Everybody’s working for Labor Day!

Courtesy AMC

Remember what we said about new content over the summer? Er, sorry about that. But we’re back now, and ready to have fun!

Happy Labor Day, Everyone!

As summer unofficially comes to an end on this holiday weekend, we have cause the celebrate — because that means the fall TV season is just around the corner!

To ease our way out of barbecues and reruns, and back into commutes and must-see TV, we here at TYLL want to take a look at some of our favorite fictional workplaces in recent years. (We are honoring workers today, after all.)

Grab your briefcases and to-go cups, because going back to work never seemed so fun. Be sure to let us know what your favorite offices are in the comments!

Pawnee Parks & Recreation Department, Parks & Recreation

Pictured: Parks and Rec cast Courtesy: NBC

Courtesy NBC

We should all be so lucky to thoroughly enjoy our jobs as much as Leslie Knope! Sure, on the surface, this epitome of municipal bureaucracy seems an odd choice: Libertarian boss Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman) actively rejects any government interference in citizens’ lives, colleagues Donna Meagle (Retta) and Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari) have so many side projects on the go that the Parks department is an afterthought, and intern April Ludgate (Aubrey Plaza) could not be more disdainful of her work if she tried. Only Jerry Girgich (Jim O’Heir) is as happy to be there as Leslie, but his incompetence implies that nobody is really reaching for the stars in Pawnee. Yet, Leslie’s eternal optimism and genuine love of public service can’t help but inspire her peers, and they all bloom over the course of seven seasons. With the later additions of doofus-turned-ally Andy Dwyer (Chris Pratt), best friend and nurse extraordinaire Ann Perkins (Rashida Jones), health-nut and manager Chris Traeger (Rob Lowe) and eventual paramour Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott), it’s no wonder Leslie views her workplace as her family. From weddings to funerals to flu outbreaks, the department has seen it all. More importantly, though? They’ve seen it all together. It’s only natural it eventually brings forth an American president.

Speaking of which…

Bartlet Administration, The West Wing

Courtesy NBC

Courtesy NBC

Long hours, dealing with political BS, and making decisions that could have worldwide repercussions– it sounds more like a nightmare than an ideal workplace. But wouldn’t you want to feel like your decisions matter? How could you pass up the chance to work with some of the most loyal people you will ever meet? Aaron Sorkin’s take on the most famous office in the country covered everything you’d expect from the leader of the free world. Assassination attempts, potential impeachment scandals, wars, lobbyists, backstabbing, election campaigns and more — all in a day’s work for Jed Bartlet (Martin Sheen) and his merry band of supporters. Yet, it’s the things you couldn’t anticipate that really made this West Wing the administration we’d all want to work for, regardless of our partisan leanings. Bartlet could be stubborn, but he was also an unlikely confidant for his staff, taking them under his wing and imparting the wisdom of his life experience on them, whether they wanted it or not. We laughed, we cried, we thought more about turkey pardons than we’d ever dreamed we could. The only downside? The kitchen doesn’t have Fresca.

Dunder Mifflin, The Office

Courtesy NBC

Courtesy NBC

The paragon of professionalism, this place is not. Michael Scott (Steve Carell) is really bad at managing people, but apparently really good at selling paper. It seems like every misfit in the northern states ends up at Dunder Mifflin at some point, begging the question of how the Scranton branch manages to stay afloat for nine whole seasons. Yet it isn’t the mind-numbing monotony of white-collar workplaces that viewers identify with: it’s the heart that inexplicably reveals itself amidst the minutiae. Who could forget the Office Olympics, or Jim (John Krasinski) and Pam’s (Jenna Fisher) first kiss during Casino Night? Or Dwight’s (Rainn Wilson) heartbreaking sobs to Pam after his breakup with Angela (Angela Kinsey), or Pam’s grateful hug to Michael when he’s the only person to show up at her art exhibit? It’s the small, touching moments that make Dunder Mifflin shine — because it definitely isn’t the paper sales.

