Friday, May 17, 2013

I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU CAME:  Last night's Office finale was, in some sense, the funhouse mirror version of Seinfeld's -- subtext was elevated to text, only instead of using it to undermine the show and rub the audience's noses in the awful behavior we been rewarding for years, last night went self-congratulatory and overt on the whole isn't-it-great-that-we-spent-so-much-time-in-such-a-mundane-place-celebrating-life's-small-successes thing. And then, of course (does this need to go below the fold? Well, to be safe ...)

the show decided to have its cake after telling us that you didn't really need cake after all, tossing aside Jim's declarations about how all the happiness he needed was with his wife and kids in Scranton by having Pam go switcheroo on us and after all that tsuris decides to move the family to Austin (and away from their extended families) anyway. Does The Office contradict itself? Very well, then it contradicts itself, It is large, and contains multitudes of episodes, but that choice didn't sit right with me.

The finale also may have leaned a bit too heavily on Andy Bernard stuff as well as boy-those-Schrute-customs-are-wacky, and been a bit too self-congratulatory (really: Greg Daniels in that group photo?), but all in all I was satisfied.  Loose ends were tiedfutures were foretold without anyone having to die; laughs were had; couples were reunited; really, other than finding out that three of Scott's Tots became a junkie, a bully, and a master assassin (let's not speak of the fourth), what else could you want? Creed explaining that Dunder-Mifflin is a place that they all made together so that they could find one another, and that the most important part of their lives was the time that each spent with these people in that office?


  1. BarbL1149:51 AM

    I liked that Pam gave in on the Athlead thing. By the end of the penultimate episode, she realized that Athlead was very good for Jim, and then actually seeing the documentary made her realize that he was holding him back.

    I spent the first part of the finale just really upset that Jim was still at Dunder-Mifflin. He might be happy with Pam, but had to be wearing him down.

  2. sconstant10:00 AM

    As I said previously, I've come back to the show this season, and have been less harsh on it (perhaps because I had a break from it) than others. And I liked this episode, though it was less of an episode than a reunion special, which is an odd way to end a show. I think I'm going to think of last weeks episode (AARM) as the last episode, and this as something else - the TV movie after the show ended, or something.

    Poor Angela and Dwight - they must have a painting (by Pam?) of their kid in their attic which is aging, because Phillip looked the same a year ago (aka last week) as he did this week.

    I don't know what Greg Daniels looks like, but I assumed that the PBS execs were all real Officey people. I thought the inclusion of everyone in the group photo with the Real Cast getting annoyed was a funny way to do it, and not any more self-conscious than the whole "here is a reunion episode about a reunion in the show-within-a-show" and liked the story of a superfan who got to be in the finale also (from with an actual part, and not just a "stand here, you might get cut."

  3. bristlesage10:38 AM

    We gave up the show after "Mafia" and haven't regretted it, but we watched both the retrospective and the finale last night. While it may have done a little too much fanservicing, it was fun to watch those people after all this time.

    I will say, though, considering we could follow right along with pretty much all the emotional beats, it seems the show sure didn't care much about any of the characters who were introduced after season six, right? I mean, Catherine Tate got a little something, but otherwise, the "new" people were up there on stage at the Q&A thing, but that's pretty much it.

  4. Alan Sepinwall11:33 AM

    The PBS moderator was Daniels' wife, the TV executive Susanne Daniels. Greg is the one inserting himself into the middle of the warehouse photo.

  5. I just like the gratuitous dig here at Seinfeld's uncompromising finale.