Goodbye and Good Riddance to the Office

The Office is finally over!  The last episode aired last night as Steve Carell left the building — for good, we hope — and that concludes the run of the overwrought television sitcom.

Okay, so Steve is off the show and The Office has a few more episodes this season before returning in the Fall — but for all cogent and aesthetic purposes, the show is dead and gone.

The American version of The Office was always a pale stepchild to the original UK series starring Ricky Gervais because Ricky’s character never cared about being liked and he was always reviled by his co-workers up to the bitter end.  The American Office started off in the same, nasty, vein — and then it Americanized the original idea and became a fluffy show about an incompetent nincompoop who became an unloved teddy bear.  Ugh!  What happened to the bite and grit that made the show so funny in its first couple of seasons?

The extended goodbye to Steve Carrel last night just didn’t make dramatic sense.  You always had the feeling the producers were struggling to fill time.  Be gone already!  Leave two days sooner instead of just one!

The plot lines for the show have also been worn out the last few years.  We don’t care about Pam and Jim anymore now that they’re married.  The new romance between Gabe and the replacement receptionist never worked or made any sense.  Andy’s incompetence is wearing thin.  Dwight’s manic rantings are now as expected as they are tame and predictable.

If NBC were smart, they would kill the show now and not string it out another three seasons to milk the dying cash cow.  The Office had a great first couple of years before it turned bland and rancidly ordinary, and sending it to a shallow grave now guarantees it will be resurrected in full in strip reruns — but letting the show stagger to its death guarantees a deep and dark grave with no glimmering future residuals payout in repeated airings.