I know it probably seems weird for me to come out of the blogging black hole I’ve fallen into just to write about a TV show. (Well, no, okay. If you know me, this doesn’t seem weird at all), but The Office ended last night and you guys. I really need to talk about it.
I love this show. Every since Anthony played it on his laptop for me and Christine on the floor of his bedroom when we were in high school, and we cringed at “Diversity Day”, cried at the end of “Office Olympics”, and yelled at Pam for not seeing Jim was in love with her. I watch a few episodes pretty much every night before going to sleep. Roddy, Anthony, and I went to freakin’ Scranton for the wrap party two weeks ago! I love this show.
When Steve Carell left two years ago, I was pretty open about wanting the show to bow out with him. In some ways, I still agree that maybe they should have done that. His departure left a pretty large hole in Season 8, and even as a passionate fan I had a hard time paying attention as the show tried to find a new balance. (Some would argue that it started losing steam when Greg Daniels left as showrunner after Season 4, but some of my favorite moments came in Seasons 5 and 6, so I would argue that those people are stoo-pid). Had The Office been younger when Steve Carell left, it would have had more time to find its footing without him. Even still, at its worst, The Office remained funnier than 90% of the new crap on TV, and after 9 years that’s commendable. It shows that sitcoms don’t need to completely lose all of their charm after a long run. (I’m looking at you, How I Met Your Mother).
Anyway, I am glad it stuck around because it gave us more time with these characters. And I really, really love every single one of these characters.
The finale did a really great job of letting us know that beyond the documentary, everyone is going to be OK. And better yet, it really looks like they’re all going to be happy. (Well, maybe not Toby. He is living with 6 roommates in NYC writing the great American novel, after all). Even after Andy’s humiliating televised audition became viral, he seems to have found a new kind of peace that we’ve never seen him have before. And honestly, I thought one of the most emotional moments of the night was seeing the clip of his commencement speech at Cornell. Isn’t that where Andy’s heart always was anyway? He also had one of the most moving talking head segments of the night – “I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them. Someone should write a song about that.”
And good for Dwight and Angela. I always wanted them to end up together. I wish their resolution didn’t feel as rushed as it did, but we all knew they belonged together ever since she had that bobble-head of him made for Valentine’s Day. And I love how happiness looks on Angela – I mean, you guys, she apologized to Phyllis after snapping at her! I think my favorite part of having the finale take place a year later was seeing how everyone has grown since the cameras packed up. Even Meredith seems to have settled into somewhat of a normal human being. (Her son being the stripper at Angela’s bachelorette party aside).
We all knew Pam wasn’t going to let Jim give up on his dream, but I still breathed a sigh of relief when she revealed her plan to sell the house and move the family to Austin. There were some episodes that I found really hard to watch this season while they went through all of this, and the payoff was really worth it. Hearing her say “Dunder Mifflin, this is Pam” as Jim looked on from his desk was a seriously great moment. And to hear her follow up with “I’m sorry, Jim Halpert doesn’t work here anymore”?? MY HEART!!!
Okay, I’m done stalling. I’m not sure I’ve ever simultaneously laughed and cried at the same time before, but when Michael appeared and said “That’s what she said”, well, that is exactly what happened. Literally just thinking about it right now is making me teary. We all knew deep inside that he would come back, we wanted him to come back, we NEEDED him to come back, and Greg Daniels wrote him in perfectly. We learned that Michael is finally truly happy and has a family (he needs two phones for all the pictures of his children, but really, he’s just so happy to have a family plan!), but his appearance didn’t overshadow the rest of the episode. Just seeing him in the background made me want to burst. Though he did have the funniest line of the night, easily. “I feel like all my kids grew up. And then they married each other. It’s every parent’s dream!”
What were the other amazing moments?? Oh, Creed’s whole ending is so perfectly crazy and Creed. Loved the Grass Roots shout out, too. Oscar running for state senate. Oh, Erin’s birth parents!! (Great Joan Cusack cameo). Ellie Kemper’s realization was really beautiful. Also her line at the end: “How did you do it? How did you capture what it was really like? Also, how to cameras work?” (TV casting people – give Ellie Kemper a job, because she’s really quite talented). Kevin – “If you film anybody long enough, they’re going to do something stupid. It’s only human natural.” Dwight calling Pam his best friend. Stanley finding true bliss in retirement and bird carvings. Phyllis’ gratitude over his carving of her. I love that Kelly and Ryan are exactly the same horrible, selfish people who would leave Ryan’s baby with Mohinder (THAT IS HIS NAME) so they can run away together. But don’t worry, if you need to find baby Drake, he’ll be somewhere in Europe with Nellie. (See? Everyone got their happy ending).
Oh, and did anyone else catch that Jim repeated the same line he had in the pilot? “My job was to speak to clients, on the phone, about quantities and types of copier paper.” I seriously clutched my heart and wept like an infant.
I thought it was extremely fitting and moving that Pam had the last line. It’s a shame that Jenna Fischer never won an award for her performance, because especially this season, she was really incredible. Her closing words, as she removed the drawing she made of the office back in season 3, were moving and fitting and perfect. God I am going to miss this show. I am going to watch this again tonight and have about a billion more rambling emotional things to say about it. Thanks Dunder Mifflin.
“I thought it was weird when you picked us to make a documentary, but all in all, I think an ordinary paper company like Dunder Mifflin was a great subject for a documentary. There’s a lot of beauty in ordinary things. Isn’t that kind of the point?”