So I was innocently watching "The Office" this week and suddenly a Sabre printer blew up over my head. Heretofore I had experienced complete disequilibrium when I thought of "The Office" and its legacy. My mind couldn't make sense of how the show could go on- minus the effin' STAR OF THE SHOW. But! As I sank into this week's episode-the 2nd in new boss Andy's regime-it hit me!
"The Office" will no longer be thought of as 100% great. Shows like "Seinfeld" or "I Love Lucy" were pretty excellent throughout their runs. And it took me this long to see that our beloved Dunder Mifflin employees now belong to another club. Not a bad club- indeed some of the greatest shows ever belong to it- but a different club.
There is a line in a Toby Keith (!) song on country radio right now that goes: I ain't as good as I once was . . . And that's what I'll call the different club. Not that the shows got terrible or unwatchable- just not as good as they once was. Members of this club include:
"Designing Women" featured a somewhat similar shift from really good to meh when stars Delta Burke and Jean Smart left. The new designers never really measured up.
"Roseanne" went downhill when our working class heroes won the lottery.
When "The Simpsons" (I hate to use the phrase 'jumped the shark'-but what else fits?) depends on who you ask- look in your heart and you'll know.
BUT!!! A-Ha moment conclusion: The upside is even if the show's evolutions leave you sour enough to eventually stop watching, oftentimes in syndication these second tier episodes grow on you. You've seen all the "best ones" over and over and so you relent and watch. And they ain't half bad! I began to appreciate Jan Hooks, Julia Duffy, and whoever played B.J. when "Designing Women" ran late on Nick at Nite. Similar situation with "Roseanne"- and well, I still like "The Simpsons." Will there ever be another Monorail-level episode? Doubt it- but who could ask for more than one?
And so I think the same will go for "The Office." Now that I have the correct mindset, I think I can handle Andy's managerial status (as they really seem to be sticking with that decision-really guys?)
Thus endeth this treatise on whatever it was I was writing about.