Up until this season, The Office was probably my favorite show of all time (second only to Rock of Love Bus). I quoted it. I had parties to watch the new episodes. I loved it, and since I hate everything, that is saying a lot. The show had weak episodes here and there, but through 7 seasons, it gave me a lot of laughs.
Then came season 8. Why couldn’t The Office have had the grace to quit while they were ahead?
I predict that The Office will be cancelled by the end of the season, if not before. It certainly needs to be put out of its misery. Here’s why:
- They lost the show’s main character. Yes, The Office has an ensemble cast, but the world of The Office only works with Michael Scott at the helm. He is an incompetent boss, completely insane, and yet still likable. The show revolved around Michael’s crazy ideas and the rest of the office trying to cope with/react to them. Andy is not nearly incompetent or insane enough, and Robert California might be insane but he’s barely on the show. Without Michael, it’s just an office full of slightly weird/annoying people. Why would I waste my time watching it when I can just go to work?
- All of the characters got fat. Ok, not all of them. Just Darryl and Pam. And Pam is pregnant, not so much “fat” per se. Either way, I feel like the cast is just bigger this year, and for some reason I don’t enjoy watching them as much because of it. So sue me.
- The characters are not consistent. Pam used to be somewhat meek, shy even. She seemed like a nice person–now she just seems arrogant and entitled. Round-face smug, bossy Pam. She seems more like Angela now. And Angela is nice and happy this season. What the hell? Who decided to switch Angela and Pam? I don’t like either of them now. Andy used to be an acapella-loving, banjo-playing man with anger issues. Now he is an acapella-loving, banjo-playing man with daddy issues. Ok, so Andy has issues. Why not carry on his previous anger issue? Why make up a new one this season? They used it as a plot device for a single episode, instead of building on past established traits in multiple episodes. It didn’t fit and I didn’t get it.
- They tried to continue the series after all of the loose ends were tied up. Last season, Michael Scott finally realized his dream to get engaged to someone equally as insane as him. Pam and Jim already had their happily ever after. Angela was dating a gay politician. Dwight was exactly the same as he was on day 1 of the series. The Office was left with an uncertain future with no replacement boss–what better way to end? What other story is there to tell? (None, if you couldn’t guess.) Leave it open so that each viewer can make up his own ending, if you will.
- The gags are over-the-top. I know what you’re thinking. It’s The Office. ALL of the gags are over-the-top. But that’s just it–they’re not. Like when Jim and Pam throw Andy’s phone into the ceiling over his desk. That is totally doable, and I’m sure people tried it after the show aired. Or the time when Michael was going to pretend to commit suicide by jumping off the roof into a bouncy castle. It was crazy, but within Michael’s realm of crazy, so I could buy it. This season? Jim publishing a fake book online about throwing garden parties? Dwight finding it, purchasing it, and using it as a reference to throw a garden party? IMPOSSIBLE. At the very least, IMPLAUSIBLE. Sorry guys, I just don’t believe your jokes anymore.
- Not enough of the minor characters. I love Meredith, Creed, and Kelly. They have provided some of the funniest moments this show has ever offered up. Creed selling fake IDs to all the local teenagers. Meredith flashing Michael in his office. Creed’s “blog”. Meredith trading sex for paper discounts. Creed taking a bite out of a potato. Almost anything that Kelly says. (“I have a question for you Ryan. First of all, how dare you.”) In seasons past, I would lol every time they would come on screen–but this season I haven’t lol’ed once. Are they even in this season, or do they just not have anything even remotely funny to say?
- The writing is bad. I think that sums up 3-6. The writers all forgot their craft after Steve Carell left the show. His impact on the entire production was obviously huge, because without him, they just can’t pull it off. Most of the issues I listed could be corrected with better writing–but it won’t happen. If they could write better episodes, they’d be doing it already.
The bottom line is that the show is pointless without Steve Carell. If the people in charge had any insight, they would have realized this and cancelled it already. Instead, they decided to go for one more season–but I guarantee it will be the last.*
*But if it’s not I’ll still be watching, and complaining about it the entire time.