A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an open letter to The Office, explaining that while the show was great and funny, someone, or possibly a group of people, had taken one too many Whoops pills before the casting session, because the character of Kevin is both hammy, unfunny, unrealistic, and annoying. Unlike the rest of the cast and characters, Brian Baumgartner talks in a funny voice, makes intentionally stupid faces, and just generally sucks the enjoyment out of any scene he’s in. While all of that is true, and has been true for some time, last night’s season finale seemed to want to make my point for me.
When Toby leaves (big mistake, Toby is great), he’s replaced by Holly (OMG, it’s Beadie!), and at first Michael decides he hates her because she’s replacing Toby and he hates Toby, so Dwight decides to haze her on Michael’s behalf. This results in the unfortunate storyline of Holly thinking that Kevin is mentally disabled for the entire episode. The problem with this is not just that it’s mildly offensive and not particularly funny, but that it also highlights the fact that Kevin’s character, as he’s been written and portrayed throughout, makes it perfectly possible for this confusion to last FOREVER.
Here are Kevin’s scenes from last night:
ENOUGH. End it, The Office. It’s bad enough that this was a half-hearted season full of go-nowhere, hard to believe plotlines (Jim suddenly loves his job? Stanley tears down the conceit of the whole show for one episode?) and mounting incredulity towards the structural integrity of an endless documentary that we shouldn’t also be subject to this hackneyed nonsense. I will accept unbearable acting, cultural insensitivity, and characters so unfunny you wish them bodily harm from Under One Roof. But I expect more from you, The Office. In the words of an ex-girlfriend: “I wouldn’t say I’m angry, I would say disappointed.”