When I sat down a month ago and decided to finally, after many years of badgering from friends, watch The Office, I was cynical at best. Sure, I knew the show had critical acclaim and a massive fan following, but it just seemed…I dunno, kinda dumb? But I like being in the trenches of popular culture, even if I’m wandering through those trenches alone long after everyone else has been there.
If you’re just joining me on this journey, here are the other blog posts I wrote along the way:
- *The Office* N00b: Day 1
- *The Office* N00b: Meeting the Staff
- The Office N00b: Seasons 1-3
- The Office N00b: Seasons 4-6
- The Office N00b: Saying Goodbye to Michael Scott
There are a lot of things I stand by from my early posts. Such as…
- Jim really was kind of a dick (and continued to be, but he grew up a lot too).
- I kept rooting for Dwight and Angela (and oh dear lord, did I sob during their wedding).
- Stanley’s still the best, and if you don’t like him, then I don’t like you.
- I maintain my weird, inexplicable crush on B.J. Novak and I definitely missed him (even if I didn’t miss his character Ryan) in Season 9.
- Season 3 Pam is my idol. We should all be brave like Season 3 Pam.
One of the big things I also stand by is that this show really is about terrible people being terrible to each other. But…you know what, we’re all kinda terrible from time to time. And we’re especially terrible to people we love. And there is no doubt in my mind that the people of Dunder-Mifflin really love one another.
I also maintain that the show was just as good (and in some moments, even better) after Steve Carrel left. Look, I admitted in my last blog that I’d really warmed to Michael Scott, and I was really, really sad to see him go. But, like, the ensemble carried on and did AMAZING stuff. How great was Darryl in Seasons 8 + 9? And Andy had such an important story arc! And we got even better Dwight-Jim-Brotherhood shenanigans. Plus, seriously, James Spader. HOW CAN YOU NOT LOVE JAMES SPADER?! But, to be honest, I don’t even remember when Robert California left because the show just carried on and it kept working.
If you quit The Office when Michael Scott left, go back and give Season 8 + 9 a chance.
Okay. So, I sat down with the intention of writing my thoughts on the finale and where everyone ended up, but seriously you guys, I don’t know how without crying even more. You can see the legit tears here:
Jim’s “best prank ever” was, truthfully, the best prank ever. That’s when the tears started. And then when Michael Scott turned to the camera and said the weirdly awkward and inappropriate thing about watching your kids grow up and marry each other, but seeing Dwight and Angela and Jim and Pam sitting and talking and laughing together in the background, they continued. And then when everyone got back to Dunder-Mifflin and snuck upstairs and the final interviews started and even Creed had nice things to say (as he was being carted off by the police…) and then Pam answers the phone and says the famous “Dunder-Mifflin, this is Pam” only to be followed with “I’m sorry, Jim Halpert doesn’t work here any more” and and and and 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭
*sigh.* Y’all, I wasn’t ready for this.
And, yes, I spent 9+ years worth of episodes with these people, but this was just one month. I can’t even imagine how it would’ve felt if I actually followed them along when they were actually on the air. Maybe it would’ve been less intense? Maybe I would’ve gotten tired of their crap and let them fade away (like I’ve done with The Big Bang Theory…). Maybe I would’ve been more connected, like I was/am to the characters of How I Met Your Mother. Who knows. But I’m glad I did spend time in The Office. After all…