When it comes to NBC's The Office , fans of the sorely-missed mockumentary television series generally have one question when it comes to the show:
What is your favorite episode of 'The Office'?
While fans of the show are often vocal in their opinions when it comes what the best episode of the series is, the actors that worked on the show across its nine seasons, have selected one that's particularly their favorite : The Dinner Party, from Season Four. The 13th episode of the season, The Dinner Party aired on November 8th, 2008. The episode, in general, is considered by most critics and fans of the show to be the best. The Dinner Party received 4.8 Nielsen rating and was watched by 9.2 million viewers on NBC.
The actors from The Office, in general, also consider The Dinner Party to be their favorite episode of the show as well.
In a 2013 interview, Steve Carell had this to say over on ESPN.com, when a fan got the opportunity to ask him to name his favorite episode of The Office.
" I always liked the episode entitled The Dinner Party where Michael and Jan have people over. It turns into a who's afraid of Virginia Wolf. I enjoyed acting in it. It was a very difficult episode to get through because we were laughing constantly ."
Actress Melora Hardin, who played Steve Carell's love interest on The Office, feels the same way as her co-star. In an interview in 2014 with TVStoreOnline.com, Melora Hardin, when asked to name her favorite episode also said:
"TVStoreOnline.com: What's your favorite episode of The Office?"
" Melora Hardin: I think "The Dinner Party" is my favorite from Season Four."
In 2013, in a group interview with Yahoo.com, many of the cast also selected The Dinner Party as the best episode of the show:
Ellie Kemper (Erin): "'Dinner Party,' [in terms of] watching it."
Oscar Nunez (Oscar): "'Dinner Party' is one, if you watch the outtakes where Steve [Carell] is messing with the TV and pushing it back on the wall, John and Melora [Hardin] are losing it, and Melora is -- just one of my favorites too. I liked recently the 'Lice' episode, only because the special effects department had a lot of fun with the CGI. There's a scene where I believe everyone is shampooing Jake's hair, and they superimposed my arms on his body and it is seamless. It worked. If you watch it, you can't tell."
Which The Office episode is the best? Why is it the best?
The Dinner Party, which is considered by most fans and television critics to be the best of the series, is indeed the best episode of the series, it's because of what the episode represents not just to fans but also to the cast. The show was the first new episode to air of the Season 4, after nearly a 6-month hiatus due to the Hollywood writer's strike of 2007-2008. The cast are fond of the episode because of how casual the shooting of the episode was in a time of upheaval and stress in Hollywood.
Yet others like Jenna Fischer, Rainn Wilson, and John Krasinski have suggested alternatives when it comes their favorite episode of the series:
From the same 2013 Yahoo.com interview:
John Krasinski (Jim): "We all knew from the beginning that this show and this job is a gift. It is the one I am most proud of in my career, and I have so many favorite moments and memories. But if I had to settle on one, I'd say 'Casino Night.' It was one of the most important moments for me as an actor, for the show and for the Pam and Jim relationship. It took the relationship to another level for the Jam fans; we ratcheted it up a story in the high-wire act. I felt like I was now responsible for something that was really important to the fans, and I got excited by that. I got a similar feeling from 'Booze Cruise.' I will never forget how funny it was to have Steve handcuffed to the front."
Rainn Wilson (Dwight): "I like 'The Injury' from Season 2. I know that's a big fan favorite as well. It's such a classic in my mind -- Dwight getting in a car accident, [suffering a] concussion, throwing up on his car, and him actually developing a friendship with Pam because his personality changed from the concussion. Completely realistic, grounded. I love that one."
Jenna Fischer (Pam): "I was going to say 'The Injury' as well. I really love the episodes where Pam and Dwight become friends. We just did one, actually, where Pam and Dwight team up for a common goal."
Who is your favorite character from The Office?
With a variety of polls placed across the internet, on the various websites, since 2013, Michael Scott generally ranks at the top, first on most polls, where Pam, Jim, Dwight, Kevin, Oscar, Andy, and Angela are usually positioned at various ranks somewhere within the Top Ten of characters.
Yet, where characters like Toby are often disregarded on a list of the Best The Office characters, another that's tragically overlooked is Jan Levinson-Gould, Michael Scott's boss and girlfriends at Dunder-Mifflin.
Played by actress Melora Hardin, when Hardin sat down with us here at TV Store Online in 2014, she talked about how she got the part of Levinson-Gould on the hit NBC mockumentary sitcom series, as well as spoke about her involvement in the show's last season.
TV Store Online: Was The Office something that was offered to you or did you have to go in and audition for it?
Hardin: Yeah, I had to go in and audition for it. When I auditioned for it at the time I had also gone in to audition for a show called Wolf Lake [2001-02]. The casting director for Wolf Lake was also the casting director for The Office. When I first went in to audition for The Office is was supposed to be for a guest spot or maybe a reoccurring character whereas Wolf Lake was a lead part so I really wanted the part on Wolf Lake. But when I ran into the casting director and we started to talk about it she had told me that she really wanted me to get the part on The Office. In the end, she was right.
TV Store Online: Some fans of the series consider "Jan" on The Office to be a very aggressive and bitchy woman. What are your thoughts on such?
Hardin: I really loved Jan. I never thought of Jan as being a bitch and maybe that's why I play bitches well. I didn't think that she was a bitch. Maybe that's why I can get inside of their truth. When I played "Whitney" in the movie Soul Man in the 1980s, she was thought of as being a bitch too, but I never passed judgment on either of those characters. You have to remember that both of those women thought that they were doing right. They didn't see themselves as doing anything wrong. In their minds, they had valid reasons for what they did or for who they were. I really thought Jan was a fun character to play and I really got the humor there. You either get the humor or you don't and I feel like I got the humor there in both of those women.
TV Store Online: Were you around much for the shooting of the final season of The Office?
Hardin: I only worked on the episode The Whale [Season Nine, Episode Seven]. It was great and I didn't know that it was going to be my last episode. Originally they told me that I would be coming back for the final episode and so after The Whale I never say my goodbyes but I guess that was probably for the best. I think they wrapped the series up very well. As for Jan...It was really great to see her back in the corporate world and I thought that was really great.