I had two thoughts while struggling through last night’s episode of The Office.
Last night’s episode was essentially a glimpse of what could have been. The Farm was intended to be a spin off centered around Dwight and his life on the farm. Rainn Wilson (Dwight) and Paul Lieberstein (who plays Toby) came up with the idea and shot the pilot, but NBC decided not to pick it up. After what I saw last night, I fully support NBC’s decision. A thank you note is in the mail.
My second thought had more to do with realizing exactly what my relationship is with The Office these days.
Do you remember going home during college breaks and hitting the bars? When you did, it became mini-reunions, or at least it did for me in Portland. You couldn’t move more than a inch in Gritty’s without running into someone you went to high school with or grew up with. It was fun freshman year, entertaining sophomore year, mildly amusing/slightly obligatory junior year and eventually passed over senior year when you elected to go to a different bar because damn freshman had taken over Gritty’s. Without fail on one of these nights you inevitably struck up a conversation with someone you had been friends with back in the day. You weren’t really friends anymore, but because you once were, you both felt like you should be talking to one another. You go through the motions, shoot the shit, etc but after a couple minutes you start to wonder- what the hell am I doing? Do I really care what this person is up to now? We haven’t really been friends in a few years. Just because we played little league together doesn’t mean we should be talking to each other now. I’m talking to this person because I feel like I should and not because I want too.
That’s how I currently feel about The Office. I’m watching because I feel like I should and not because I really want to. And the reason for this is because of the relationship we used to have.
Realizing this doesn’t make me happy, it doesn’t make me sad and it doesn’t make relieved. Ultimately it will do nothing in terms of what I do going forward. I still watch these last few episodes and I’ll still hope something great happens. But if anything, I realized that I won’t be that disappointed when nothing does.