Complete with continuous glasses of Scotch, bouffant hairstyles and chain-smoking, this story centers on Don Draper (Jon Hamm), a handsome Ad-man at the top of his game with a loving family and a seemingly endless line of mistresses. There is more to everyone’s story in this cast, but nobody has a more mysterious past than Don. Elizabeth Moss as Peggy Olson, Don’s assistant, delivers stand out performances throughout, along with January Jones as Betty Draper, Don’s wife.
As everyone gets ready for work and moving forward to their post-covid lives, we hope you will rediscover the joys of getting dressed on a regular basis and some watercooler chitchat. In the meantime, we leave you with one warning – stay away from Seattle Grace Hospital. The odds are high you won’t survive.