Well, the finale of The Office is tonight. It’s really a bittersweet feeling for me. While The Office has already staked its spot as one of my favorite shows ever, I’m ready for it to end as it has become less than a shell of its former self. Everything since “Niagara” has been overwhelmingly cynical and distrustful towards its audience. I’m sure they’ll deliver tonight, however, and give the fans a worthy finale. At its best, The Office was relentless with its writing, laced with fantastic acting, and probably the best television comedy since Seinfeld. All things have to come to an end, but it’ll still be sad to see the lights turned off at Dunder Mifflin.
“Test The Store” – Season 8
“Branch Wars” – Season 4
“The Return” – Season 3
“The Deposition” – Season 4
Viewers could always count on The Office to deliver a fantastic Christmas episode. Season 6 gave us their strongest effort for the most wonderful time of the year. Like with every Christmas episode, Michael acts like an idiot but everything ends up cheerful in the end. “Secret Santa” was the zenith of the Erin-Andy angle and, probably, Phyllis (Vance) Smith’s finest episode. The ending visual-gag of the two Santas (Bob and Phyllis) making out was/is utterly brilliant.
This certainly isn’t a “favorite,” but it deserves to be on this list because it demonstrates, more than any other episode, just how skin-crawling The Office could be when it wanted. It’s also a nod to the power of the actors involved in the episode; essentially only six. No matter how many times I watch “Dinner Party,” I still find myself clenching my teeth, turning away from the screen, and letting out strange noises in an attempt to break the awkward tension throughout it. Melora Hardin always seemed to be hit-or-miss on the show but she, in particular, shines here as she made the audience take genuine concern/pity on Michael Scott despite his moronic nature.
Classis Dwight line: “Mmm… Good turkey leg.”
The argument could be made, and won, that “The Injury” was the episode that put The Office on the map and solidified its spot on television. The absolute ridiculous nature of its premise was kept believable because of the ineptitude and hubris that Steve Carell’s Michael Scott had shown up until that point. In a sense, it was the first payoff episode.
Right as the wave began to break; “Andy’s Play” holds the spot for the last truly great episode in Office history. The season had been rocky up until this point and had created some confusing inter-office relationships, things seemed jumbled and on the edge of becoming chaotic, when this episode went back to basics and reminded the viewers that “Hey, these guys are all still a family.” I believe the Erin-Andy angle was one of the main things that killed the quality of the show, but this episode was the closest it ever came to *really* working. The closing montage to “Andy’s Play” marks that last time the show left me with any feeling close to “everything is going to be ok.” Continue reading