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The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Goodbye Michael Scott

Who would have thought that recreating a show based off of office-cubicle-life from England would be a smash-hit here in America? I’m talking of course about “The Office”, a show that originally ran as a short series in the UK became a television phenomenon in the USA and is about to finish its 7th season. Whether you’re a fan of the British version or the American version, it’s tough to criticize Steve Carell’s performance over the past 7 years. He has crafted such a believable character that it reminds the viewer that there are so many people out in the world of the workforce who are exactly like him. With that, the awkward moments of the show, which are normally his fault, feel realistic as if you are in the room with him.
Michael’s last day at Dunder-Mifflin was definitely one to remember. In an interview with Steve Carell as to why he was leaving the show, he said that it was just time to hang out his coat and put that character to rest. It was time for him to move on. In terms of the show, his character became engaged with Holly, the new HR, and decided to move back to Colorado with her to help take care of her parents. Though the writers needed a reason for Michael to leave the company, I kind of wish this wasn’t the reason. It felt kind of rushed and all-of-a-sudden. I wanted Michael’s leaving to correlate with Steve Carell’s leaving. This was a decision that was out of Michael’s control, for the most part. Steve Carell wasn’t fired or asked to leave the show. In fact, I’m sure NBC could have done at least five more seasons with Michael Scott if they really wanted to.
Regardless of the reasons for Michael leaving the company, I was a bit shook up to see him take off in that airplane. Sticking with a television program that’s been on the air for years is like being married to these characters. You become so wrapped up with their lives and know their personalities so well that it’s hard to let go of them. Sure you could always watch reruns, but it won’t be the same knowing that Michael isn’t around any longer.
In terms of the future of the show, it seems as if Will Ferrell will be taking over Michael’s position. Now, I’m not biased towards Michael and against the fact that he’s being replaced. Plus, I love Will Ferrell; the man’s a comedic genius. Still, it’s weird seeing someone else permanently sitting in Michael’s office chair and I don’t think the writer’s are using Ferrell’s sense of humor to its fullest potential. They’ve made him somewhat of an awkward character who occasionally has some funny moments. I’m hoping that he’s the kind of character who takes awhile to come out of his shell and can eventually be the Ron Burgundy- like character that I was expecting him to be. I haven’t lost hope for this show. Season 6 was definitely the weakest season so far in terms of story and comedy, but with Michael’s leaving, the writers definitely stepped up their game and made the show as funny as Seasons 2 and 3 (arguably the best seasons of the show). I am banking on the fact that Season 8 will be the last one. I don’t doubt that it’ll be a good season; in fact it will probably be great. But a show only stays on the air based off the ratings and reviews. Viewers will give the show an unfair criticism just because one character is gone. I just hope that once the show is over, there won’t be any spinoffs. Coming next Fall: Jim & Pam!
By: Aaron Frias


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