Lately I’ve been thinking about the American TV show “The Office” as a kind of 21st century morality play.  Alicia and I have watched the show up through the beginning of the 3rd season and while I make no claims about authorial intent, and I think that some of this analysis will unravel as the show continues post-merger, I do think there are some interesting things going on there.  Alicia has written about the same idea here.

So here’s how I see it.  Jim and Pam are the protagonists.  They are essentially “Christians” within the scope of the show.  Michael and Dwight are their counterparts.  Jim and Pam exhibit, to greater and lesser degrees most, if not all of the classical virtues: humility, charity, kindness, patience, self-control, temperance and diligence.  They aren’t perfect characters of course.  Pam sleeps with her boyfriend, and in some ways is guilty of one of the “vices” that has been mostly forgotten, acedia, in her willingness to let Roy walk all over her.  And perhaps we can see a trace of cruelty in Jim's teasing of Dwight at times, but for the most part it is good-natured.