Nostalgia is one of the most powerful forces we as a society have to come to terms with. Just because we remember something fondly or from our developing period doesn't mean it's somehow untouchable or justifies any significant flaws it might have. Take, for example, the beloved sitcom 'The Office.'
For nine seasons between 2005 and 2013, audiences tuned in to see Steve Carell's bumbling Michael Scott and his embattled employees at the Dunder Mifflin Scranton branch. While the show is a masterclass of comedy writing, it also features a fair amount of huge issues that are often overlooked by people who love the show. But in order to truly appreciate the show, these problems need to be addressed.
8. Underwritten Women
A huge and largely unspoken problem with 'The Office' was its habit of criminally underwriting its female characters. If they weren't stereotypes, they were often defined by their relationship with the men around them. The only one that was strongly written was Kathy Bates's Jo Bennett, who was often defined by her independence, no-nonsense authority, and folksy southern wisdom.
7. Wasted Talent
In the show's history, it had Will Ferrell, Rashida Jones, Idris Elba, Amy Adams, Jim Carrey, and Patrice O'Neal in various side roles. Despite this veritable cornucopia of choice actors and comedic masters at their fingertips, the writers rarely found a way to properly utilize their pool of talent, often keeping them around for only brief stints or generally suppressing their respective abilities.
6. Good Stories Got Cut Short
While 'The Office' wasn't intrinsically about the stories of the characters, they were a huge element of the show. Unfortunately, most of them were ended without letting them reach their full potential. The Michael Scott Paper Company which could have furthered Michael, Pam, and Ryan as characters? A quick handful of episodes. Dwight's extended family? One episode. Michael revealing his life to Toby? A few minutes of half an episode.
5. Pam And Jim Got Together Too Early
The budding romance and will-they/won't-they dynamic of Pam and Jim was a staple of the early seasons and was one of the show's defining elements. Their chemistry felt real and the build up of their relationship had enough pitches and turns to keep things interesting.
Their wedding was one of the most saccharine episodes of the show, but everything took a noticeable downturn from there. Their repartee became less witty and their chemistry cooled to the point where writers had to manufacture weird situations for them to overcome.
4. Weak Side Characters
While the main cast were all lovable in their own way, other characters were less enjoyable. Todd Packer was a one-joke character who wore out his welcome inside of five minutes of screen time, Brian the boom guy was a bizarre distraction, Erin became less interesting line by line, and Nellie was just all around horrible (but we still love you, Catherine Tate).
3. The Warehouse Was Left Behind
The warehouse was 'The Office's secret weapon in its early seasons. When the office environment ever felt like it was dragging or stagnant, the show could switch to the warehouse for a bit to follow the exploits of Roy and Darryl. But then Roy left the show and Darryl was moved to an office position, leaving warehouse scenes far and few between and slowly choking a vital part of the show's makeup.
2. Lasted Too Long
The show lasted nine seasons, but most people agree it fell off the rails after season seven when Michael Scott left for Colorado with Holly. Steve Carell subsequently left the show and the writing staff, leading to a noticeable drop in the show's quality. The last two seasons were downright painful and a waste of just about everyone's time.
1. Everyone Is Horrible
Possibly the worst part about 'The Office' is that all the characters are completely horrible people. Jim is annoying, Dwight, Andy, Kelly, and Oscar are their own brands of insufferable, Pam is boring, Meredith is an alcoholic, Kevin is incompetent, Angela is judgmental, Stanley is unhelpful, Ryan is overly ambitious, Toby is meek, Creed is... well Creed.
Phyllis and Darryl are both reasonable enough, but the biggest problem is Michael Scott himself. Frankly, he's a selfish, insensitive monster and anyone working with him is generally worse off for it.