22 of 29 people found the following review helpful
a classic show starting to lose its identity...,
This review is from: The Office: Season Five (DVD)let me clarify my title a little. i'm a huge fan of the show and i own all 5 seasons on dvd and watch the new episodes religously every thursday night. up until season 6 i think every season of the office has its own charm and strong episodes especially seasons 3 & 4 which i believe are the strongest and near perfect. season 5 was really great but you could tell it was starting to lose its steam, especially the second half of the season. specifically starting with the episode that aired after the superbowl (fire drill). it seemed forced and like the writers were trying to cater to a larger audience via post superbowl viewers. it was like they saw the ratings for that episode and said "hey! we should start writing the episodes like this with more accessible/obvious humor cuz apparently people like it!" And that they did. the majority of the remaining episodes are great with some unforgetable moments (with michael starting his own paper company while pam gets promoted and ryan gets brought back) but it seems like the show was drifting off on a tangent toward the end and i felt like there was something "DIFFERENT" with the show. when i say "different", i mean i felt like i was being betrayed or someone was trying to pull a fast one on me (as weird as that sounds).
all in all, season 5 is not bad but really great (not exceptional) with some excellent episodes. just lacking compared to the past seasons.
NOW, HERE'S MY BEEF. it's with the currently airing season 6 (as of december 2009) of this once marvelous, unique series. i know this review is for season 5 but i feel strongly about voicing this and/or addressing the office fans like myself out there who read this. what has happened to the show in season 6? it's like its not even the same show anymore. the humor is not dry, awkward, passive, or subtle anymore! those four adjectives was what made this show (and the original british version) a classic and hailed best comedy series since seinfeld. the season 6 episodes (or the office version 2.0) the humor is obvious, accessible, easy to digest, obnoxious, annoying, and in your face. why did they change this about the show?! you could probably blame michael schur and greg daniels new series "parks and recreation" along with the superbowl episode for the shows lack of creativity and loss of spark. they both happened at about the same time the office took a turn.
Example: when i use to watch the office (most notably seasons 1-4) i would cringe and feel totally uncomfortable but in a very pleasing and rewarding way due to michaels scott/dwight schrutes oblivous nature and crude remarks and awkward situations. also, i would laugh histarically at the jim and dwight interactions and pranks. i also loved how pam was a very loveable, caring, warm person with a quick dry wit who always put a smile on anyones face and also kind of mysterious with how she always kept to herself and was very reserved in her thoughts and nature. starting at the end of season 5 and especially season 6 she is outspoken, loud, obnoxious (yes, i called sweet little pam obnoxious), cold, and even doing terrible, cheesy character voice impressions (like the ones michael does when he's trying to be funny). not to mention, she lashed out at michael and was borderline violent with him when she found out he was dating her mom. i understand the reasoning why she would be mad, but they over did it way too much and did not seem natural and unlike pam. it wasn't funny or believable. maybe this new side of pam is brought on by the pregnancy but i have a feeling this is her new character from now. now,
now i have a bone to pick with mr. dwight schrute. in the first 4 seasons of the show dwight was dependent on michael scott. he continously sucked up to him, bought him food, did laundry, did michael's dirty work for him, smelled his breath close up and he did all this with loyalty and passion for his boss who he looked up to as a mentor/friend (as scary as that is). in season 5 and especially season 6 dwight is now his own person. totally independent of michael and actually argues with him instead of agreeing with every single detail like an obediant dog. dwight seems like he's all out for himself and is ruthless to a point to where i sadly miss old dwight and his naiveity and oblivious. it seems like dwight "wisened up" too quickly for his own good and most importantly, HIS CHARACTER IS NOT FUNNY ANYMORE! what made dwight funny before was his naiveity towards jim and people in the office and how he would explain specifics and go in to great detail on any subject no matter how absurd it was. the "NEW" dwight is wise, sneaky, independent, overly competitive, and almost villian-like (like in comic books).
i could go on a lot longer about the other characters but dwight and pam are the two that have had total character facelifts. o yeah, and one thing about jim. his character is no longer fun loving and laidback. he is important, stern, outspoken and SERIOUS! yes, jim halpert who use to pull pranks is now serious. yes, yes, i understand he is now co-regional manager and with that comes new responsibilities and change of personality but it doesn't suit him well especially since his old self is beloved by fans.
