Best And Worst Things About The Office

By Douglas Helm | Published

the office steve carell
The Office

The Office is easily one of the best TV comedies of all time, thanks to its lovable cast of characters, hilarious writing, and stories with genuine heart. However, shows that go on for nine seasons are bound to have some high highs and low lows. The Office is no exception, so let’s take a look at some of the worst and best things about this beloved NBC show.

Worst: Post-Michael Seasons

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Steve Carell’s Michael Scott gave us plenty of hilarious cringe-worthy moments while also being the heart and anchor for The Office. His growth from a bumbling, socially unaware boss to a more likable, goofy person that could sustain a relationship with an equally likable goofy person was great to watch. And the episode “Goodbye Michael” was the perfect send-off.

That perfect send-off should have also been the series finale, but the network decided to beat a dead horse instead. The following seasons of The Office tried to bring in pinch hitters for Michael Scott to no avail. Outside of some standout episodes (thanks, James Spader) and a great series finale, the show went on far longer than needed.

Worst: Jim and Pam after the Will-They/Won’t They

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Jim and Pam’s chemistry and will-they/won’t they subplot was fantastic in the early seasons and was a big reason that The Office became so popular. However, that spark just sort of fizzled out after the two got together. It would have been fine to let Jim and Pam be boring afterward and focus on other characters, but needless conflict between the two was introduced instead.

This needless conflict was often to the detriment of Pam’s character development too, which made it even worse. The two ended up happy in the end, of course, but there were some questionable subplots to get there. Which actually is a great sequel to the absolute worst part of The Office.

Worst: The Boom-Guy Subplot

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Chris Diamantopoulos is great, but his The Office character Brian the “boom-guy” from the documentary crew, is just terrible. While there have been some subtle nods to the unseen documentary crew throughout the season, Season 9 made the terrible choice to introduce them as characters. Even worse, they made one have a weird romance subplot with Pam.

The boom guy from the documentary crew having a Jim-like crush on Pam was just another example of The Office Season 9 not needing to exist. It’s a big reason why fans just skip right to the season finale after Michael leaves during a binge-watch. And out of all the bad elements of these final seasons, Brian might just be the worst one.

Best: The Cast

The cast of The Office is what helps to elevate it above other comedy shows, and there really isn’t a bad apple in the bunch when it comes to the original cast. You have Steve Carell balancing cringe and heart with Michael Scott, John Krasinski as the smarmy and charming Jim, Jenna Fischer as the witty receptionist Pam, Rainn Wilson being the only person who could play Dwight Schrute so perfectly, and much more.

Kelly, Creed, Toby, Stanley, Meredith, Ryan, Phyllis, Kevin, Oscar, Darryl, Angela, Erin, Andy, and the rest of the cast are all classic characters with their own moments. The actors brought their comedic A-game and helped to make The Office a classic. Just look at some of the casting tapes of other A-list celebrities auditioning for these roles, and you can see how perfectly suited each actor is.

Best: “Stress Relief”

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Choosing the best episode of The Office is no easy feat, as there are a lot of different metrics for what you might consider the “best.” If you’re talking about the best Jim/Pam episode, you might say “Casino Night,” or if you’re talking about the cringiest episode, you would definitely say “Scott’s Tots.” However, the show is a comedy at heart, and the funniest episode might just be “Stress Relief.”

“Stress Relief” starts off firing on all comedic cylinders, with Dwight running a fake fire drill that ends with Angela’s cats falling out of the ceiling. From there, the hilarity is non-stop, and it’s basically a perfect episode of The Office overall. It also has the distinction of having the most-watched scene from the show, which features Dwight doing a Hannibal Lecter impression with the help of a CPR training dummy.

Best: Season 2

Most people already know that The Office is a US remake of the Ricky Gervais-led UK series of the same name. While the latter series consisted of two short seasons, the US version would go on for much longer. However, you wouldn’t think that would be the case until Season 2.

Season 1 of the US version of The Office was essentially a faithful adaptation of the UK version, so it didn’t really have its own voice. The performances were there, but the show didn’t necessarily stand out. Fortunately, the show would find its own unique identity in Season 2, give us plenty of classic episodes and moments, and help cement the show as one of the most beloved comedies of all time.