**This post contains spoilers. Consider this your spoiler alert.
My college roommate Katelyn and I had a Friday night tradition of watching all of the shows that had come on the night before. We liked to watch CSI, The Big Bang Theory, The Office, and Modern Family (which actually aired Wednesdays). Every time I watch The Office I think about sitting in various dorm rooms with Katelyn eating peanut butter and squeeze jelly on crackers.
When Michael left, I vowed never to watch The Office again. I thought it was such a travesty that the show could dare to go on without the Michael Gary Scott. I thought the show would never be the same. I wasn’t psyched about Will Ferrell as his replacement. When the show carried on without Michael, the reviews (of my friends) were mixed. Some said I made the right choice, that the show just wasn’t the same without Michael, that there was too much Jim and Pam, that it was boring. Some stood by our pals at Dunder Mifflin and recommended I give it another go.
This summer I finally did give it another go. I started from the beginning, the Pilot, and watched all the way to the Finale. It took me about a month, which is a little embarrassing, but Netflix is super handy and it’s my summer vacation. Also any time I fell asleep watching an episode I would just start up with the next one the next day. I get the jist, ya know?
Now that it’s over I have a lot of feelings about the show. Positive feelings mostly. I really enjoyed it all the way till the end. The thing about spending so much time on the internet is that you’re bound to find things out about shows you haven’t seen (and also shows you have no interest in seeing). Good ol’ Tumblr spoils a lot of things for me in that way, but it’s just too entertaining to give up.
Because of Tumblr I knew that Dwight and Angela eventually got married and that Jim and Pam went through some problems. When I first heard that Jim and Pam were going to have problems I probably rolled my eyes and said something like, “Oh brother.” I thought the show was going to be way too much about them. When I heard that Dwight and Angela were getting married I said, “Hazah!” and “Finally!” because seriously that should’ve happened long ago.
Now that I’ve seen it all with my own two eyes I can say that I actually liked Jim and Pam having problems. I think everything that happened fit with their characters and their development as a couple. Jim never really wanted to be at Dunder Mifflin forever and it made sense that once the excitement of marriage and kids had faded into every day life that he would be itching for something selfish and exciting. I’m really pleased with the way it all worked out. Real relationships take work and Jim and Pam were committed enough to each other and to their family to put in that work. And in the end, it all worked out!
Before this Office marathon I would’ve said that my favorite character was Andy Bernard. Well, about half-way through Season 2 I was like, “Really Suzanne? The Nard-dog is driving me nuts. How was he our favorite?” Andy went through a lot in the course of the series and most of that he did not handle well. I really did like he and Erin together, but then he went off the ridiculous deep end with that boat trip and I was glad she stood up for herself and broke it off. In the end, he didn’t deserve her.
Holly and Michael are obviously perfect together and I’m glad it all worked out for sure. I would’ve enjoyed some pop-in updates from time to time in Seasons 8 and 9 but the fact that Michael was there for Dwight and Angela’s wedding kind of made up for it.
I’m also stoked Ryan and Kelly ended up together. They’re nuts. Kelly always entertains me with her out of controlness and any time anything had anything to do with Ryan’s office being in that closet I laughed.
Season 8 almost lost me for a while, especially with Robert California. I was not sad to see him go. I was also not sad to see Nellie come, but she totally grew on me. I was unsure about the new guys, Clark and Pete, but they won me over pretty quickly. Also, Plop is a stellar nickname and anytime it was used I laughed. I enjoyed the last two seasons because some of the people we had known for so long like Meredith, Toby, and Kevin really got a chance to shine. Maybe not shine but they got the chance to share more of their lives with us and it was cool to see that kind of homage being paid to the originals.
It was really nice to see Angela grow so much as a character and I was surprised at how good it made me feel to see her happy towards the end. Not the failed marriage and living in Oscar’s closet happy but the being nice to people finally doing what she wanted to do and not what was proper happy.
I’m surprised at how well I liked Darryl by the end. I’m glad he became more of a principle character. I think he was a very nice and needed balance to all of the crazy. He was still a fun guy who was up for a prank every now and then and I loved his goodbye dance party, but you could always count on Darryl to do the sensical thing.
Overall, it wasn’t perfect, but no group of fictional characters working for a fictional company ever is. I enjoyed the hours I spent in front of my laptop laughing and crying along with these made-up people and I like to think I learned a bit from them about following your heart, taking time to laugh, and loving yourself. I also learned more than I’d care to know about beet farming, selling paper, and Schrute family traditions.
Dunder Mifflin Scranton will always hold a special place in my heart and I’d encourage anyone up for a laugh to give the gang a try.