With what you know about this genre, (from the links above, or from watching mockumentaries in general) tell us your personal take on how you feel about it. What the benefits for filming something in this style are, and how does the genre apply to the digital age?
I think it's pretty cool, when the content warrants it. I think the conversation in class about the aesthetic being a gimmick was a good prompt. I think it's kind of popular style now with shows like "Modern Family" and "Parks and Recreation", but none really call for it in their content besides "The Office". It's important because it's actually important to the plot and the characters interact with the cameras because they're diagetic.
I think in some of the other shows (not "The Office), I have mixed feelings, but I kind of get caught up over it being a popular look and in a few ways, an easy way out. One thing that makes this style just easier to work with is the interview for exposition and to tell the audience something about the character in a pretty easy way. I'm not saying that all shows that use this are cheap or that they all take the "easy ways out" with this genre, but that there are a bunch that do.
I haven't personally watched in depth any of the shows within this genre besides "The Office", but the little bit that I have seen have been somewhat enjoyable. I'm very adamant that I did not find the shows funny or entertaining or whatever because of the aesthetic/ genre (there have been some that fall into the content category of the genre, but some not), but the pleasure seemed to be in the writing. It's been a long time since I've encountered any of these shows, so I probably shouldn't be talking, but I think it's interesting that I've had generally positive experiences with the shows that seem to implement this style/ genre. It kind of makes me wonder what kind of formal definition could be given to specify pacing/ other specific writing thing (besides the setting and etc. that have been specified) because although this is contradicting what I just said (pleasure not having to do with the genre) there does seem to be at least a tiny hint of consistency between some of the "awkward silence joke" pacing, which may just be it's own device used in tons of other writing to, but I do seem to remember a certain way of delivering a punchline that seemed to carry between shows. Again, it's been a very long time and because of this, this entire paragraph is invalid. I just kinda got on a tangent.
All and all, I think it's really cool and an interesting mini-explosion in television style, but it really just depends on the script/ show it's being used on.