Day 6: Some catching up to do

I love Netflix.

It’s the perfect way to get caught up on any television shows I’ve let fall by the wayside because of a hectic school/work schedule or because there’s other, far higher quality programming for me to spend my free time keeping up with. One of these shows I’ve let slip by is the American version of “The Office.”

I’m currently catching up on the eight season. I’ve been marathoning it since I got back from Jonesboro/Mobile on Tuesday. When I watch the season’s premiere when it originally aired, it left me wanting after the incredible departure of Steve Carrell  in “Good-Bye Michael” the season before.

If it wasn’t for NBC/Universal wanting to milk a the show for every penny, I’m sure the showrunners would have preferred to end the series on that note. For a long time I considered never picking the series up again because Carell’s final episode satisfied me in every single way. Up until that season, I had never really considered Michael Scott a very relatable character. Then the final ramp up to his flight for Colorado changed things.

The writer’s finally were able to give Michael the proper character development and closure (which came all at once, rather than over the entirety of the series) and Carell’s performance made me truly believe in the character after I had put most of my relatability/emotional stock in Jim for the first six seasons.

THE OFFICE -- "Free Family Portrait Studio" Episode 824 -- Pictured: (l-r) Paul Lieberstein as Toby Flenderson, Craig Robinson as Darryl Philbin, Catherine Tate as Nellie Bertram, Ellie Kemper as Erin Hannon, Oscar Nunez as Oscar Martinez, Brian Baumgartner as Kevin Malone, Jenna Fischer as Pam Halpert, John Krasinski as Jim Halpert, Ed Helms as Andy Bernard -- (Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC)

But knowing the series finale of “The Office” was fast approaching was gnawing at me while scrolling through my Netflix queue.

Is The Office as good as it was with Carell? Well…it hasn’t completely derailed. I feel like the show has added more characters than it needed to fill the void of Michael Scott. Darryl is finally getting his due as a character (I was actually wanting him to be named the new manager) and the addition of James Spader as Robert California was brilliant. But adding Nellie as replacement to the replacement regional manager Andy Bernard was just too much.

Also, Gabe is useless by this point, I don’t know they’ve kept him around this long. And with Mindy Kaling with her own on Fox now, I know she’ll be absent in the final season. And one final complaint, I still can’t believe B.J. Novak is still on the show. I know he’s a writer and Executive Producer on the show, but his character Ryan has been inconsequential for years, and he’s been a constant fixture of the opening credits.

Season 8 is by far the most serialized of the series, though that is sure to increase with the show’s final season, once I get to it.

Honestly, I’m looking forward to watching it, especially with the show going to explore why the documentary has been filming Dunder Mifflin for so long. The Office could have veered into what “Scrubs” did when it lost Zach Braff as a regular in season 9, but it thankfully didn’t.

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About Daniel McFadin

NASCAR writer for NBCSports.com. Former Sporting News intern. Graduated from IUPUI in Indianapolis with a master in sports journalism in 2014 and from Arkansas State University in 2013 with a degree in Journalism. Originally from Lewisville, Texas, now in Fort Worth. Ask me if I like Star Wars. I dare you.
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