The Office used to be one of the TV shows that I never missed. Even when I got to college, I used to have a Friday morning routine of coffee and the previous night’s episode on Hulu. But like all good things, the time for this routine has ended. Many have said that Steve Carrell’s departure should have signaled the end of The Office. While I didn’t want the two to be dependent, it seems to be the case.
The Office has always had a strong supporting cast. There aren’t many comedies with that large of a regular cast, which I thought would cushion the blow brought upon by Carrell leaving. I don’t think the poor quality of the show reflects the quality of the actors but rather the way that they’re used.
Andy was not a good choice for the managerial position. While much has been done to make him a three dimensional character, it’s been too little too late. Further more, his “lovable loser” status is too similar to Michael Scott, a point made painfully obvious when he was put in Scott’s job. A good-hearted fool in way over his head?!?! Gee where have we seen that before…
I thought James Spader might be the saving grace of the show. His appearance in the finale was one of the few high points following Carrell’s exit last year. But the magic that he brought as Robert California seems to have vanished. He’s not that eccentric anymore. He’s an arrogant grump nowadays without all the allure that made him interesting.
We don’t really know what his purpose on the show is either. Sure, he’s the CEO of the company. But when it comes to providing material that the audience will find amusing, he does nothing. He just kind of shows up and hangs around, without ever doing anything to laugh at. You can’t have a comedy without amusement.
I realize that there really is no fix to The Office. The show needs a lead character, but there aren’t any to choose from. The shows supporting cast are known for their traits and mannerisms, but these must go away in order to become a three dimensional lead role. But in doing so, they lose the personality that we were drawn to in the first place. The writers have shown that they don’t know how to introduce new characters, so there’s not much to be done.
That’s okay though. Eight seasons is a really long run for any show. The original Office only had 12 episodes. The show is out of material and the only thing it’s doing now is destroying its legacy. The Office should be remembered for its good days, not for its pathetic struggle to replace its lead. Paper companies are a dying breed; The Office should be put out of its misery as well.