Ten years ago this week, the American version of The Office began airing its second season. The first season was a scant six episodes that aired in the spring of 2005 and it got a very mixed reception. Some scenes were taken beat-for-beat from the British incarnation, inviting unflattering comparisons to the brilliant Ricky Gervais–led show. The bigger issue was that the Michael Scott character had yet to be totally defined. He was a bit of an unrepentant dick in the earliest episodes with slicked-back hair, and audiences simply didn’t find him very appealing.
Ratings went south with every single episode of the first season, going from 11.2 million viewers of the pilot to 4.8 million viewers for the season finale. A renewal was far from certain, but that summer The 40-Year-Old Virgin hit theaters and turned Steve Carell into a huge star. It also showed the writers of The Office how to make the Michael Scott character a little more lovable. The viewer had to genuinely feel bad for him and realize his over-the-top persona was merely a way to mask his incredible loneliness and insecurity. They also gave him a better hairdo.
Season two began on September 20th, 2005, with a highly memorable episode called The Dundies. Written by Mindy Kaling, it took the bold move of shifting the action away from the office and into a Chili’s restaurant where Michael hosted an annual office awards ceremony. Nine million people, many of whom probably saw The 40-Year-Old Virgin the previous month, watched that night. It was the launch of an absolutely stellar season of television. Jim lusted after Pam, eventually kissing her in the season finale and confessing his love. Creed Bratton went from a silent extra to a cast member that nearly stole every episode with a single killer line, and Michael began a very unlikely romantic relationship with his boss Jan.
The Office continued for another seven seasons, even after Carell left the show near the end of the seventh season. There were countless amazing episodes and many great new characters, but it never quite managed to top the unforgettable second season. Here’s a 17-minute video of bloopers from the season where you can see how much fun they had making it all happen.