This is a pretty late topic, but it can sometimes take me a while to catch up on my DVR shows. Hence why I’m finally getting around to talk about the finale on The Office.
I was watching NBC’s The Office since it first aired. At first I was skeptical – a knockoff of Ricky Gervais’ The Office, a great little comedy and one that I continue to go back and rewatch. But I figured I’d give this Americanized version a chance and it ended up being pretty good.
Fast forward nine years later and The Office was one of the few shows I would regularly keep up with….at some point. My DVR would end up being loaded with episodes, but once I got around to them I would check each of them out.
Granted some episodes were better than others – as would be expected. At one point all the background characters actually became series regulars and were all given their own little stories and quirks that helped fill the show with even more funny antics. So it didn’t just have to rely on Jim, Pam, Dwight and goofy boss Michael Scott to carry things along.
I’m not sure if they ever anticipated these background supporting characters would get so much attention, but the more I learned about the creepy Creed, the more I wanted to see what he was up to every week.
And it never failed to amuse me to see Stanley sitting silently in the background, no matter what kind of surreal meeting Michael was holding, just doing his crossword puzzle trying to make it through the day.
The big blow that hit the show for me (and a lot of people) was the departure of Steve Carell. He was the center of all this wackiness in this workplace. His dense perception of how to run things and his inappropriate sense of humor spawned most of the laughs every week.
Once he left things were never the same. Despite the cast around him, Carell was really the star of the show and when he left the whole office went into a tailspin with the question – ‘who will be the new boss?’.
Dwight’s wild adventures and strange behavior was always there to plow for comedy. Sometimes things got pushed too far to make him weird though. I can’t imagine how the proposed spin-off show would have been with him. The Farm, a whole show about the Schrute family homestead and all the bizarre Schrute traditions and odd Schrute family members.
I somehow picture it as having similar results to that Friends spinoff Joey. A show that wouldn’t be that good and only last for a short time before finally coming to an end. It was probably a good idea to let the character leave with the rest of The Office.
Then there was the office romance between Jim and Pam, which actually came to a conclusion with their marriage. Moonlighting fans will remember the excitement of David and Maddie finally getting it on late one night, which ultimately ended all the sexual tension between the characters and being one of the major factors leading to the complete destruction of the series.
The Jim and Pam romance was nowhere near that bad, but after their marriage things did change. And although the two actors were still both fun to watch, they had less and less to do. It seemed like they were really trying to scrape for any kind of story for them to get involved in. Daycare, painting projects, an attractive co-worker flirting with Jim, ex’s showing up and Jim’s big sports enterprise job.
None of the stories that were thrust upon them were as good as the big tease of when will they finally get together. I’m happy they didn’t draw out that ‘when will they hook up’ storyline over the course of the show.
Could you imagine if the shows finale was the marriage of Jim and Pam after nine seasons! That really would have gotten old. But once Jim and Pam did say ‘I do’, it was a steady decline into uninteresting stories for the characters from there.
After some high profile guest stars we finally got the answer to who would be the new boss and the Cornell-a capella-crooner Andy Bernard got promoted to the big seat. And the results were pretty bad.
Ed Helms became a fixture on the show and as with most of the other characters got more and more screen time as time went on. He had a romance with Angela. Became Dwight’s enemy. Hooked up with the adorable redheaded Erin, left for the Bahamas to sell the family boat and didn’t return for several months, before ultimately getting fired and ends the show on a quest of becoming an actor.
I never liked Andy. I found him extremely annoying from the get go and didn’t think he was funny. The singing thing got old for me very quickly. It aggravated me even more that all the buildup for the slot of being the new boss was given to Andy, only for it to end in a meteoric crash when Helms had to take a leave from the show to go film The Hangover Part III.
It appeared they had to come up with some explanation for his disappearance and the one they came up with was awful. It only made me dislike the character even more for what he did to the show, his co-workers and his apparent disregard for the feelings of Erin.
Then I really got angry with him when he returned and his petty jealous treatment of Erin and Pete by hiring their ex’s in the office to cause them uncomfortable pain. He acted like a real jerk and I was happy he finally got fired.
Can you imagine – this is a comedy show and I’m sitting there watching mumbling profanities to myself about this guy! That wasn’t happening when Carell was around.
Maybe I would have liked Andy more if they kept him back in the corner as just a supporting character, but I guess since Helms became a bigger star over the course of the show’s run they felt they needed to use him. I wish they hadn’t.
As for the finale it was decent. There were some good laughs. One of my favorites was Angela and Dwight at their wedding standing in shallow graves which represent a reminder of the only way they’ll leave this marriage. It was great to see the return of Michael. It was something I was wondering if they would do and I was happy Carell popped in for an appearance.
Naturally there was some sentimentality included, with all the characters gathering together and it wasn’t too overdone. The finale reassured everyone that all these characters were going to do just fine whether they were going to move on or stay at the office and that they did all love each other.
Show finales can get overly mushy, which sometimes I find annoying. It’s a comedy show afterall, but as long as they include decent laughs mixed in I’m ok with it. I especially liked seeing what’s become of Creed.
I figure in the coming years The Office will hold up pretty decently. I can imagine catching an episode in syndication and still enjoying it (episodes from the earlier part of its run much more).
With The Office now over my half-hour network show watching has also ended. It was the only network comedy I would make an effort to check out. I’m not much of a regular television watcher, so committing myself to a show for the duration of its run takes some time and no other comedies have got me curious enough to begin watching them. Maybe something will come along, but I doubt I’ll start watching another comedy show on a regular basis for nine years.
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