Friday, March 25, 2016

Finishing The Office (minus Season 8)

In summer 2006, I was working for SCI-FI Science Camps. I had a coworker named Brahm who I got along with really well. One week that summer we were both running camps in Prince Albert, with four other co-workers, all of whom had family or friend connections in Prince Albert. This meant Brahm and I ended up hanging out by ourselves a few times. One evening we were flipping through the channels on the TV in the Super 8 hotel room I was sharing with a coworker who was out partying with her Prince Albert friends and came across a show I'd seen a couple of times called The Office. We watched a couple Season 1 episodes and were completely hooked.  The next week when we got back to Saskatoon, Brahm downloaded all of Season 1 and 2 and binged everything. A couple weeks later we started officially dating, and from Season 3-7 watched every new episode together.

We both stopped watching around the time that Steve Carell left the show.  Brahm pretty much stopped after the Goodbye Michael episode, and I gave up a few episodes into Season 8. I did tune into the finale a few years ago but didn't have much interest in finishing the entire series.

When The Office arrived on Canadian Netflix a few months ago I decided to watch through again, and this time I hoped to finish the full series. I'd heard a few people say that the show was still decent after Michael Scott's departure so I thought I would give it a shot.  When I got to the end of Season 7, the few episodes left that season without Carell were still pretty good. The cast could hold their own. Why did I stop watching? I wondered.

Then I got to season 8 and Robert California.  If you haven't watched the show or like many, stopped after season 7, Robert California, played by James Spader, was probably the most shark-jumpy character I've ever seen on a TV show.  He made the show painful to watch and 4 episodes into season 8 I quit again.

However, still determined not to completely give up, I read the season 8 spoilers and saw that Spader only stayed on as a cast member for that season.  I watched the finale of 8 and started over with season 9.

Other than a few major points of annoyance/weirdness (e.g. why did they turn Andy into such a horrible character, after building him up to be someone you rooted for by season 7), season 9 was overall pretty solid. I liked the Jim and Pam storyline, I liked that the documentary actually became a plot point, I liked the continuity of bringing back some old randoms (like Dwight's friend Rolf), I even liked the new characters. I know many on the internet don't agree with this but I enjoyed the season. I laughed a lot and also cried a lot in the last few episodes of the series. There is no denying that Michael Scott was pretty integral to the show, it wasn't half-bad without him (as long as it was also without Robert California).

If you, like me, were once a big fan of The Office but gave up after season 7, I encourage you to give season 9 a shot if you're looking for something to watch on Netflix. I was not disappointed for the most part and I hope you will agree.

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