Thursday Night TV Open Thread

Wow, what a great series finale for The Office. After six long years, a marriage, and a birth, our friends at Sabre nee Dunder Mifflin are going on their way, as the documentary crew that has been dutifully following them has decided that the story they set out to tell has been told. Right? Isn’t that what happened last night? I was reading an interview with Jenna Fischer this week, and she was saying how she thought it was really cool that Jim and Pam’s wedding was at the beginning of the season instead of a more typical dramatic season finale, and how she thought it was cool that Jim and Pam were having a baby in the middle of the season, and how both of these episodes were just proof that The Office was really special and different. Sure, Jenna Fischer. I mean, I get it. It is special and different when mainstream TV shows shake off the preconceived notions handed down to them by generations of by-the-book storytelling. But at the same time, there is a reason why dramatic stakes have, in many ways, remained largely unchanged (and unimproved upon) since Shakespeare: because they are very limited in their operation. You need to build to something because if you start with the built thing then who cares. My point is, where does The Office expect to go from here? I suppose that is a question more for the writing staff to concern themselves with, but personally, I really loved the Jim and Pam wedding episode, and I’ve been sort of done with the show since then. The rest has seemed…inconsequential. And now that Pam has had her baby, the one dramatic resolution hold out, it can only get worse. I do not care about the funny things that Jim and Pam, two made up people, are going to learn and discover about the wonders of raising a child, because they are all make-believe, and this show isn’t called The Baby.

Please be careful The Office. Because I do have a lot of fondness for you, and I would hate for that fondness to be worn out and ground to dust in a slow process of lazy erosion as you spin your wheels just because you can, like some kind of bum hip replacement. Let’s discuss!