now here is how everyone who reads this will respond. "series have to branch out and evolve." "characters have to grow as human beings do throughout life." "what do you expect, for them to keep making the same episode with the same jokes and characters, that's boring." >>>>>Okay, i understand these perceptions and i yes people evolve in real life and shows should to to keep interest and originality. if it can be done tastefully and clever than i'm all for it. i love growth and encourage character/show development. but this isn't what we're dealing with here folks. essentially, we are dealing with the shows growing popularity (ignorant superbowl) and the decision of the writers (or the people who green light these episodes) to water down the humor and make it easy to digest because i will state this like a fact: THE OFFICE DID NOT GET POPULAR BECAUSE THE EPISODES GOT BETTER. they just got more accessible to the mainstream, equaling more viewers. it is truly a sad thing to see happen.
not only are the characters becoming lackluster, the writing is becoming obviously worn out. when a shows writing becomes predictable and lazy, that's when its time to end it. the show has went on to long and i personally thought (as much as i love this show) they should of wrapped it up with season 5. they should resolved most of the relationships especially michaels love life and jim and pam married of course. IDEA FOR SERIES FINALE: visit dunder mifflin in say 5 years after jim and pim get married and see what everyone's up to and bring closure to the characters but leave some open-ended as well and reveal the fate of the company or maybe dunder mifflin is already gone and they all just meet at the old business lot where it use to be and have a cookout or something. great ideas right? make the episode bittersweet and finally reveal who is behind the camera. leave on a high note instead of dragging it out and squeezing all the juice you possible can out of it. if i was a writer of the show, that's how i would end it. now, tell me that's not a superb ending to a great series.
sorry for being critical but i needed to get this off my chest and see if anyone else feels this way about the new direction of the show. i would love to hear your thoughts about this...and no negative inappropriate remarks from the casual fan, i want to hear feedback from REAL office fans.
i will force myself to sit through the remaining new episodes as they come but only because i still have hope for the show. maybe season 7 will get back on track and the writers will come back (if in fact they did leave or write less now) and give this series a emaculant appropriate finale like it deserves. office fans, let's hope so.
thank you for reading.
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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 15, 2010 7:22:18 AM PST
Muni S. Ramakrishnan says:
Excellent summary from a caring fan!
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 26, 2010 8:15:55 AM PST
W. Villanueva says:
I've only seen 3 episodes this season. I think after Jim and Pam got married, it jumped the shark. Your review is pretty much on point.
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 26, 2010 12:30:36 PM PST
yes, agreed. the show has gotten even worse after jim and pams wedding. however, i still say the point where this show took a turn for the worse is that episode that aired right after the superbowl last year (you know the one where dwight stages a fake fire drill and stanley has an heart-a-tack). if you watch season 5 many times over, it is blatantly obvious to a fan of the show. ive never really liked football or the superbowl to begin with, but now i dislike it even more because i associate it with the downfall of my favorite tv show of all time. also, like i said in my review two of the main writers for the office, greg daniels and michael schur, started "parks and recreation" at about the same time. so blame can be put there as well. although i do enjoy "parks and rec" to a point, that show has basically stolen all the creative juices from "the office". its as simple as that. lets just hope and pray they end the office VERY SOON before they destroy its reputation like another one of my fav tv shows, "scrubs".
Posted on Apr 4, 2010 10:34:58 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 4, 2010 10:36:15 AM PDT
Mike Sheehan says:
I do agree with a lot of your comments on season 6. Season 6 had something that I'd never experienced before with other seasons - an episode with no laughter (or forced laughter). You articulate the characters current personalities very well. Honestly, just watching through it I kind of lost sight of how much they changed. I'm currently rewatching all the episodes for the third time, I'm in season 4 right now and the contrast between what Jim and Pam are now and what they were is immense. I really miss the way they were. However, I also feel the second half of season 6 has been much better. I looked up how many viewers the Office gets, I could've sworn it'd be decreasing as the shows quality is decreasing, but it's actually at it's highest point. I guess it's because it lost most of the diehards it once had I don't hear about it with such enthusiasm anymore. It's sad, but I'm still optimistic because their are still some great moments in season 6 (and season 5).