The Jeffersonian Institution, Bones

Courtesy FOX

Courtesy FOX

Straight up, this place is every nerd’s dream. (And we say that with nothing but affection.) It’s not just because it’s obvious that everyone working in the lab excels in their field, or is employed by the most renowned facility in the country. (World?) It’s that they all love what they do so wholeheartedly, and we can only wish we’d be so lucky. Besides, with seemingly unlimited resources at their disposal thanks to the pseudo-Smithsonian nature of their museum, who wouldn’t want to build a battery charger out of potatoes, or fire cannons “for research”? (Or, distill their own tequila for staff parties? Or have staff parties, period?) If the perfect historical artifact for an experiment was only a skip and a jump away whenever we needed it, we’re pretty sure there’d be a lot more happy scientists in the world. Especially when your coworkers become your family, extended and otherwise, like it has for the squints. Besides, there’s apparently no shortage of hiding spots for a quick romp with your main squeeze, either, whenever you feel amorous — talk about a work-life balance!

Seattle Grace Hospital…I mean, Seattle Grace-Mercy West. Oh wait, that’s not right. Grey+Sloan Memorial Hospital, Grey’s Anatomy

Sign us up! (Courtesy ABC)

Sign us up! (Courtesy ABC)

(The hospital has gone through through three name changes in eleven seasons. Anyone want to take a wager that by the end of the series, it will have gone through another three more?)

Why we want to work here: It’s almost impossible to get fired. What other hospital could you cut a patient’s LVAD wire, switch the patients in a national medical research trial for a drug to cure Alzheimer’s, and give a child deactivated HIV without the parents’ consent and not get fired or lose your medical license? With no fear of repercussions, you can find love and get married to your colleagues, have affairs in on-call rooms, and develop solid friendships that will help you get through all of that. Most of which, will occur in a span of 48 hours. It begs the question, why wouldn’t you want to work at Grey+Sloan?

Bob’s Burgers, Bob’s Burgers

Courtesy FOX.

Courtesy FOX.

Did you order a side of laughs with that burger? Because that’s what you’re going to get with FOX’s animated series. Bob’s diner might struggle, but it’s not for lack of effort or skill. While he muddles through the trials and tribulations of small business ownership, it’s his universe at large that really makes us want to pull up a stool and sit a spell. Linda, Louise, Gene and Tina round out the family dynamic, and no matter how few customers walk through the door, we think it’d be worth it to hang out here just to watch them play off each other. We’re betting that’s why regulars like Teddy keep coming back for more. Besides, on this summer’s last hurrah, one of his infamous burgers sounds mighty good right about now.

Luke’s Diner/Dragonfly Inn, Gilmore Girls

Courtesy WB

Courtesy WB

Another dining establishment! Hear us out, though: sure, as a boss, Luke (Scott Patterson) might be grumpy, not to mention stubborn, but there’s no doubting that he’d go to bat for you in the blink of an eye if you needed it. His gruff exterior masks a heart of gold, and it’s why Stars Hollow depends on Luke Danes for everything from french fries to furniture moving. Besides, who wouldn’t want to work there, if only to get a firsthand glimpse at the sparks flying between him and on-again-off-again love Lorelai (Lauren Graham)? Speaking of the caffeinated, zinger-throwing devil, Lorelai’s quintessential New England inn is postcard-ready, and we’d love to work for a boss as driven — and eccentric — as Ms. Gilmore. Admit it, it’d be fun to needle prissy Michel, and eating Sookie’s culinary creations everyday would be a pretty neat fringe benefit, too. With a cast of characters as kooky as Stars Hollows’, you know work would never be boring.

