Some things are just better left untouched, and The Office is one of them.
We’re living in the age of reboots, reunions, and revivals. Sometimes, that can be a great thing. Often, amazing shows are cancelled too soon, or our favorite fandoms aren’t handled in the way that we’d like. In these cases, revisiting the property can be just what the fans ordered.
However, there are other cases when shows run precisely the length of time they’re meant to. Stories don’t need to be told forever. Most of the stories we consume are far better when they have a distinct beginning, middle and end. Character and story arcs are created, played out, and finished.
It could be said that this is especially true for drama series and that it doesn’t necessarily apply to comedies, but in today’s television landscape, we’re demanding more from our comedies than just laughs. In fact, some of the comedies on TV today are actually leading the way in terms of character and story development.
Laughs are great, but they always pair best with moments of actual heart. The Office was phenomenal at that. It was always laugh-out-loud funny, but the best thing about the show was its amazing characters. Michael Scott made some questionable choices, but you still rooted for him. Dwight was outrageous, but his love for Angela and his career aspirations made him relatable. And, of course, Jim and Pam’s love story is one of the greatest of our generation!
The Office was a hysterical comedy, but the characters and the relationships are the main reason why we still talk about the show today, more than four years after the finale. The finale, which beautifully wrapped up the storylines of the Dunder Mifflin employees that we’d grown to love. Although we mourned the loss of one of our favorite shows, the ending granted us closure, and it felt like it came at the right time.
That’s why, when we previously reported that a revival of The Office could be in the works for as early as 2018, I had mixed feelings. And, eventually, those mixed feelings morphed into one underlying sentiment: it’s just not necessary.
It’s time we learned when to leave well enough alone! Yes, The Office was a great series and it made us laugh for nine great seasons, but then it ended. Those seasons are available for us to devour until the end of time, but we don’t need any more!
One reason why the revival isn’t a great idea is the uncertainty surrounding returning cast members. Many of the main cast members are enjoying successful careers at the moment, and simply wouldn’t be available to return to a TV show.
Actors like John Krasinski (Jim), B.J. Novak (Ryan), and Jenna Fischer (Pam) have had many successful roles since The Office ended, almost five years ago. It’s possible they’d consider returning for a revival if they had a break in their schedules, but only if they felt like there was still a story to be told.
Mindy Kaling, who both wrote for the show and appeared as Kelly Kapoor, just wrapped her own successful show, The Mindy Project, and is already moving onto other projects. Ed Helms (Andy) has starred in several hugely successful films since The Office ended. Ellie Kemper (Erin) is the star of the popular Netflix series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
Then, there’s the big one. Many fans believed that The Office lost its magic after Michael Scott, who was played by Steve Carell, left the show. If that’s the case, would a revival really be worth doing if he wasn’t involved?
It seems like Steve Carell is only getting busier in Hollywood as the years go by, but besides that, he left the show for a reason. He felt like the story of Michael Scott had been told, and he was right. This is even more true following The Office series finale.
Half the fun of The Office was watching Michael stumble through his job, friendships, and romantic relationships. The Michael Scott at the end of The Office was far from the same man as the Michael Scott in the pilot. Thanks to the great character development on the show, he matured beyond the mess that he’d been. Yes, he’s still a lovable goof, but it just wouldn’t be the same.
The same could be said for many characters. Part of Dwight’s charm was his constant yearning for more in his professional life. Now that he’s achieved his goals, both professionally and romantically, his character would be quite different.
Do we really want to sit through another iteration of season 9 Jim and Pam? The magic of their relationship was in the pursuit and the beauty of their romance finally being realized. The problems they went through in the later seasons of The Office were real and important…but we don’t necessarily need to see more of it.
A potential solution to a busy cast could be to film a revival season in a similar style to Arrested Development season 4. Each episode could focus on a different character, with the whole season encompassing one story.
While this is a viable solution, we all know how well it worked for Arrested Development. The change in structure altered the tone and the feel of the series entirely. This structure definitely wouldn’t fit for a series that’s built around people working in an office together.
Yes, a revival of The Office would probably be funny, and it would be cool to revisit whichever characters would be included, but why mess with something great for something that would almost definitely be mediocre? The stories of The Office, Michael Scott, Jim and Pam, Dwight Schrute, and all the other great characters ended with the series finale, and they should stay that way.