Originally published to The New University May 2013
On Thursday, May 16, Dunder Mifflin said goodbye to its most dedicated employees as “The Office” broadcasted its series finale after nine seasons.
As soon as Steve Carell had left after Season 7, “The Office” had its days numbered, as even the most regular and avid viewers turned off their televisions in anger. For those of us who remained eager to see what would happen, we stuck around for two more seasons. The writing was off the wall, as certain characters who were once typically scripted to shake their heads in disgust at Michael’s antics suddenly found themselves in the limelight; Kevin was given an abundance of one-liners, Oscar was given an affair with Angela’s husband and Andy Bernard was promoted to Regional Manager.
Plotlines became more outlandish and entertaining, as writers relied more on the staff’s actions rather than Michael’s off-beat personality. I found myself thoroughly entertained and even more attached as plotlines called for viewers to tune in weekly. (Maybe this was done strategically?) Regardless, “The Office” kept me entranced, despite the change in direction.
The writing again stepped up to an even higher extent during the last season. Angela’s husband publicly announced his sexual orientation, divorced Angela and he broke up with Oscar, leaving Angela and her cats to shack up together in a cramped studio apartment.
When the show announced its series finale, I found no surprise. It was a move that was respectfully accepted after nine years on the air. “The Office” documentary finally aired.
Andy, after a 10-month boating trip across the world, returned to Dunder Mifflin, only to leave once again for good. This time it was to pursue his acting career.
Jim and Pam, the couple that everyone thought could have no problems, indeed faced trauma, as Jim found himself torn between staying in Scranton with Pam for Dunder Mifflin or spending most nights in Philadelphia to run his new business involving athlete relations with co-worker Darryl.
Emotions were ablaze, and viewers such as myself kept their mouths hanging open in order to fully understand this heavy plotline that the writers decided to create in order to go out with a bang.
The final week and final episode of “The Office” started out unrealistically to me. It was simply one of those things that you knew was going to happen, but did not really hit me until it happened. However, as I found myself catching up on the last three episodes on Hulu, I became more emotional. This was my first television series finale ever. Never before had I become so attached to a TV show.
Dwight, of course, proposed to Angela, and they had their wedding. Pam sold the house in order to compromise a move to Texas for the two of them and the company’s extended location. Ryan and Kelly decided to run away and elope, leaving Ryan’s son behind. Ryan’s son, however, was given to Nelly, who had been trying to adopt a child. Kevin and Toby were fired. Kevin purchased a bar … I don’t know why, but it seems like it worked out for him. Creed is on the run from the police for selling drugs during the Vietnam War, but was captured in the end. Michael Scott, of course, made an appearance toward the end to act as Dwight’s best man, which proved to be a particularly emotional moment to watch.
I was not prepared to watch these last few episodes, and it kept running through my mind last week: “I’m never going to see Jim and Pam again. Dwight is never going to cause mayhem. And Stanley is never going to make sarcastic remarks that indicate he clearly does not want to be there.” It was sad to see a small part of my “pop culture life” end, but it was done in such a way that was memorable and incredibly fervent.
Overall, the finale closed with a bang, and left me in hysterics afterward. I think “The Office” will remain memorable for years to come despite its ending, and will remain one of the most original mockumentaries to ever hit the screen. As we say goodbye to the characters, we also say goodbye to an era of sarcasm and humor applicable to all of us with day jobs.