The workplace comedy has become a well-worn genre in recent years. Shows like The Office and the recently-concluded Workaholics stand out as prominent examples of success, and now it looks like Comedy Central’s Corporate is carving out its niche in its first season. In the search for a proper comedic voice, Corporate actually looked to David Fincher’s Fight Club for inspiration. During a recent interview with CinemaBlend to discuss the show, Corporate star/executive producer Jake Weisman addressed the show’s use of Fincher as an influence and said:
I think Fight Club, like the beginning of Fight Club before he starts the Fight Club. I would say just because working in an office is usually presented with like open lighting and like open space and it’s like, ‘Oh my God, it’s fun. We’re all at work together.’ But anytime I’m in a job I hate it and I, it feels oppressive, but it feels like a nightmare. So, we’re just trying to capture the nightmare feeling of being at work.
So, for a show like Corporate, it’s all about adhering to a tone that emphasizes just how nightmarish and soul-crushing the job of a corporate drone can become. In the same way that Fight Club’s Narrator (Edward Norton) hates his life as a recall coordinator for a major car company, so too do the characters in Corporate have to live out their day-to-day existences plugging away at jobs that they hate. The difference here is that there’s no cultural icon in the form of Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) to come and shake them out of their monotony with an explosive climax.
That sense of oppression and existential dread is something that even carries over to Corporate’s aesthetic — which looks very much influenced by the muted color palette of classic David Fincher movies like 2007’s Zodiac, 2014’s Gone Girl, and yes, even his 1999 classic Fight Club.
Of course, despite the fact that Corporate takes some notable inspiration from Fight Club in the creation of its atmosphere and aesthetic, the show also has its unique tone and identity. This largely stems from its lead characters Matt and Jake (Matt Ingebretson and Jake Weisman, respectively). Although Matt and Jake seem to hate themselves and the world around them, they also play the corporate game and do their best to try and climb the ladder at their company — something The Narrator and Tyler Durden never attempted to do after the creation of the titular club.
Corporate airs every Wednesday night at 10 p.m. ET on Comedy Central. Make sure to check it out to see the not-so-subtle David Fincher homage for yourself, and head over to CinemaBlend’s midseason premiere guide to keep yourself up to date on all of the most significant television debuts that this spring has in store!