Friday, May 20, 2011

The Office - Season 7

I have written so many words about The Office for Player Affinity that I'm not sure how many I have left. But I'll give this season summary a shot anyway. This was a big year for the show, as they said goodbye to Steve Carell, the guy that everybody knows and player of the main character. We don't know yet whether the series will survive long without him, but in any case they did a good job of further establishing the entertaining dynamic the entire cast shares while allowing Michael to leave with a classy and emotionally fulfilling storyline. It's a goodbye that the actor deserves more than the character, as even in the end they never totally sold the transformation of Michael from horrible, misguided boss to a silly yet beloved authority figure. I mean, he's always been more sympathetic than his British counterpart (who actually showed up a couple times this year, proving that the two shows exist in the same universe and that there's a lot of documentary makers interested in paper), but he was still too much of a screw-up to totally earn some of that stuff. I didn't mind though, because it was sweet and well handled.

Steve Carell's departure kind of dominated the show during this time, because while plenty of other things happened this year, that's where most of the attention and discussion was. Jim and Pam were kind of stagnant, but I enjoyed the development of Kevin, Darryl, and Andy among others. Some episodes were a lot of fun, others a bit less so, and that's sort of how it goes with most sitcoms. I do think this season was a bit better than the last couple, both in terms of just being entertaining and in developing story stuff, though most of that was devoted to Michael. The whole ensemble is just really solid now, a bit familiar for the most part but still really likable. I don't find myself really invested in anything that's going on with most of them beyond a general feeling of goodwill towards them, but the cast is big and varied enough that I think they could just coast with that for a lot longer than say, Scrubs did. Personally, I think Andy is the best choice to take over Dunder Mifflin - like Michael, I think he'd have the right mix of goofiness and competence (though maybe in different places) to keep the company from burning to the ground while still bringing a solid amount of chaos to the show. It could be an interesting dichotomy - Michael was a good salesman but a bad manager of people; Andy is bad at sales but might have the empathy to keep a diverse group like this from killing each other. Anyway, we'll see what happens this Fall.

Also, here are my recaps for all of the episodes this year:
The Seminar
The Search
Threat Level Midnight
Todd Packer
Garage Sale
Training Day
Michael's Last Dundies
Goodbye, Michael
The Inner Circle
Dwight K. Schrute, (Acting) Manager
Search Committee

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