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As the new millennium approached, we were both nervous and excited. It was to be the dawn of a new era, checks needed to start with a 20, and no one new if time would stop when the clock struck midnight. Remember Y2K? Would the computers all go haywire? Locked stores would unlock, vaults would open, nuclear warheads would be launched. NASA was working overtime and no one knew what January 1, 2000 would bring or if it would happen at all. Prince’s classic hit 1999 was played ad nauseum and folks actually did party like it was 1999. And what were we calling this new century? The 2000’s? the zero zero’s? The double o’s? But, alas, the clock kept ticking, all was calm and peaceful, for the time being anyway, and we all had to go back to work. The shows that have graced our screens since this new century have kept us laughing and our minds off of all the things that have gone wrong since the 1 changed to a 2.
This century continues to impress us with new inventions, outlandish reality stars and all things Apple. Who ever thought that you would be able to watch your favorite shows on your watch, or your phone or in your car. The future is bright and the talent that continues to emerge is inspiring. And if you current career has been dragging you down, perhaps watching one of these shows will inspire you to follow your bliss.
Created by the incredibly talented and totally cool Tina Fey, 30 Rock makes you want to work in television. Based on a Saturday Night Live type sketch comedy, this extremely popular sitcom kept us entertained for seven seasons. The popularity of Rockefeller Plaza skyrocketed as over-zealous fans hoped to meet some of the many stars of the show. Several SNL alum had a part, which could account for why it was so successful. In 2013, the Writers Guild of America, proclaimed 30 Rock as the 21st best-written television series of all time. It also received countless Emmy nominations and is now in syndication in case you missed it the first time around.
Parks and Recreation
Fictionally based in Indiana, Parks and Recreation was a fan favorite of park rangers all over the world. The brilliant cast, lead by Amy Poehler, was filmed to appear as if it was a documentary. Poehler plays Leslie Knope, a mid-level bureaucrat who is the deputy director of the Parks and Recreation Department in the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana. On air for seven season, nominated for several Emmys, the writers wanted to make the sitcom as realistic as possible and even attended Los Angeles City Council meetings. Did those council members ever watch the show? Unfortunately, they weren’t available for comment.
If you worked in an office, chances are, you watched this show. Set in a paper company in Scranton, Pa., this documentary style show followed the relationships of the eclectic employees. Adapted from the BBC series of the same name, The Office aired on NBC for nine seasons and became Steve Carrell’s ticket to world-wide fame and fortune. Two other little-know actors, John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer can also credit The Office with their ticket to success. All well deserved, of course.
This Comedy Central gem focuses on three college dropouts who are also roommates and co-workers at a telemarketing company. If you ever wondered who was on the the end of the line, this show pretty much sums it up for you. Written by the stars Blake Anderson, Adam DeVine and Anders Holm, as well as co-creator Kyle Newacheck, Workaholics makes you laugh and be grateful for the job you have, unless you really don’t like it.
Are you a scrub? If you are a med student at the Sacred Heart teaching hospital you are. This comedy was a pleasant change from the serious heart-wrenching medical dramas. Scrubs was on NBC from 2001-2008 and then on ABC from 2009-2010, but was canceled after that. The actors were known to improvise while being filmed, which made their characters even more endearing.
If you work for the FBI, CIA, or NSA, perhaps you should start watching Sterling Archer and his spy-like employees. When the show first started, Archer worked for the International Secret Intelligence Service. Not the brightest spy in the world, we follow Archer’s life which include his personal and professional relationships. After a few seasons, there was a title change to Archer Vice. This was to be an ironic play on the iconic Miami Vice. After the spy agency was disbanded by the U.S. government, they take a stockpile of drugs from a previous operation and a new career ensues. This was an FX series and worth watching.
Crime Scene Investigation is the series that launched many other series. Based on a simple premise of solving homicides and other cases using high tech scientific machinery and imagery, the cast can solve a crime based on a single eyelash or remains of a sneeze. The series premiered in 2000 and lasted for 15 seasons. Watching this show made you want to work in a crime lab or at least in an environment that always has cool music playing in the background.
Edie Falco is a total rock star. If you loved her in the Sopranos, you will lover her even more in Nurse Jackie. We follow around our favorite nurse as she battles her addiction to pain killers. She becomes an expert at hiding them everywhere, from everyone. Her boyfriend is the hospital pharmacist-coincidence? Perhaps not. But doesn’t everyone want to work in an environment filled with sympathetic and compassionate coworkers? The ER is her home base and her family becomes collateral damage to her addiction. Falco won a well deserved Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.
Another show that made you want to be a doctor, House is based on the quirky, but very intelligent, Dr. Gregory House. Adeptly portrayed by the Hugh Laurie, the show also featured Lisa Edelman of Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce fame, Omar Epps and Robert Sean Leonard. Each week brought you a new mysterious medical case that you wanted to solve before House did. Eight seasons of playing doctor, nothing wrong with that.
The tale of six hopeful actors who end up working for a catering company. Each episode focused on a new catering event. Possibly based on the reality of many hopeful actors, the show was very entertaining, but only lasted for two seasons. Two of its main characters left for greener pastures. Jane Lynch sang her way over to Glee and Adam Scott took residence at Parks and Recreation.
Set in Baltimore, this HBO crime drama takes you into the nitty gritty mind of the criminal and the crime fighter. If you think your job is boring, this show might prompt you to consider a career change. With quite the “realistic portrayal of urban life,” you will become addicted. And Idris Elba is easy on the eyes.
Glen Close leads the lawyer parade in this legal thriller. Written and produced by Daniel Zelman,and brothers Glenn and Todd Kessler, the show made it five seasons. Revolving around a select number of cases, the show was able to showcase both perspectives of the opponent and the law firm. So if you are under investigation or debating whether or not you want to go to law school, this might be the show for you.
The Mindy Project
Mindy Kaling is a comedian, a writer, an actress and an all around rock star. She is every-woman and every woman wants to be her friend. In her self titled show, she is an obstetrician/gynecologist. Who wouldn’t want to have her as a doctor? The close knit staff at Schulman & Associates is endearing, funny and makes you want to like your co-workers more.
If you like serious cop dramas, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is the opposite of that. Sit back, relax and be prepared to laugh. Just know that working in a Brooklyn police department is probably not as enjoyable as it appears to be on this show. With an amazing cast including Andy Samberg, Andre Braugher, Stephanie Beatriz, and Terry Crews this show is worthwhile whether you are interested in police work or not. It also has been nominated for a plethora of awards.