It's Time To Talk About "The Office"

This is some pretty emotional stuff, guys, but here it goes. 


Deep breaths.

As you may or may not know, this Season--Season 9--will be the last season of the NBC show The Office. Let's just take a moment here.

                                           Fine. I'm ready.

                                          Fine. I'm ready.

For nine years, I've watched The Office loyally. I don't know about you, dear reader, but that constitutes a significant chunk of my adult life. And really, at this point, I feel an almost inexplicable bond with these characters, something that makes me feel sort of silly, and then say, wait, fuck it, I don't care. I am unabashedly attached to completely fictional beings, and that's okay. 

What was it that made these characters so compelling? There are a whole number of answers to that question. Is it the "everyman" thing, the fact that, if you've ever worked or temped at an office, you know these sorts of people totally exist, (albeit in normally more tempered, less amusing forms?) Maybe. But what I really think did it for me was that I felt like I really got to know the characters as "normal" but very complex, growing people. This show made me nearly piss myself laughing a number of times, but I felt like it was more than a comedy. It addressed the small disappointments, the tensions and the nagging existential concerns (as well as the accompanying joy and fulfillment) that, at least in part, define white-collar first world life. 

These characters were compelling because they were real. They grew like people grow. And the feeling you got as a viewer was that you were there, watching it happen. The obvious example here is Jim and Pam. As long-time viewers might know, the tension between them was almost unbearable to watch for a long, long time....ALMOST.  You got to watch this bond subtly form and accumulate over the course of years. YEARS! Like it does in real life. Remember this?


And how shit got seriously real and turned into this?


And then this went down

                            "I'm sorry I misinterpreted our friendship." I literally cried.

                            "I'm sorry I misinterpreted our friendship." I literally cried.

These moments were gut-shot real. Sure, they existed to keep us captivated and watching, but they were real moments. You could feel them, sincerely. There were complicated conflicting emotions and points of will and decision-making and you just sat there and FELT. 

Which made their eventual reunion all the more compelling. I can't help myself. Remember these?


Okay, I'm done. This isn't a Jim & Pam fanpage (.....yet). At this point you might think I'm a total sucker for sap....and in some ways, you're right. But I generally don't buy into that kind of stuff on TV shows. It just doesn't do anything for me. But why do I have all the feelings for Jim and Pam? What I think is really exceptional, what kept me feeling despite the sometimes super-sugary saccharine,  is that nothing is ever perfect with Jim and Pam, the most seemingly perfect union of two people...and that makes it real. There's dropped calls and unplanned pregnancies and exhaustion...and, most compellingly, there is a change in their relationship once they're married with kids. They're grown-ups. They're used to each other. There are even fights and breakdowns and for a second there, you're unsure if they're going to make it. But there's still love ....only it's tempered, mature love. That's real life, folks. That's not your average sitcom. 

Even more of the genius of the show comes out through perhaps the anti-Jim and Pam, Angela and Dwight.


Angela and Dwight really started as one-sided gag characters, without much depth: the weird, unsocialized, self-serious office nerd and the prude, judgmental  religious office cat lady. Those are both pretty definite "types" (as are Jim and Pam, but I digress.) But as the show progresses, you see different, more complex elements of each character through their relationship with one another. The weird, covert affections are absolutely heartrendingly  eerily adorable.

                                                                  Emphasis on eerie...

                                                                 Emphasis on eerie...

Which makes it all the more revealing and endearing when they get caught in situations like this:

                                   Gotta love those Birkenstocks

                                  Gotta love those Birkenstocks

What really is amazing about the way Greg Daniels (the writer of this fantastic show) makes you sincerely care about two characters who were written totally antipathetically in the beginning of the series...and who continue to act with emotional immaturity throughout. It's painfully obvious that they both have love for one another, but the real question is if they have the emotional maturity to handle it. Angela has acted totally emotionally irresponsibly (as, at times, has Dwight), and you feel this amazing mix of sympathy and blame for them both...which is basically undershadowed by the overwhelming need for them to just get together already, for fucks' sake. 

                                                        Come on, guys. Get it together.

                                                       Come on, guys. Get it together.

In any case, Angela and Dwight become anything but joke characters. Not that there's anything wrong with joke characters....

                                                            I love you, Creed.

                                                           I love you, Creed.

So obviously, I am majorly attached to The Office, and when I heard it was going off the air after this season, I was seriously bummed. 

