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With the success of Broad City and recent news of Issa Rae’s pilot order at HBO, it’s more clear than ever that Web content is being taken seriously. But one of the best new webseries out there is anything but serious. John Purcell’s Business Work explores the familiar tropes of office culture through a Monty Python-esque lens. The series is full of gleeful misdirection and visual gags.
In “Office Romance,” smitten co-worker Frank (Nick Guercio) literally puts his foot in his mouth as he tries to woo his crush, Martha (Megan Kingsbury). In “Headphones,” Rick (Brady O’Callahan) rocks out to NPR. And in “Office Christmas Party,” Purcell, as the head of the fictitious office, pops up in various chairs around the room and lies across the laps of two employees as he delivers details of the upcoming celebration.
Business Work is Purcell’s first foray into Web content. A performer at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, Purcell had plenty of improv and sketch experience when he set out to make the series. The videos, which he writes, directs, and edits himself, have a polished feel, but his attitude is fresh and light-hearted. “I’m not trying to lampoon office culture in any way,” he told the Daily Dot. “It’s just silly.”
Exceptionally silly. Purcell may not be taking aim at anyone in particular, but the sheer ridiculousness of the jokes will make anyone who’s sat in an aimless meeting laugh heartily at the absurdity of office culture.
And at under 2 minutes an episode, the show is exceptionally easy to digest—perfect for a quick break from whatever day job ails you.
The latest episode features the company’s annual sexual harassment training. Click play for some good old fashioned absurdist fun.
Screengrab via Business Work/YouTube
Nayomi Reghay is a frequent contributor to the Daily Dot, covering body positivity, feminism, sex, relationships, and gender. She is also the author of the advice column “Swipe This!” A former New York Teaching Fellow, her writing has been featured in Reductress, Rolling Stone, Mic, Someecards, and more.