Oh GOD this sounds terrible. (Spoiler Alert) But click HERE to read a brief forecast for the end of this season of The Office.
(Remember, Spoiler Alert!) Okay, I hate to be so negative, really!- but, according to the link above, Steve Carell will be leaving the show with at least 4 episodes remaining in the season. In those four episodes we will witness (the tedium of?) Dwight, Andy, and Darryl scrambling to assume power. We will also be reunited with Todd Packer. Why? I would say it's because in our past lives, fans of the show must have done something really, really bad. Todd Packer is not funny in and of himself. Michael Scott's extreme fandom of Todd Packer is funny.
(Now I'm gonna get weird) When you're a big fan of a show, it's especially hard to watch that show become terrible. Like Roseanne, The Office was so good that it's sharp turn towards bad is even more noticeable and more difficult to take. I'm not saying the current season of The Office is equal to the all out rottenness of the season after Roseanne and Dan won the lottery, (I'm assuming that next season will fill that role, and with any luck, will similarly be the show's last) but this season is right up there with season 8 of Roseanne which saw some crazy shit in the name of comedy- like Sharon Stone welcoming Mark and Becky into their trailer park, etc.
Maybe the writers will turn it around and spin this season's dross into gold- but if what's transpired so far is any indication- I wouldn't hold my breath.
(Now more personal shit) I don't feel like the show "owes me" anything, and I don't begrudge Steve Carell a movie career, and I don't think the writers, actors, and other crew of The Office should be penalized for wanting to carry on working together. But for me- someone who has bought all the previous seasons of the show- what do you do? I'm not that OCD, but I can't lie and say I don't feel the void on my shelf that marks where season 9 of Roseanne would be, were it not awful. And I've thought about buying it- simply to 'complete the collection' and so in case of nuclear fallout I might have 'em all- for whatever reason. But what of season 7 of The Office? I think it might just make me sad to have it, knowing it was so weak, and never wanting to watch it.
I am far too wrapped up in fiction and I know this. Yet, don't we feel a loss when a show we love ends? When we can't peak in at the lives of those characters anymore? There is also a difference between a show abruptly ending (Arrested Development, for example) and watching a show slowly fade into lameness. One feels like a car accident, swift- and you can always say "They had such a good life! Right up to the end!" The other feels like watching someone die from a long disease. They wither away, and you are there to hold their hand and watch the light leave their eyes. In the end you are simply glad they no longer have to suffer. (I warned you above this would get weird).
Maybe The Office will rally, beat the cancer and live life to the fullest! Maybe they will shed some cruddy current story lines (Dwight and Angela's sex contract- never funny; Andy and Erin's romance- a sad grasp for Jim and Pam's glory days) and come back with something fresh and new! Let's hope so!! (Or maybe a grizzly will attack the place and Dwight will be the only one left standing? That's okay too).