Office Mysteries: Season 1 Timeframe

In this series, Flonkerton investigates some of the unanswered questions from “The Office.”

mystery1.jpgQuestion: What is the time frame of Season 1?
status: unsolved

In Seasons 2 and 3, “The Office” has prided itself on being in “real time.” That is the air date of each episode is close to the date the episode is suppose to take place.
However, Season 1 does not make many references to time, nor do any episodes take place near a holiday. I personally suspect when filming these episodes, (especially the Pilot) no one knew exactly when they would air, so any date references are vague.

The Theories:
Theory 1: Season 1 takes place when it first aired (March-April, 2005)
This would mean there’s a 5 month space between “Hot Girl” and “The Dundies.”
supporting evidence
1. Since the rest of the series has taken place in “real time,” it’s natural Season 1 took place in real time also.
2. In “The Alliance” (first aired 4/12/05) Pam looks at the calendar to see which employee is having a birthday next, and her calendar says Meredith is having a birthday on April 4th. However, Pam says Meredith’s birthday isn’t until “next month” (and she never says any dates out loud) which might mean the calendar was just a prop and not much thought was put into the date shown.

Theory 2: Season 1 takes place closer to season 2 (sometime in Summer of 2005)
This would mean “Hot Girl” and “The Dundies” possibly took place a couple weeks apart, rather than a few months.
supporting evidence
1. Keeping things in “real time” isn’t exactly a hard and fast rule for The Office. In Season Three, there was a six week gap between the airings of Cocktails and The Negotiation, but the events of the episode would indicate must less time had past.
2. In “The Fire” Michael mentioned Ryan’s been temping at Dunder-Mifflin for a “couple months” but if we went by the air-dates, Ryan would have been there for nearly 7 months.
3. Katy and Jim. They met in “Hot Girl” and then in “The Fire” she meets him for lunch. If Season 1 was in real time, they would have been dating for nearly 6 months in “The Fire,” but they were way too casual to be dating that long. It’s possible they just had a very off and on relationship (In “Email Surveillance” Jim says he hadn’t talked to her in a while, then two episodes later she’s his date on the Booze Cruise).

Any evidence or clues to help solve this mystery? Please post!

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