The comedy is based around a central figure that is David Brent. David Brent manages to humiliate himself constantly yet in trying to redeem himself only digs himself into a deeper hole. He is very self conscious and unable to accept that there maybe someone better than him. When being told off for being immature he acts even more child like by ignoring and looking away. Having been told off he then lies to his employees about what happened in a plea to prove himself, even though no one disputed his legitimacy.
When he meets new employees he tries to force himself as a boss upon them and it becomes apparent his fun is no one else’s. In doing so David Brent does not show himself as he is and begins to gain sympathy from the viewers for his social inadequacies. However, as the episode continues he begins to abuse the sympathy and become increasingly embarrassing on the viewers part and painful to watch because he is such an obvious social fascist yet refuses to accept it the point that it seems he is unaware of it.
Tim is a grounded character with the most relevant perception of the world. He seems the mature and relatively hard working employee with an increased sense of responsibility. His position within the office highlights the behaviour of David Brent as a boss; his attitude towards his work contradicts David Brent’s continuous distractions and avoiding of work. Tim can accept things as they are unlike David Brent.
Gareth is the only other character on the same maturity level as David Brent. He has a false perception of himself and the world around him, making his behaviour undignified and out of place. This totally contradicts Basil Fawlty’s suppressed knowledge of a proper Englishman. Gareth’s behaviour is the only concellation to David Brent’s incongruence in society. Dawn is a confusing and complex character. She does not express herself often yet seems to be the only important female in the series. She remains neutral throughout each episode and when on camera seems confused and disoriented in her surroundings. She is the only character who openly shows sympathy, of a kind, towards David Brent. Her timid presence adds to the office atmosphere as she brings the only relationship between employees into the series. This relationship however, seems to mock a tragic love story of two men and a women torn between each other.
The Office is aimed at a large target audience. It incorporates characters with different maturity levels and senses of responsibility making it relevant to a wide age group. Younger viewers will relate to it due to the reality and comedy as well as the inaccurate perception of an office environment. Older viewers will relate to the similarity in work place and the controversial portrayal of the office area.
The audience watching The Office may be influenced by the racial jokes and wrong doing of such a comedy program. Others may find the content insightful into the reality of an office environment and exploration of possibilities. A number of viewers may be offended by prejudice within the episodes. Elder generations may find it a very deceiving and naive attempt to portray a comical office. The series is relevant to all class boundaries as it shows normality, to an extent, among humour.
In conclusion, in order to create humour in a relevant and recognisable situation a sitcom must use a structured set that allows a viewer to familiarise themselves with the stock characters and form a relationship with the program. Through the use of incongruent characters that can seriously explore stereotypical topics comedy is formed. This is because we see more about the characters than they themselves now. By stretching the racial content to the limit we the viewers are preoccupied by the comedy that they form by saying such unexpected things that we do not concentrate on the serious side although in order to be acceptable each sitcom must yield a point of sanity and sensibility.
The basic structure for humour pivots between the clash of hopes and characters. Most sitcoms adopt a circular structure where the main generator of comedy is the lack of progression having witnessed a gradual build up and a sudden deflation. The sitcoms capability to use such spontaneity depends upon other elements that provide it with the grounds to push the boundaries, by having a sensible and basic setting and theme tune the sitcom is already based within a realistic and perfectly possible area leaving no limit to the realism of the acting. The delicate generic classing of sitcoms allows it to either mock or in list the aid of other genres and still be within the in expendable boundaries of comedy.