NBC’s The Office is a show that I started watching about a year ago and really got into. I loved the whole premise and the humor was exactly the type that I like. I’m a sucker for good writing and character relationships and The Office had both.
Much of the show’s premise is built around Steve Carell’s character, Dunder-Mifflin Regional Manager Michael Scott. He’s innately a nice guy, but undoubtedly socially inept. His intentions are typically genuine and good, but his methods are questionable at best and downright inappropriate at worst. But despite all that he’s the glue of the show. Plots and story arcs run through him and his antics a majority of the time.
Season 7 premiered a few weeks ago and Carell announced that he would not be returning to the show following the expiration of his contract, which calls for him to do seven seasons. The show definitely will not be the same without the quirky and often inept boss, but it is also absolutely sustainable without him. I’m positive the show will be around for at least one season following Carell’s departure, but if it can spend time writing his character off the show and preparing for life post-Michael, then The Office can get two or three more good seasons. It will take a lot of foresight and talented writing, but The Office writers have a track record of both of those qualities.
What I’m looking for in Season 7 is for the writers to put considerable effort into developing characters other than Michael. The first two episodes didn’t do much of that, focusing mostly on Michael and his problems, but last night’s installment relegated Michael almost to a sulky afterthought and did a good job at reminding me that there are other endearing characters on the show.The third episode included everything that makes The Office so enjoyable. It had moments that were completely uncomfortable and others that were surprisingly touching. In the early seasons fans enjoyed the awkwardness that Michael and Dwight offered, but also were entertained by the seasons-long “will they or won’t they dance” that Jim and Pam did. Awkward moments will continue to abound without Michael Scott, but the writers will have to develop a new sentimental story line now that Jim and Pam are married and domesticated.
They tried a love-triangle between Andy, Angela and Dwight but it was poorly done and I wasn’t overly impressed with anything that transpired. This season Andy is in a new triangle, this time with cutie Erin and corporate-head Gabe and there are definite possibilities there.
I doubt that The Office will ever return to the form it had over the first three or four seasons, but it can continue to be a very enjoyable show if Michael is properly written off the show and the other characters are effectively prepared for life without Michael.