The Office NBC, reviewed

written: 2013

What’s worse than awful? A belated diatribe

Wow – the shite NBC’s The Office trotted out at the end of the show’s run was certainly bizarre. But my breakup with the show started waaay before that.

After the debacle that saw the cast dancing down the aisle at their co-worker’s wedding (PS: when this is all over, can we talk about boundaries for a second?) I didn’t think the show could ever be that awkwardly un-funny again but boy was I wrong.

The office staff gathered on Michael’s last day and sang a terribly sincere SONG for him. And he cried.

It’s supposed to be a comedy.
I just want to laugh. If I wanted aisle-dancing I’d watch a video of me finding a mini Snickers on the floor of my Vegas – ATL redeye last month – HEY-OH!!

The New York Post somehow got suckered in – they didn’t find the scene as ghastly as I did.

“…a beautiful swan song from his co-workers. Yes, I cried. A bit. Don’t hate, you emotionless robot!”

But down deep NBC knew they screwed up and viewers are dropping fast. So they started to panic. The show was flat-lining and dying … Steve Carell was gone so NBC started to call guest stars. Will Ferrell signed on.

Ricky Gervais followed suit, then Will Arnett.

So what did they do with the opportunity?

It got even worse.

Here’s The Onion A/V Club wrap-up of the situation. 

Ferrell showed up then disappeared, Arnett and Gervais were one-time appearances and then things became unraveled. Andy became a Crazy Person and then disappeared. Thank Gawd we whispered.

Then they trotted out a slap to the face in the form of the gag-inducing “Maybe Jim and Pam are headed for splitsville?” plotline.

Good Gawd it was half-assed.

It was like when the phone rings and your grandfather is reading the newspaper and he says “I got it.” But he never even looks up.

He doesn’t “got it.” He never had any intention of getting it.

Has there ever been a sitcom with such disparate highs and lows as NBC’s The Office? Seinfeld was full of wonderful highs, with one enormous LOW (the final episode), but that was their only low point.

Co-workers are fine but if they’re
involved in my wedding I’ll be a sad little boy.

The original Office, the Ricky Gervais genius-mode BBC mockumentary, didn’t last long enough to register any lows – it was 2 seasons and a Christmas special. Gervais even pointed that out on the Golden Globes when he referenced the difference in lifespan for his version as opposed to Carrell’s (“quality, not quantity.”)

But the NBC version has been around long enough to jump the shark not once but twice.

The Office once featured a two-part “Jim and Pam Get Married” section that ended with one of the most cringe-worthy and stomach-turning sequences I’ve ever seen on TV (and I once watched Saw in a laundromat, so … you know).

Jim and Pam’s co-workers make their way down the aisle in a choreographed dance – and the intent was not humor, it was the show’s attempt at being schmaltzy and genuine and to me, that is incredibly offensive.

(SIDE NOTE: Can you imagine how miserable your life would be if everyone involved in every portion of your life was also a co-worker? Let’s get married and the whole office will come down to the wedding and then cause a scene in the middle of the ceremony! YAY!! No – f*ck you dude! Co-workers are fine but if they’re involved in my wedding I’ll be a sad little boy).

 There’s no doubt: The Office NBC WAS funny.

But the producers just couldn’t stop tinkering with it – like when they started adding rubber padded “grips” to pencils. Remember those? Pencils were fine – they didn’t need any additions or innovations. Just leave them alone.

If the dance scene wasn’t bad enough the sitcom followed up with a “Clipshow” – except they didn’t just come out and say it was a Clipshow. The premise was that a bank was thinking about purchasing Dunder-Mifflin so an employee from the bank came in and axed everyone questions about the efficiency and work-flow of the place.

This allowed writers and producers to pump the show full of old clips as “answers” to the bank’s questions. Basically, everyone got a week off.

RESULT: Embarrassing and lazy – YOU’RE BETTER THAN THAT HOLLYWOOD! Wait… nevermind. I give you: Miss Cast Away starring Michael Jackson AND Eric Roberts.



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