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On Meghan Keane: 'The Office' is the Most Depressing Show on Television

Maybe this is ridiculously optimistic of me, or maybe I just feel like I have to be the devil's advocate, but do you suppose - just suppose - that these new levels of depressing depths are to give, at least, the Jim character a road to self-realization and self-actualization? I'm not sure the Pam character can be redeemed in the state of her workplace mediocrity, but she is pregnant, so who know what new challenges baby Halpert will bring when Pam becomes a mother. But, as a 30-something professional realizing that my dead-end job is, in fact, dead end and that the quest to middle management is, ultimately, a fruitless, soul-sucking exercise, and that the effort put toward achieving that state of mediocrity would be better spent realizing an actual dream that would make me happy and provide? ...Well, Jim's struggle to figure out whether or not he's a good fit for his job - or if the job's a good fit for him - is all too relatable in this generation's global/transient economy.

I feel the writers will ultimately take Jim and Pam to a happy place by the end of the show, maybe even liberate them from Dunder Mifflin - just as the Brits did for Tim and Dawn - because they are still the heart of the show. As much as I love the other characters, Jim and Pam will be the "plot" motivators for our half hour sitcom until the show's end, and I have to have faith that the clever writing staff are making Jim and Pam pathetic for a while to give them a bottom - something to hit before they can climb their way back to the top. In the meantime, we have the cute flirtation between Andy and Erin (or...the possibility that Andy might be gay, it could go either way, lol), Dwight's hilarious scheming to try to get Jim fired - now including Ryan (which may one day actually work, given this article's slant and which provides the show's best laughs lately), the same peanut gallery comments from Creed and Meredith and Stanley and the accountants, and Michael's perpetual ineptitude and ignorance to keep us engaged. Is the show as funny as it once was? No, not right now - it's been on the air for awhile, and even the best sitcoms tire (yes, Seinfeld too) - but I think it's undergone a creative resurgence with these new developments that are going to take us by surprise later, because that's what the Office consistently has done and still does - catch us by surprise with the unexpected developments it has hidden up its sleeve.

Posted on December 10, 2009 at 8:45 am 0