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 4, 2010 2:51:28 PM PDT
exactly. most of the diehard office fans who have been there from the beginning see the veil being pulled over their eyes, which is the writers just seem to not be trying anymore or the original writers are gone. if they can half-ass an episode, they know it will still get good ratings because of the fanbase and loyalty of the show. actually, now that i've watched season 5 more it's starting to get better and some really classic, funny moments. although, i must say the episode "disco cafe" or whatever its called is the worst office episode i've ever seen (and there's been like 125 now?). its incredibly lame and embarrasses me as a fan. now season 6, the great moments are very rare and few. why does there seem to be so many cheesy voice impressions and lame dancing, singing in season 6? like when everyone danced at j & p's wedding? that was embarrassingly bad and really lame. it was not funny or endearing at all. also, in season 6 what happened to jim's sense of humor? michael scott's awkardness? why is dwight so sneaky and villian-like now? yeah, i do miss the way jim and pam were too. i understand people mature and change as they get older, but not like this. another thing, do you notice how "literal" and "zany" michael is now? he acts "silly" and "cute" now, and like he's aging in reverse. yeah, before he acted childish but he did it in a way that he tried to compensate and blame others or make excuses for the way he acted which in turn created awkward/uncomfortable situations. now, he acts "silly" and thats his character now. also, you couldn't be more right about the laughter being forced. the humor now is so obvious and cute that it makes me just watch with a blank gaze and shake my head in disapointment. i miss the awkward, dry humor that was so subtle that many people don't "get" unless they think about it or notice that type of humor. i'm not surprised at all the ratings are higher now, it's what happens. if you dumb a show down to accessible jokes, obvious silly/cute humor, with shallow scripts and characters. . . . .most likely people want that, easy digestible humor that is. nobody wants to pick through the subtle clues, layers of irony, metaphors, inside jokes from previous episodes, and overall dry, crude humor. most of the population don't "get" or "want" that type of humor. people (especially americans) like things spoon-fed to them and easy. for example: why work hard/exercise and be healthy when you can just sit in front of a tv and eat and just ride a rascal everywhere? that's sounds like a fairly accurate analogy. basically, the writers (or whoever is making these new episodes) have sold out and are catering to the general public. that is truly a sad, sad thing. i just don't hope they stick around for too much longer and ruin what use to be a great show.
Posted on Feb 7, 2011 5:03:20 PM PST
Perfect synopsis of how and when the show went sour. Totally agree about the mis-characterization of Jim, Pam & Dwight. I count Season 5 as the "last" season in my book. I thought the 'Michael Scott Paper Company' plot was a great last hurrah. Season 7 is a little better so far but the decision to continue without Michael Scott is going to be a huge mistake.
Posted on Mar 14, 2011 11:13:07 PM PDT
hello, just watched seasons 1-4 which I own, and I concur with almost everything you said. I have no intention of buying any more of the seasons. When pressed, I would like to see some of the season five shows, and yes, I still watch every single new episode. There were shows in five and six that I could BARELY sit through, because it was just too much. Seasons 1-4 are brilliant, period, and will go down as one of the great tv shows ever. I haven't enjoyed the original English version, just too much. Ok, enjoyed reading your entry.
Posted on May 17, 2011 10:32:35 AM PDT
Dominic Rossi says:
great review! I completely agree with all your points...season 5 is the last good one...
Posted on Sep 9, 2011 12:09:01 PM PDT
N. Marino says:
great review. it's always difficult to critique something you're a fan of it but I think you really hit the nail on the head with this review. personally, I have a slightly lower opinion of this season and even parts of season's 3 and 4 but overall I think there is some good left in the show and you did a great job of highlighting it while also pointing out the flaws. I was thinking the same thing about the writers too. I really do hope the show doesn't turn into what scrubs turned into, and judging by the newest episodes, it kind of is. but even so, it still has some good left in it. it'd just be nice if they didn't drag it out so much and let the show end on a high note. but you pretty already said what I am saying in a more concise, articulate way, so I will just say thank you for a good review. it's nice to know that some people have the same opinions as I do.
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