Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Bound to happen?

The news broke last week that The Office is going to have a spinoff.

Details are nonexistent, except for the fact that it will be produced by the same people behind The Office and will air after that show. Allegedly something major is set to happen soon (eeeee!), which will undoubtedly take us into spinoff territory.

Hypothesis: The Office can’t really part with any of the main guys: Michael is the show. Dwight will follow Michael anywhere; he’s Mr. Loyalty. No point in Oscar, Angela, Toby, Kevin, Creed, Stanley, Phyllis or Meredith…those characters are either too small or don’t have the requisite background to sustain a separate series. As much as people love Kelly, she’s a girl that’s good in small bursts. A whole show would be grating.

What about the warehouse? Then we can see a greater scope of the wackiness on the other side of Dunder Mifflin, plus cameos to boot. It’s perfect for crossovers…except they might feel they’ve done that already.

Staying in the building, there’s Vance Refrigeration and Bob Vance. If they made selling paper funny, imagine what they can do to refrigerators!

Following Jan would be interesting, but it depends on how her and Michael’s relationship pans out. She’s nutty, but she’s great to watch and has the background and the temperament to be a main character. It also makes perfect sense for her to completely change her life.

There’s also corporate, with Ryan the Boss and David Wallace. It would basically be an excuse to watch Ryan be an ass, which could be fun.

We could follow Karen and the Utica branch, but as she put it in “Branch Wars”, “It’s a pretty easy gig when your boss isn’t an idiot and your boyfriend’s not in love with somebody else,” so that means Utica is boring.

So that leaves the other main characters, the ones we relate to, the ones whose choices we agonize over. Although Jenna Fischer says she knows nothing, bets are on that the spinoff would revolve around her character and John Krasinski’s Jim. I’ve said this before, but as much as I want both of those characters to leave Dunder Mifflin, the show would be over if they left. Would it be like House, new hires we’re supposed to suddenly care for, missing our requisite cute couple? Like Cheers, with a spitfire receptionist in the manner of Rebecca? Jim and Pam are the everycouple in a way, except with a dramatic backstory...how realistic would it be that they would see Dwight and Angela and Michael again? You know they would in televisionworld. Would their story be just another pleasant family comedy? NBC hasn’t had one of those (in the traditional mold) in, well, forever. It’s not their thing.

Sooner or later, whatever surprises that come our way will seem natural, linear. It’s the nature of reruns, and now things are rerun so much quicker. It used to be that a show had to reach 100 episodes before being considered for syndication, but The Office, which started airing on TBS before season four started, doesn’t have nearly that many partly because its first season was a measly six episodes. But the show was a critical fave and consistently buzzworthy, and so seemed a worthwhile investment, especially considering that there are few big comedies in the pipeline now. Thursday’s episode, “The Dinner Party”, will give us a hint to where the show is heading. Even though the show’s coming back, it’s time to start preparing for good bye.


Emily said...

SHUT UP. A spinoff??

My first thought would be a Jim and Pam spinoff, but as much as I like them, I can't imagine it not being boring. Actually, I can't imagine a spinoff being good without all of them.

It will be interesting to see what happens!

Anonymous said...

Vance Refrigeration

MediaMaven said...


Spoiler? Speculation? Show yourself!