The Office isn’t supposed to incite any of those feelings, but unfortunately it does. And that’s a bummer.
Right off the bat, I can willfully admit that this season, the series’ final season, has been better than last season. I can admit that. Last season was a slow burning dumpster fire. I laughed more out of pity than enjoyment. I compared it to a dying pet (and the 2011 Boston Red Sox) and wanting to do what was best and put it out of it’s misery. It should have just ended when Michael Scott left for Colorado. But it didn’t and it kept going. It kept going with Ed Helms at the…uh…helm, and that proved to be a terrible idea. There’s something to be said for quitting while you’re ahead (i.e. 30 Rock) but The Office persevered and we’re certainly not better off because of it. Which as previously mentioned, is just a straight up bummer.
If The Office hadn’t meant so much to me, it would all be different. The Office was the first show that I was in 0n from the start and that I grew up with. I can’t say that about Seinfeld or even The Wire. I can’t even say that about It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, as I was late to the party with that one. I was hooked on The Office from the very first episode (of the American version.) I was a fan of Steve Carrell from The Daily Show and immediately loved the dry humor feel & tone of the show.
I remember talking about the show with Stanhope while we sat in cold pilothouses at Bay Lines and I remember the emotions stirred up by Jim’s courtship of Pam- a version of Ross and Rachel that I was legitimately invested in. It was heartbreaking, it was sweet, it was aw gosh, just so flippin’ cute. And Michael Scott was a quote machine. Hell he made that’s what she said a thing.
Then what really broke it open was Office Tuesdays.
Starting back in 2005 or 2006, when The Office was a few seasons in and capable of syndication, TBS starting airing reruns on Tuesday nights- first just two, then four, then six; stretching from 8 to 11pm. Just one episode right after another and even though I had every season on DVD, I watched. I wouldn’t look to see what episodes were on because I liked the surprise- Office Roulette. It made Tuesday nights something instead of just another week night, it gave the night some definition and most importantly, it gave a person who didn’t have much money something cheap & fun to do. It was a god sent when traveling, cooped up in a strange hotel room somewhere on America’s eastern seaboard with nothing to do but run up and down the TV channels- doing some old fashioned entertainment fishing. When we first started dating, Kim and I bonded over Office Tuesdays. They were as close to an official, non-denominational holiday you could get.
It’s not as if The Office disappeared from syndication completely. It was still out there, often coming up at the most expected but totally completely convenient times, so the fix wasn’t totally gone. The end of Office Tuesdays just left an unfillable hole, especially when baseball season was over. Thankfully DVR and Netflix have made TV watching on week nights easier to navigate, but there was a distant time (like three years ago) when we weren’t so spoiled. You had to (gasp) watch what was actually on. Crazy shit, I know. It’s much easier now- one less thing to worry about. Yes, worry about. With The Office you never had to worry because the show was reliable, which was one of it’s main draws. But it was a draw and reputation that was routinely questioned during last season, when you started to never really know what you were going to get. Some episodes were just flat out not funny. The Office had lost it’s fastball, but we continued to watch, hoping it could find a way to still win the game.
It never really did and if not for this season being the last one, I’d be gone for good. But I can’t leave now, not with the end in sight.
Going into the last season, I expected the show to regain it’s form- maybe replace the fastball it had lost with a devastating curve. Surely with it being the last season, at least some of that awesome, reliable and funny humor would come back. It had too.
Eh. Kind of.
Overall, this season has been good, and as I mentioned, better than last season. One of the reason is that Ed Helms is just kind of gone. His character went off sailing to Jamaica and hasn’t come back yet. But it’s helping because his character kind of was not all that awesome now. He was kind of a douche. With him gone, things seemed to have gotten back to normal. That doesn’t mean it’s funny again, though. The show has shown glimpses of funny, but not enough to make us think it was all the way back. It’s like Randy Moss now- living on reputation and occasionally reminding us why we liked the show in the first place, but ultimately a shadow of what it used to be.
Now though, the big twist is that they started showing the documentary crew- I don’t really care. And then even worse, they are introducing the boom mike dude and wait a tick, is there a possible love triangle brewing between said boom mike dude, Pam and livin’ in Philly Jim? No really, is there? Because if so, well that’s just another terrible, ass clown of an idea.
I don’t know how many love triangles a show is allowed to have, but I really think that at this point, The Office, has already exceeded their limit.
Office Love Triangles:
Andy/Erin/this new dude Pete
That’s five I remember off the top of my head. I could be forgetting one. But regardless, that’s a lot for one show. If they add another one, that’d be just flat out ridiculous. Flat out, man. And you know what? It could be the last straw.
I’m putting The Office on notice. If you go down this road, this dumb ass, super stupid road, we’re through.
I can’t stomach another love triangle, especially not now. I want Dwight shenanigans and more of that new guy Clark. I want them to just keep it funny- to play out the string. There’s no need to complicate things. I don’t want to leave, but I will. I’ll watch NCIS or something. I’m sure there’s something worth watching on the Food Network. One of the most important things to know in life is when to leave. If there’s another Godforsaken love triangle, then it’s time to leave.
With that being said, Erin is hilarious,
Photos from NBC.com