I have been following the beloved Dunder Mifflin employees since high-school. I have been rooting for Jim and Pam ever since Jim told us Pam’s favorite yogurt is the mixed berry variety, and I even learned The Office jingle for the opening credits on the piano. Everyone says the show began slipping into the darkness once Jim and Pam eloped/got married, but I disagree. I think the show stayed strong even after Steve Carell left; Robert California was hilarious! Plus, we were introduced to Nellie Bertram who is such an endearing psychopath and the writers gave Erin and Andy a second shot. Plus, a lot of other juicy subplots, like one of the interns sexually harassing Jim, and Angela’s pregnancy to her gay senator husband. Plus so much more.
As soon as I heard Mindy Kaling and B.J. Novak were leaving the show, I knew The Office was done for. Mindy and B.J. were the mom and dad of The Office. Or at least, the really cool sister and brother that actually ensued hilarity. Alas, I couldn’t not keep watching The Office, since the show is an integral part of my life and abandoning it seemed really depressing to me. It would be like giving up my career or losing faith in society. So, I kept watching. And the show has gotten worse and worse.What was once an intelligent parody of office life, is now a desperate attempt to wrap things up before show extermination. I understand that all shows must end. But why can’t it go out with a bang, not a whimper? Instead of crying, I’m just going to share with you WHY The Office is so terrible now and HOW it makes me feel:
1. Pam and Jim totally suck now
Jim seems to be having a mid-life crisis. In the first episode of season nine, he begins questioning why he and his wife still work at Dunder Mifflin after all these years and feels as though he has potential for something greater. Pam, on the other hand, is seemingly very happy-go-lucky and is grateful for her life with Jim and Dunder Mifflin. As the season unravels, Jim starts to collaborate with a friend who wants to start some kind of sports company that is based in Philly. Jim doesn’t want to tell Pam because he doesn’t want her to hold him back, so he keeps this whole thing a secret until he doesn’t, and then Pam is just super passive aggressive and resentful. Oh, and last week’s episode showed Jim investing $10,000 into this start-up company. Seriously, Jim?? Don’t you want that money to go towards, oh I don’t know, CeCe and Phil’s college funds? Ugh, get a divorce already.
2. Andy “Nard Dog” Bernard is a total dick
Andy used to have his moments. A parody of an Ivy League privileged WASP, Andy is annoying, sensitive, and boasts about anything and everything. Did I mention he went to Cornell? This all used to be acceptable, even funny. Things got better when Andy and Erin started awkwardly dating and Andy mistook Erin’s low IQ as inexperience. This uncomfortable little romance didn’t last long; Erin found out about Andy and Angela and broke up with him. She started dating anime-loving, quixotic and tall Gabe. Last season, Andy FINALLY wins Erin back, and what does he do this season? SCREW IT ALL UP. This last episode of The Office, Erin tries so hard to cheer Andy up (who is grieving over the loss of his family’s wealth) by suggesting they sail his precious boat for the last time together, only to be abandoned; Andy decides to sail with his drunken brother instead of her. You better watch out, Andy; one of the cute interns totally has the hots for Erin and he’s got age and personality on his side! But no, seriously. Why is Andy being such a bad boyfriend and boss? It’s hard to watch.
3. Dwight is not even funny anymore
Dwight used to be hilarious! His tenacity knew no end, and the battle between him and Jim was boundless. Dwight’s sparkle seems to have faded once he found out he isn’t actually the father of Angela’s child. Any mild attempts to redeem Dwight’s character have failed miserably, including the attempt to ride a bike on a wire in order to show the new interns who was boss. Um…really? It was just over-the-top.
4. I want to Nellie to be weirder
Nellie was a borderline psychopath in season eight. Granted, she was power-hungry and placed in a high-ranking position and now she has been demoted to sales because of a vengeful Andy. I am really into her character; she’s smart, crazy, and hilarious. I wish they would just amp that up a little bit more. Last week she was “Sexy Toby” for Halloween, which lead Toby to believe she liked him, so he leaned in for a kiss. I feel like old Nellie would have kissed him back and come up with a devious plan to overthrow HR.
5. Phillis and Meredith’s roles are lacking and I MISS KELLY
Phyllis and Meredith are the best! Whether it’s Phyllis and her delusional self-confidence or Meredith’s alcoholism, I sincerely miss those elements that were so prevalent in older seasons.
And okay, I know Mindy Kaling went on to pursue the Mindy Project (which is fantastic, by the way) and B.J. Novak is helping her with that behind the scenes, but I miss Kelly and Ryan so much! Remember when Kelly told Ryan she was pregnant so that he wouldn’t break up with her? Or the time Ryan was arrested for falsifying data for his website? Yeah, I miss that.
So, my point is that The Office isn’t what it used to be. In fact, it makes me sad to watch it. I miss how clever, awkward, and unaware it once was. I want more quirky office drama, I’m tired of the same character flaws that are illuminated again and again, and I’m done with the plot blatantly trying to tie itself up. What’s a girl to do except reminisce about the old days?