Monday, March 29, 2010
The Office: Layoff Time
I'm sorry to do this, The Office, you've been a valued member of my TV watching line-up for a few years now, but it's time to let you go.
With the ever-increasing demands of my time, more-and-more shows are being let go from the team, and you just haven't been able to compete on a high level for the past three seasons.
I want you to know you had great potential, and for your first two seasons you were outstanding. In fact, I considered you to be on the fast track to joining the ranks of executives such as Seinfeld, Arrested Development, The Simpsons, and your British cousin. You made me laugh, gave me one-liners to say at work, and used a brilliant mix of awkwardness and subtlety that made your comedy relevant.
As you know, I sensed something wrong at the end of season 2 when Jim kissed Pam. Their relationship was perfect as an office romance that would never happen, but when you took it further, your downward trend was set in motion. I thought you might come out of that slump and you did, in fact, produce some great episodes after that moment, but it wasn't quite the same from that point.
Michael slowly declined from the racist, bumbling, awkward jerk-of-a-boss we all loved during the first two seasons to one that always came out on top at the end, getting the girl, teaching the moral lesson, and serving as the tragic hero.
Jim went from funny, witty, clever, and low-key to downright dick headish. I now find Dwight to be one of the more sympathetic characters, which should never have happened. Ryan, Kelly, Daryl, and Toby all went from being hilarious secondary characters to being replaced by the likes of the who-cares love-story of Andy and Erin.
Your jokes are being re-hashed and stolen from other shows. Your sarcasm and appeal to intellect has been replaced by fart jokes and head bonking. You went from brilliant office mockumentary to a situational sitcom without a laugh track.
I thought there was a chance you could work hard to overcome some of your deficiencies, but when Jim and Pam brought a baby into the mix, I knew it was the end.
I want you to know I used to have parties with friends to watch you. Then, I set you on DVR and forgot to go back and watch you, sometimes for weeks at a time. After Thursday's debacle of a show, I have deleted your timer and have no plans of bringing you back.
I'm sorry it had to end this way. You should be able to get by for a while by being a hit with the same people who love According to Jim and Tyler Perry's House of Payne.