An open letter to NBC
Upon hearing that Steve Carell will be leaving “The Office” after this seventh season, I ask that you respond courteously to the fans’ requests and put the overtired sitcom to rest. As a former Dunderhead myself, I struggled to make it through the past season. Taking Dunder Mifflin’s fearless leader out of the mix will only lead to a sharper decline in quality, and thus, further viewer disillusionment.
Carell’s Michael Scott is the heart of that sad little Pennsylvania paper company. “The Office” in his absence is a bit like a chicken running around after its head has been chopped off, lacking in purpose and honestly, just plain ridiculous.
Your once-ingenious take on the workplace “jumped the shark” seasons ago, when Jam Beespert finally pushed aside their goofy looks and tandem-Dwight pranks to get their act together. Coming from a girl who spent hours watching their “Casino Night” kiss over and over again, their relationship is now boring. And having to go through Pam’s breastfeeding struggle was just weird.
The last episode I remember genuinely loving was “Beach Games,” way back in Season Three. That episode—apart from showcasing Michael’s crazy in every possible way from a hot dog eating contest to a sumo wrestling challenge to a hot coal walk—gave each Dunder Mifflin character a chance to show why viewers love (or hate) them in the first place.
Steve Carell’s gut-convulsing awkwardness as Regional Manager made “The Office” special, but the show has always been a sum of its parts. Angela’s love for cats, Stanley’s stern-faced façade that disguises his secret affinity for soft pretzels, Phyllis’ relationship with Bob Vance (Vance Refrigeration)—all were reasons why this take on the workplace was so much more exciting than reality. But that was then, and now the characters we once loved have become caricatures of themselves. Their idiosyncrasies have been glossed over in order to appeal to a broader audience that doesn’t know who these characters used to be.
I think viewers understand what would happen if “The Office” went on without Michael Scott, given Dwight’s poor attempt in “The Job.” But more importantly, this once-hysterical take on watercooler politics needs to finish up before it completely loses sight of what it was meant to be.