Sterling Cooper (… Draper Price… & Partners… ?), Mad Men

Courtesy AMC

Courtesy AMC

We know that this is an unusual choice: this ‘60s office embodies everything we usually hate — sexism, racism, classism, you name it, they’ve got it. Yet, over the course of seven seasons, we’ve seen the agency reinvent itself over and over again, and pave the way (albeit it a glacier-speed) for its own kind of revolution. Joan (Christina Hendricks) rises to the rank of office manager, and eventually partner (though not in the way she deserves, sadly). Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) starts off as a secretary and quickly distinguishes herself as a terrific copywriter, eventually forging her path amongst the creative types, while kicking butt and taking names. Dawn (Teyonah Parris) becomes the first African-American secretary at the agency, and holds her head high between her colleagues’ stares and suppositions. None of this negates the awful treatment they all receive, but we cheer for them anyway when they show the guys how strong they really are. Plus, the constant creativity fuelling SC&P’s ad campaigns play on our imaginations, and every time they knock a pitch out of the park, we can’t help but feel like we got to play make-believe with them for a little while. (The only difference is, they get paid for it.) If we had to pick one Manhattan ad agency to work for, we think this would probably be it. You know that if Roger Sterling (John Slattery) is around, your day won’t be dull.

The Lone Gunmen’s lair, The X-Files/The Lone Gunmen

Courtesy Fox

Courtesy Fox

This is an unlikely candidate, certainly. Think about it, though: these three conspiracy theorists get to expose the government’s corruption to their hearts’ content, and make a (modest) living of it, too. So they aren’t exactly living in style, but they don’t seem to want to, anyway. Their bunker houses all of their toys — every possible computer contraption and technological gizmo you could possibly want for your covert surveillance needs — and they get the occasional visit from a dashing FBI agent and his beautiful partner once in a blue moon, too. All in all, it doesn’t seem like such a bad gig to us. (We only wonder what will happen in the X-Files revival in January.)

Paddy’s Pub, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Courtesy FX

Courtesy FX

Let’s get one thing straight: this is not a good work environment. The only reason the pub hasn’t been shut down by health inspectors (or police raids) is probably because they can’t find it. But, it’d be hilarious to be a fly on the wall to get a front-row seat at the gang’s antics. No matter how low they sink, they always rise from the ashes, and there’s something commendable about that. (We’re also pretty sure the beer is dirt-cheap, so that’s worth the price of admission alone.)

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

The Kensington ChronicleNew Adventures of Peter and Wendy

Who wouldn’t want to work with the Darlings? In this reimagined, modern-day tale of Peter Pan, the Kensington Chronicle is a struggling Neverland, OH newspaper run by the Darling family: Wendy is an advice columnist (which includes video blogs!), John is the assistant to the Editor in Chief (i.e. his father) and has helped bring the newspaper into the new century by introducing an online version… Even Peter contributes by drawing comics! It’s all a fun place. However, after Wendy is offered (and spoiler alert: accepts) the job of her dreams in NYC, Michael takes over her column to great success. If the first season mostly focused on the Dear Darling column, season two gives us a glimpse into the newspaper and JHMedia, where Wendy is currently employed. Even though JHMedia looks like a good place to work at, funny characters included, the Kensington Chronicle’s familiar atmosphere is probably more my speed. I just can’t bring myself to trust Jas, no matter how well intentioned he seems to be.

Emma ApprovedEmma Approved

Both Emma Approved and The Lizzie Bennet Diaries have companies in them, and as cool as Pemberley Digital looks… We’ll take Emma’s, as we see the successes and failures of that business throughout the show’s run. Their life coaching and matchmaking business might sound like a strange idea, especially since she’s recording everything for a future documentary on her greatness, but seeing her interact with clients makes it clear she has a knack for this. However, even though she is usually well-intentioned in her want to help others run their lives (including that of her assistant Harriet), she also has her fair share of missteps. What was clear after watching the show was that Emma might have wanted to record her greatness, but she actually allowed us to witness her tremendous growth into a better person who learnt to really listen and opened herself up to others.

Thank You Liz Lemon Team
We’re a couple of girls who really love TV, and we’re okay with that.

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