Dunder Mifflin, We Hardly Knew Ye

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[author: Doug Hall]
Doug Hall

It is August 30, 2012, the night of a blue moon, and I’m a bit blue with the news earlier in the week that this will be the last season for The Office. So I thought I’d crack open a Blue Moon (OK, not literally — taking some literary license here) and share some thoughts about what made the show — and writing this blog — so enjoyable.

The heart and the soul of The Office, what made it work so well (while also giving us ample material for the blog), was the Michael Scott character. Although he was the Regional Manager, and thus “the boss,” Michael was an underdog, and everyone likes an underdog (except President Snow from The Hunger Games — but I digress). Lonely as a child, unlucky in love, clueless in the extreme about the political sensitivities his comments offended, we rooted for him to succeed — in large part, I think, because we knew that he had the best of intentions and cared deeply for his “family” at work. If his character had not been so sympathetic (as was sometimes the case in the first season), the show would not have enjoyed its success or longevity. Plus, virtually every employee in the office would have sued the company for some sort of harassment or emotional distress if they hadn’t felt the same way.

Like any successful ensemble show, The Office did not start and end with Michael Scott. The “will they/won’t they/they finally did” relationship between Jim and Pam, the utter twisted lunacy of Dwight, the sweet but dopey Andy and his own relationship with Erin, and the surprising complexity that we would see from time to time in some of the other supporting characters (Darryl and David Wallace come to mind) all made the show a cut above the usual fare. They will be missed.

Here’s hoping that they come up with some killer episodes in the last season to see The Office off — perhaps involving the faceless documentary crew that inexplicably has been tracking the mundane daily events of this paper company in northeastern Pennsylvania. It would only be fitting for the show to go out in a blaze of creative glory. After all, a show this good doesn’t come around but once in a blue moon!