Let’s Choose to Remember When “The Office” Was Good…In Other Words, Let’s Forget Steve Carrell Ever Left

16 May

Posted by: Alex

the office

When The Office came to America, I was one of those dedicated fans of the British version who thought that making an American version would never be as funny. I also thought that anyone who even dare believe that the American version would be equally as humorous was an ignorant slut. What can I say? Liking British anything makes you a little uppity. But enough people told me it was good, so I watched the first few episodes. And I thought it was stupid. They were just re-creating the British episodes, but not as well! I wanted to give it a fair shot, though, so I kept watching. It took a full season, I think, for The Office to come into its own, and once it did, I was hooked. Steve Carrell tried to be less David Brent uncomfortable and created the sweetly obnoxious and naively inappropriate Michael Scott that everyone came to love and root for.

Michael Scott

When Steve Carrell smartly decided to leave the show after season 7, things got weird. Characters kept leaving; additional characters, who added nothing, were brought in; and some of the writers decided that making Andy less likeable and having Jim and Pam have marital troubles was a smart move. It wasn’t! It made watching these last couple of seasons feel like a labor of love. I’ve given so many years to the show that I couldn’t just stop tuning in, but each episode made me cringe a little.

The Office is coming to an end tonight and you know how I get when things I once loved are ending: I write love letters to fictional characters. So, even though my heart isn’t with what the show is now, I want to reminisce on what the show once was. Because if you didn’t tear up when Jim and Pam got married or when Michael showed up at Pam’s art show, then you were probably out doing something social or improving society while I was on my couch crying and watching television.

Season 1:

As I said, not a lot made me laugh in the first season. But when they had to openly discuss diversity by playing Guess That Stereotype during a meeting because Michael did his offensive Chris Rock impression, I knew this show might be right up my alley.

Season 2:

The second season of The Office was, by far, my favorite and not just because Steve Carrell got skinny and got hair plugs. It’s because every episode was really good and I could pick a funny scene from each one to post here, but that would be just ridiculous. First you’d miss one day of work because you’re distracted by all the funny videos. Then one day leads to a week, a month, next thing you know you’ve gone and got yourself fired. So to save you from that horrible destiny, I’ll just pick some highlights.

I had to choose between the Dundies (hosted at Chili’s by Michael Scott); the Office Olympics; the Christmas party when they play Yankee Swap and Michael gifts an Ipod, which everyone fights for; Dwight’s Mussolini-esque speech he gives when we wins salesman of the year. So many options! It came down to two: Michael dealing with his injury after stepping on his George Foreman Grill and my top choice, the video below. Pam and Jim got a little annoying over the years, so this was a nice reminder of how it all started.

http://www.nbc.com/the-office/video/casino-night—highlight-2/n21592/

Season 3:

One of the best parts of season three was that we got to focus on Phyllis, who I think is great. Phyllis finally found love with Bob Vance (of Vance Refrigeration) and that was the first of The Office weddings that we got to witness. This clip is a little long and has some funny editing, but it basically follows Michael’s need to be involved in the wedding, and it’s hilarious. I think this was one of the first times we really see that Michael’s employees are his family. And while everything he does is painfully awkward and ridiculous, it once again highlights the genius that is Steve Carrell and how he could play this character in such a way that you love him, even at his worst. Unfortunately, this clip couldn’t hold up to my favorite scene of the entire season featuring the best character, Kelly Kapoor. Here is Kelly’s reunion with Jim, when he returns to the Scranton branch:

Season 4:

Season four turned out to be my other favorite season because I feel like there were a lot of major plotlines that moved everything forward, interesting character twists, and some nice emotional moments. But mostly it’s because it contained my favorite episode of all time: Dinner Party. If you don’t recall, this is when Michael and Jan had some of the employees over for, you probably guessed it, a dinner party. Every uncomfortable thing that could possibly happen or go wrong while visiting someone’s home happened in this episode. It also gave the audience a glimpse into Michael and Jan’s disfunctional relationship and for once made Michael look like the sane one. From the dinner that took hours to cook to the vasectomy argument to throwing the Dundie at Michael’s precious flat screen tv, I loved every single cringeworthy second.

http://www.nbc.com/the-office/video/dinner-party/n21754/

Season 5:

Ryan was always a favorite of mine, and one thing I loved is that Ryan started as the whipping boy intern for Michael and then his character proceeded to have a different persona every season thereafter. After he got hired as General Manager of Dunder Mifflin, he became a really smug, cocaine addicted, club-going douchebag. Then he lost his job, bleached his hair blonde, and worked in a bowling alley until Michael decided to start his own paper company and added Ryan to the team. When that fell through, Ryan suddenly transformed into a hipster with thick black rimmed glasses until his departure. Ryan is the best. Here’s a brief Ryan meltdown from season four:

Season 6:

The bride behind the adorable wedding dance video that went viral on YouTube was a friend of mine from high school, so the obvious favorite moment from season six was Jim and Pam’s wedding and their homage to the aformentioned wedding dance. I have not grown tired of either of these videos, by the way, and I still tear up every single time…

[http://vimeo.com/21139350]

Season 7:

I’ll end this post where I thought The Office should have ended the show: when Michael Scott departed. What a lovely way to honor such an iconic character and this is how I will choose to remember my beloved Office

http://www.nbc.com/the-office/video/michael-says-goodbye-to-jim/n21947/

5 Responses to “Let’s Choose to Remember When “The Office” Was Good…In Other Words, Let’s Forget Steve Carrell Ever Left”

  1. Emily May 16, 2013 at 10:14 am #

    And this basically sums up why I love you soooo much. I still watch Jim and Pam love story compilation videos on YouTube.

  2. Jenn May 16, 2013 at 10:46 am #

    One of my favs from The Office was when Michael hit Meredith with the car. I’m still laughing while thinking about it!

    • athed May 16, 2013 at 1:24 pm #

      Me too! And when Michael tricks Meredith into entering rehab and he chases her around the parking lot. I forgot about both of these!!

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