But, upon further thought, I'm actually incredibly glad the show is going off the air. Some shows simply do not know when to quit, or know when to quit and then find the show too lucrative to end: jumping the shark, so to speak. We saw it on How I Met Your Mother. We saw it on The O.C. We saw it on One Tree Hill. We saw it on a whole bunch of shows...and not just in the fan-purist "Oh, the later seasons suuuuck" kind of way. They genuinely became bad because it was longer possible for the plot to be continued organically.

Some fans allege that The Office jumped the shark once it kept going after Michael Scott left...but I seriously disagree. There was a need plot-wise for this season...but only if done correctly. And in all honesty, I believe this was done correctly. We have time to see characters resolve properly...and then for the show to end, with dignity. Hopefully, staying true to the real nature of most of the plots on this show, there will be some loose ends or some messy resolutions, but it will all be done intentionally That's the awesome thing about a show creator who knows when it's time to go: he can write accordingly. 

So will I miss these characters that I feel so strangely attached to?  Yup. Is it because I feel like it's the end of an era and I am a nostalgic feelings-haver? Hell yes. But am I insanely glad that Greg Daniels had the good sense to end the show well rather than drag it out? Super hell yes.

I still kind of feel like a kid releasing some wild animal he caught back into the wild, because it would be the best thing for the animal, and the kid is all trying to be strong and he's like "GO, JUST GO!", and the animal slowly, confusedly backs away and then leaves, and the kid knows he's done right, but he's still totally bummed, and a single, brave little tear slips down his cheek. 

Yeah. This is just like that. 

Hot Clip of the Day: Ice Cream Denial with Commentary!

By now, I'm sure you've all heard of the guy at the Magic vs. Pacers game this past Sunday who wouldn't give his girlfriend some of his ice cream (rude.)

I'm happy to announce that the clip got even better, thanks to commentary by retired basketball pro Chris Webber:

In my humble opinion, he shouldn't have let her have any ice cream at all. Look at that tiny ass spoon! You're an adult, come at me with an adult sized spoon if you really want some ice cream. Better yet, here's an idea: get your own!

How much you wanna bet they broke up after the game?

Kate Upton, Go to Prom with this Kid!

Because everyone knows a YouTube video is the best way to get a celebrity to go out on a date with you (My video for Benedict Cumberbatch is going to be flawless, just you wait,) high school senior Jake Davidson, asked the smoking hot Kate Upton to his upcoming prom in a similar fashion:

Kate responded with this tweet:


Alright, the fact that Kate responded at all is pretty cool. However, a lot of celebs cop out with a response that they would "love to" but their "schedule conflicts."

Kate, I say you should do the really awesome thing of clearing your schedule (and if it was already free, lie and say you're clearing it,) and go to prom with this kid.

And Jake? If she says no, I'll go to prom with you.

What to Watch Tonight: Lots of Good Shows Edition

If you're a fan of The Beatles like I am (I blame my mother for brainwashing me while I was growing up,) then you'll want to catch American Idol tonight.

Or don't. Just listen to some of their albums if you want to avoid Nicki Minaj's antics...

American Idol

american idol.jpg

8PM, FOX:  Finalists perform John Lennon and Paul McCartney songs for the judges.

Wow, way to burn George Harrison and Ringo Starr, American Idol.



8PM, CW:  Oliver’s ex, the Huntress, threatens to destroy everything and everyone he cares about

Clearly, no one told Oliver "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned."

Criminal Minds

criminal minds.jpg

9PM, CBS:  The team investigates victims who were sharing details about their personal lives and inner desires online.

A/S/L? (The number of you that are going to have to Google that to get the joke makes me sad and also equals the amount of Cheeze Puffs I'll be eating tonight)

My Strange Addiction


10PM, TLC:  Michelle, 29, has been addicted to drinking blood for 15 years

TLC has found the original Twilight fan, someone give this channel an award.



10PM, TNT:  A baby’s death shakes Lydia to her core.

Well, if Lydia's reaction was to celebrate, I'd have to call her a bitch.



10PM, USA:  Episode Title: No Country for Two Old Men

I'm only watching this if Javier Bardem guest stars in the episode.

The Americans


10PM, FX:  Philip and Elizabeth must stop an assassin from taking out key U.S. scientists.

Quick, somebody get Bill Nye to the underground bunker!