‘The Office’ is one the best comedy shows ever written as is evident by the massive legacy it has left behind. More than a decade has passed and the show continues to gain more and more fans by the passing day.
However, the show does come with its fair share of problems and flaws. Problems that, now in a politically charged environment and a constantly self-aware and competitive industry, seem too big to avoid. While the show did survive in an earlier time despite these problems, it doesn’t look like it will stand the scrutiny of the times anymore. Let us look at where the show went wrong when it did! From 2005 to 2013, ‘The Office’ entertained viewers like no other show had done before.
They were hooked to life at Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton Branch, its boss Michael Scott, and employees like Jim, Pam, Dwight, and many others. This show suddenly elevated the comical intensity of seemingly boring office space. It made viewers laugh, sometimes even when they were not supposed to, and, surprisingly, even made them cry.
When it comes to ‘The Office’, the most loyal fans will go to war to argue why it’s one of the best comedy ever written. But while that is the case, there are some inherent flaws in the show that cannot be denied, and only addressing and accepting those problems will result in a true appreciation of the show.
One-dimensional or half-baked female characters
Even the most loyal ‘The Office’ fans will have to admit that the female characters in the show are poorly written. The only female that is a part of the lead character list is Pam. And even Pam’s character is defined by her relationship with Jim. The only one time her character tries to take her career seriously and joins an art school, Jim decides to bring her back by asking her to marry him because he was “missing her back in Scranton”.
Even Angela, who probably is the second female character with the most screen time, is defined by her relationship with no one but two men, Dwight and Andy. The other characters like Kelly Kapoor, Phyllis Lance, and Meredith Palmer remain mostly one dimensional during the entire run of the show.
Well, to be honest, most of the characters other than Michael, Dwight, Jim, and Pam, and maybe Andy, later on, are underwritten and flat till the very end.
Great guest stars but no highly memorable moment with them.
Amy Adams, Rashida Jones, Will Ferell, Idris Elba, and James Spader are the names of high profile actors who guest star on ‘The Office’. While some appear after Michael Scott leaves the show, others appear during his time on the show.
And while many will argue that the writing and the overall appeal of the show disintegrates after the departure of the original boss of Dunder Mifflin, one cannot overlook the fact that ‘The Office’ did not make good use of the guest talent at hand.
If you were asked to create a list of 10 memorable moments, by taking into consideration all those five actors on the show, you’ll still find it extremely difficult. And this is ‘The Office’ we are talking about, a show with way too many memorable moments.
The tendency to give up on potentially good storylines
While the show found it difficult to move on with a steady storyline after Michael Scott left, and to be fair it was always going to be the case, it cannot be denied that the writing was on the wall for the show because they tended to give up on good storylines. Remember that time Dwight’s extended family was introduced? Yeah, there was this one episode.
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Even his cousin Mose was so interesting every time he got involved, so imagine giving Dwight’s family a good run. And what about the Michael Scoot Paper Company? The place that could have helped Pam and Ryan shine and show their full potential, and Michael to live up to the tag of the “World’s Best Boss”.
Not that his negotiation tactics were bad, but the Michael Scott Paper Company could have lasted a bit longer. And how can viewers forget that moment where Michael almost opens up to Toby. A full episode with a different perspective on that relationship would have been great.
Side characters, recurring characters, and the ones introduced after Michael’s departure were weak
Before the wrong idea gets across, let’s be clear that this is not about Darryl, the warehouse guy, or Jan, or David Wallace for that matter. These characters were and will be on the good side of ‘The Office’s’ legacy. This is about characters like Nellie Bertram, Andy Bernard, Todd Packer, and Brian the boom guy. Even this list has a high profile name like Catherine Tate who played Nellie, but even she couldn’t save the poorly written character.
The most loyal fans will share the belief that the introduction of such characters and their failed attempts at having a new boss made them miss Michael Scott as the boss even more. When it comes to Todd Packer, the minute he showed up on screen you knew he was going to crack some sexist jokes. And, after a point, really only from the second time onwards, it became repetitive and annoying to even see his face. Brian the boom guy was just not needed and he won’t get more attention because that is what the show was guilty of doing.
Some might argue about Andy’s presence on this list. But the truth is, Andy should never have been elevated to be a part of the main character list. Just the fact that the makers thought he could fill in the void left by Michael Scott is enough to have him here. The emotional rollercoaster, a very confusing one to be honest, that the character goes through is the second reason why he is here.
The finale should have come a few seasons ago
After coming this far in the article, most of you can guess that the show should have ended with Michael Scott’s departure. How can a show called ‘The Office’ ever be the same without the “World’s Best Boss”, right? But the makers of the show thought otherwise and went on for two more seasons, with barely any concrete idea about what they wanted to do with the new and old characters.
What they eventually managed to do was give the original characters of the show an end that everyone saw coming and knew they deserved. But it came two seasons too late. And those two seasons will remain a blemish on the legacy of ‘The Office’. However, it must be acknowledged that they said goodbye to the show in style. The finale of ‘The Office’, even after all the blemishes, remains one of the best and a very memorable episode indeed.
Do you agree with the list? Do you think The Office legacy makes these flaws too small to matter? Share your views in the comments box below!