I don’t normally blog about television. I don’t have anything against it, but there are only a handful of shows on my DVR that I really would be upset to miss. (I watch Deadliest Catch, although this season will probably be the last one I bother to DVR as it had gotten a little too soap opera like even before Captain Phil Harris had his stroke and died. I watch Top Chef regularly, and I like No Reservations.) The Office stands out as the only sitcom on TV that I even bother to watch, much less record to make sure I see it.
As I’m sure everyone knows, Steve Carell is leaving the show after this year. He says he wants to spend more time with his family, but I’m sure he can see the show has pretty much run its course. It’s going into its seventh season; the original BBC version only ran two. The relationships are all played out, the pranks are pretty much all done. Dwight has become a more likable character than Jim (and Jim has really become everything he, and we, hated about his corporate station in life).
Michael Ausiello at EW has some suggestions for replacements. He suggests Darrell, or Dwight as a co-manager with Jim. My suggestion?
End it. The show has lost its luster and losing the funniest character is something I don’t think can be overcome. So don’t try, NBC. Just let it go, quietly into syndication. Maybe end the show with Michael getting something he wanted, either the girl, or the promotion, or maybe moving to Jamaica to sell tours on a beach. But end it.
I know it’s all about ratings and money, not about the art. I know if they can sell ad time for season 8 and still make money, the show will stay on the air. But for once, it would be nice to see a sitcom go out before jumping the shark*, to go out with no compromise to the 23 minute situation comedy form.
*Yes, one could argue The Office jumped the shark when Jim and Pam got married or when they had a baby, but I think the show continues to entertain with those events remaining background noise.