Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Office Season 7

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

The Office Season 7 - 5 out of 5

I don't know what's going on here but I'm in!
Before this season, I felt The Office was in full-on cruise control.  They came out of the gate like a hurricane and really lived up to (and arguably maybe out-did) the Ricky Gervais created BBC program this show was based on.  Steve Carrell was unbelievable as Michael Scott and was backed up with the very funny and charming; John Krasinski as Jim and the never disappointing Rainn Wilson as Dwight.  But these characters weren't the end all be all of the show as the office of Dunder Mifflin was filled with enjoying people who all brought something to the table.  Fans of the show can spend hours debating who their favorite side character is.  Is it the man who's seems like the egg in those "your brain on drugs" ads; Creed, or is it the uptight Angelia?  Is Oscar or Kevin your favorite or do you like the booze hound; Meredith?  It's hard to pick a favorite but everyone's got one.

Timothy Olyphant shows up this season.  Reoccurring character?
Sadly, as the seasons continued, it seemed the show started to get formulaic, predictable and, at least to me, was no longer trying.  It felt like they were resting on their laurels--especially after Jim and the extremely loveable Pam got together and were engaged, what else was there for the show.  It felt like the last big event we would see from the employees from the paper company would be the wedding of these two.

Creepy or arousing?  Creepy is the answer to that question.  If you said arousing, you are creepy.

That is until Steve Carrell announced he would be leaving the show.

I'm a big fan of Carrell.  I think he's incredibly talented and extremely funny.  He made the character of Michael Scott an icon--to the point they tried to re-create him as a female in Parks and Recreation.  However, as the silver screen called, Carrell began to take more movie roles and the confines of The Office just got too small for him.  Buy hey, we all knew this day would eventually come.  I just think myself and other fans of the show were in denial about it happening.  

Finally Ricky Gervais makes a cameo!
Carrell leaving the show made me incredibly nervous as he became the one of the only reasons I continued watching.  When producer and writer B.J. Novak decided to give his character a larger presence in the show, I saw an overall drop in laughs as he slammed his douche bag character down my throat.  Ryan was always an amusing character but he was only good in small doses.  Seeing him rise to be a big shot in New York only to return to his lowly position at the Scratton branch didn't make for good comedy, in my opinion.

I know some people hate Zach Woods as Gabe but I think he's funny.  He was great in In the Loop.

Then came the overabundance of Dwight K. Schrute.

I always thought Dwight was hilarious and his relationship with Jim and Michael made for great TV but as the seasons continued, he started to become an overly predictable character.  When the show started, he was a wild card, you never knew what would come out of his mouth next and then he suddenly became this self-made cliche and nothing he said was humorous or unique to me anymore.  However, Michael and many of the background characters kept me watching the show and, although I thought the episode where Jim and Pam tie the knot was just awesome, I found myself accepting the fact that the show would never be as good as it was when it started.  It's hard to keep up that level of quality.

Where will Toby be without Michael?

Kevin is one of my favorite characters.
Then I started this season and it felt like the show returned to its roots.  Dwight was once again absolutely hilarious.  The background characters like Creed and Kevin were starting to get more focus.  Ryan wasn't being overused and overall, the writing returned to its previous glory.  Perhaps this was done as a way of pulling out all the stops for the leaving of Steve Carrell but whatever caused this return is very much appreciated.  Another thing really appreciated...the unusual amount of swearing jokes that were added this season.  Seriously, it seemed that every episode contained a censored swear as a gag and each time they were hilarious.  Sometimes censorship can make for good laughs.

Little known fact, when you swear in real life, your mouth really does pixelate.

I will have to steal Michael's proposal.  First, I must find
a girl willing to marry me...

Of course, the real highlight to the entire season was the fact that Michael Scott left Dunder Mifflin behind to be with the love of his life Holly.  The final episodes of this season that counted down to Michael's exit were some of the best moments of the season and should go down in television history.  His proposal to Holly was beautiful and his final moments before he said goodbye were very memorable.  When the office said their goodbyes, the emotion you see in the character of Michael is so real, it's obvious that it was Steve Carrell crying, not his character.  In fact, I found myself dripping some tears from my eyes but I will officially claim that it was because someone broke into my house and started cutting onions.

Meet Michael's replacement...James Spader.
Going balls to the walls to say goodbye, The Office brought in some amazing star power.  Funnyman Will Ferrell gets to share scenes with Carrell as he becomes acting manager.  Then, in the final episode, a cavalcade of celebs come out to interview for Michael's job.  Former companion to Doctor Who; Catherine Tate shows up, someone everyone loves was there; Ray Romano, Jim Carrey makes a small appearance and even Warren Buffet tries to get the job (that role really had me laughing).  Oh and did I mention Gob Bluth was there too?  Will Arnett, the very man my friend told me should take the job from Carrell shows up for an interview.  That was cool...and by cool, I mean slightly eerie.  I think my friend may be a writer for the show because he predicted that right after Carrell announced this season would be his last.  Even series producer and creator of the BBC version; Ricky Gervais, finally makes a cameo as his character from the UK's counterpart.

Plenty of great candidates interviewed for Michael Scott's position.

Kathy Bates is great as Jo.  Would have liked to see more of her.
If were to try and find a complaint about this season, I would have to say that some new characters were introduced and either, were immediately forgettable (like the new assistant Jordan) or fizzled out (like the dude Dwight picked up outside a Home Depot and seemed to be his partner in insanity).  I was disappointed that we didn't get to see more of Kathy Bates and her character of Jo.  I was also disappointed that one of my favorite actors; Timothy Olyphant, was introduced into the series as a traveling salesman and is hired by Dunder Mifflin and Olyphant is only in two episodes--but I guess he's busy enough on the set of Justified.  However, all these complaints weren't enough to drive me away from this season or kept me from having my entertainment level even slightly dipped as the show's return to its former glory and the funny and touching last episodes made the season, in a word, epic.

I leave you now with a clip of the gang's goodbye to Michael...

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