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The Office: A Belated Review
Two of the intregal players in The Office
The Office last cast, 2013Click thumbnail to view full-size
NBC's The Office ran from March 24, 2005 until May 16, 2013. Nine seasons. Not too shabby for a sitcom in the fast-paced, swiftly-produced, television comedy business in 2013. Not too shabby, indeed.
As a latecomer-viewer, halfway fan of The Office, I am rendering my personal review of a show that I never completely understood. At least from a comedy standpoint. I write that off to my age and the inability to get past "real" sitcoms that are "really" funny. Plus these "real" comedy shows have the secret ability to make me laugh.
I cannot truthfully say that about The Office. Although the show had a cult-following of most late-twenty-something's, slackers in offices, and single men and women who actually bought into the concept that The Office" could, at least, be partly-believable, and how these single men and women out for a buck, could survive the office world which some survivors (who are now selling their paintings or produce) on the sidewalk of some big city, say is so "cut-throat," leaving two inches of blood on their office floors, symbolic-proof that "only the strong and smart," survive the offices of 2013.
It wasn't this bad when I finished m career in a newspaper office in 2003, but I saw signs of things to come. Things that make a devout Christian person's stomach tie in knots when it's time to get up on Monday and head out to work.
But with the sitcom, The Office, there wasn't really any physical bloodshed. At least not on screen. I imagine that the real bloodshed came in writer's meetings each week and deciding on how to make John "Jim Halpert" Krasinski look even more laid-back, smug, more know-it-all and never reprimanded for his childish, and time-wasting pranks his character pulled on Rainn "Dwight Schrute" Wilson.
To me, this was the dead, over-worked, over-done area of The Office. Each week a new prank. Each show, either new episode, or all of the reruns that I've endured, there it is. That same dumb look on Jim's face staring dead-pain into the single camera that followed the show from inside an office set each week.
Krasinski looked into the camera so many times in each show, why didn't NBC jump on the gameboard idea and create a game for the family in their late twenties with no children, just an ambitious, laid-back spirit and name it: "How Much Can I Get By With At Work And Still Get Paid?" A blockbuster that would have rivaled that of the Parker Brothers' Monopoly.
Actually it was that predictable, Krasinski looking smug or somewhat cool, but still a know-it-all in every show, almost every scene, and my question was: Did The Office writers and producers "really" have to have John Krasinski's big face looking at us each week to keep their ratings in a survival mode?
You can be the judge.
I do give the show's producers (sometimes it was Steve Carell, Ed Helms, B.J. Novak, or even John Krasinski), some amount of credit for not only having one central theme of their show each week, but several small themes slightly-hidden in each week's show and fans grew to see how they all were woven together at show's end.
WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THE OFFICE
- Steve Carell's character, Michael Scott's ability to not know or see when things were really getting serious and putting his job in jeopardy. Carell's spot on the show actually drove home the adage, "Ignorance is bliss," and to a point, I am like that too. If I have something wrong with me, but I don't know it, I am happy. If I have something wrong with me and I know it, I worry. Case closed.
- Stanley Hudson's "in your face" bravery as a man and as a paper salesman.
- Creed Bratton's slick and craft way of staying employed at Dunder-Mifflin paper company.
- Andy Berndard's in-touch with today's social rules and styles.
- Ryan Howard's smooth approach to office work: show up, act like you are working and get a check. Honestly, this is being done a lot in America today.
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE ABOUT THE OFFICE
- Jim Halpert's wasting time standing at Pam then-Beesly's desk "acting" like he was getting information on a new client, but only making time with his future wife. Isn't inner-office romances still frowned-upon today in 2013 in some workplaces?
- Jim Halpert's character doing anything on this show. (This might seem unfair and childish, but The Office could have survived well without John Krasinski).
- Angela Martin's self-righteous tone she took with many of The Office characters.
- Jim Halpert always having a script written so his character could make fun of Dwight. (Like I said. This was much over-done and does the term, "ad nauseum" come to mind?
- Jan, Michael Scott's hot corporate girlfriend, being ashamed of him in public. What was wrong with Michael Scott apart from his verbal-bumbling, racial puns and being oblivious to reality at times? Nothing. Most office managers are like this in real life, but do a great job of keeping it hidden from the office workers.
PARTING QUESTIONS I HAVE ABOUT THE OFFICE
- Was it me, or was each episode of The Office written just so John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer could hide themselves (in character) and let the other unimportant themes of each show be their "umbrella of safety"?
- Why wasn't Michael Scott ever promoted by the writers? Maybe he could have been successful at a higher level and one day, he gets severely-depressed and the writers give him a "welcome back, Michael" party to irritate Jim Halpert.
- Why did Jim Halpert, or Judas, go to David Wallace, the big boss, and complain slightly about Michael and this "raise" he was supposed to get, and then wham, bam, smug Jim is now a co-manager trying to really take over the office. Did you not see this?
- Why was Dwight Schrute always written as a fool? Wilson's character, if he wasn't told, was the office "scape goat," and court jester. What a waste of good talent.
Am I sad that I didn't get to see The Office finale? No.
Did I want to see the finale of The Office? Yes, but when my wife opted for her show, I was secretly glad that she had made that move.
Even one farewell from John "Jim Halpert" Krasinski would have been way too many.
This is why I will never be a customer of the automobile insurance company he is now the spokesman for and I will not insult HubPages by naming it here in this piece.
So long, most, (but not Krasinski), of The Office.
(see my personal rating for the show below.) Now for a cool drink.