Who in the band would you let date your sister, if you had one?
apparently my school made the senior dinner great gatsby themed
because what better theme for a graduation party than the inaccessibility of the american dream
“I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good ol’ days before you actually left them.”—Andy Bernard
I know a lot of people stopped watching The Office after Michael left. That’s completely understandable— I almost did, because it truly seemed like he made the show. Without Michael, how could The Office possibly continue?
Let me first tell you how glad I am I stuck around these last two seasons, because as it turns out, I was entirely wrong. Michael Scott: it’s easy to think that this completely original and unheard of character— lovable and loathsome all at once— ran both the company AND the show.
But, in the end, the show was so much more than Michael’s humor. It was Pam’s overwhelming love, Jim’s lighthearted charm, Dwight’s dedication, Andy’s great big heart, Angela’s stinginess, Erin’s quirkiness, Phyllis’s sassiness, Stanley’s impatience, Creed’s strangeness, Kevin’s sweetness, Meredith’s craziness— I really could keep going on, but I won’t, because now I’m at the point of this little spiel.
The true magic of the show is that it was more than Michael Scott’s goofy, cringe-worthy behavior. It captured almost all the qualities of the everyday person— essentially, it captured human nature itself, the good AND the bad. That’s what made the show so fascinating and wonderful: it was more relatable than we could have prepared ourselves for. At the end of an episode, we could almost always see ourselves in one of the characters, whether through an experience we had or simply our day-to-day dealings. The show was utterly sincere in its portrayal of human emotion, relationships, and routines, which is why it impacted so many of its viewers so powerfully.
If you stopped watching after Michael left, I’m not shaming you. Not in the slightest! But the finale tonight is was got me thinking about how good this show was at forging emotional connections with its audience. And those connections lasted even after Michael left— life went on at Dunder Mifflin, and sometimes it was outrageous and sometimes it was quaint, but it was nearly always believable. That’s the beauty of human nature, isn’t it? We can be loud and passionate and crazy or we can quietly watch from the sidelines, but by the end of the day, we’re just people. So were the workers of Dunder Mifflin. And there’s nothing more relatable than that.
If you broke ties with folks of Scranton, Pennsylvania after Season Six, then let me take this moment to encourage you to give it another try. The comedy changed, true, but the heartwarming feel lasted until the very end. The way the show wrapped up brought big, ugly tears to my eyes because of how bonded I felt with these characters— they could have been from my own life, and saying goodbye was more difficult than I anticipated! The Office was a rare television show— a true gem. The humor came from a lot of sources, but most of all, it came from how real it was, and that, I think, is what will make it stand out from other shows for years to come.