Friday, May 11, 2012

WHY'D THEY ADD COCONUT? I MISS THE ORIGINAL: As it pertains to The Office at the end of season eight, I declare bankruptcy. Creative bankruptcy.

As you'll recall, at the beginning of the season none of us were excited about having Andy helm the branch. Nothing about this season made that decision feel correct, and at the end, given a perfect opportunity to put someone else in charge (or at least leave the door open to do so at the start of next season), instead more of the same is promised, with the potential for a sane David Wallace replacing the mercurial Robert California at the top of the pyramid.  Bleh.

All you need to know about this episode is that it barely included Jim and Pam, and ended instead with a scene between Oscar and Angela's husband about as shocking as the latest celebrity lawsuit which Gawker called "Welcome Back, Frotteur," which is to say not shocking or interesting at all, no stakes about which anyone could care.  No one cares about Andy, or Andy-Erin. And while we still love Darryl, the Darryl-Val thing grabs no one. Compare last night with the end of "Casino Night," in which Pam and Jim finally kiss, or "Goodbye, Toby," in which the Andy-Angela-Dwight triangle is reignited. That was a show which was both funny on its own right, and had characters whose romantic decisions you cared about. That show was Cheers-level; this one is not.

They made a fatal flaw at the end of last season, which need not have been its last. Everything was set up perfectly for Jim to realize "you know what? I'm ready to be a grownup and run this branch." That would have been a new direction, and a new chance. Instead, we've got a show as deteriorated as Scranton itself, and it's time to move on.


  1. I haven't watched the finale yet, but I think there's a fine 13-episode season to be made tying up loose ends based on the premise (just as the British version was) that the "documentary" finally airs and the characters must react to how they are viewed as a result of the documentary.  It's also easy this way to see how characters don't need to appear in every single episode, giving Krasinski/Fischer/Helms more flexibility to do films, and to establish a segue to the Dwight show.  That said, there would have to be a committment to saying "this is a final season" for that to work.

  2. I gave up about five episodes into the season. Every time I try to watch an episode (I record the Thursday block as a single unit, so when I watch Community and Parks & Rec I sometimes see The Office by accident) I can't get further than about five minutes in. And I say this as someone who found Whitney not-terrible and steadily improving.

  3. I think I made it 7 or 8 episodes into the season.  I retroactively declare that Michael Scott's departure was the end of the show, and have purged all memories of Will Ferrell and James Spader.

  4. Nigel from Cameroon11:08 AM

    Generally agreed. Also felt they made a mistake of the Scranton branch somehow being central to the company, as opposed to basically irrelevant or certainly anf after thought. I know Robert C lives there (or I guess I do), but would the CEO really spend that much time there? Of course not.