One of my favorite scenes in ‘The Office’ is S01E03 at the very beginning when Michael asks Pam to read the notes a second time for the camera.
Even though the characters have already been breaking the fourth wall with looks to camera and talking heads, this is an immersive and direct involvement of the camera and crew, and paints a broader picture of what life is like in the office when the cameras aren’t around.
This moment sets the tone for the entire show by revealing that the employees are, to a certain extent, putting on “characters” for the documentary crew. Pam calls Michael out directly for “putting on a show” by asking her to pretend the messages are being read for the first time.
In the penultimate episode we receive a tidy bookend in the way of Nellie saying, “I thought I would get more screen time as the villain,” when everyone is huddled in the warehouse hiding from the film crew.
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