I watched much less of NBC's Thursday Night Line-up once CBS's Person of Interest burst onto the scene in the beginning of 2011. Factor in that Third Rock got off to a late start that season due to Tina Fey's pregnancy, and NBC's presumed ratings drop was a sure thing.
Last night I watched the Office, Primarily because of the promo's for the show. It was an hour long episode, and I was absolutely delighted at the twists and turns that Andy put us through when he decided to fight back over the loss of his doting girlfriend, Erin.
I found the entire plot line comically profound on many levels.
Just a couple of months earlier I watched as Erin and Andy formed what looked like a lifetime bond after Andy finally broke up with his girlfriend Jessica in front of Jessica's family and friends.
Andy and Erin have to make a mad dash for the car and escape as projectiles pelt the windows. At this point, Erin gives Andy a look, the kind of look a girl gives a guy that says, this is it, we're together for life. It kind of reminded me of the final scene from "The Graduate".
Of course I have missed several episodes in between and suddenly I see that Erin wants to move on, and the entire office is against Andy. Andy fights back and says many poignant things, even using the word empathy, or the Office's lack of it towards Andy, to make his point.
In the middle of his own crazy behavior, Andy says some solid stuff. I find this type of comedy spellbinding, crazy behavior mixed with extremely deep and coherent analysis of the present situation.
One of my favorite lines from Andy, "So you all want me to just move on, yet, where were you when I wasn't here and Erin and Pete were getting together"?
And there it is.
A punch out condemnation of present day society's fickle set of values. The Office "group" tells Andy he is supposed to respect and accept romantic decisions made by others, and be decent about it, yet that same society shamelessly witnessed the erosion of Andy and Erin's relationship for their own amusement.
Where was the Office's moral compass when Andy was slowly losing Erin because he was not there for a few weeks? The same group mindset that wants Andy to take a chill pill now is the same group that probably got the giggles watching Erin slip away from Andy while Andy was away.
And after Erin and Pete tell Andy to just be an adult and deal with it, Andy rises up to the challenge and is able to show both Erin and Pete just how it feels.
This is really deep stuff because there are no crazed gunman scenes, no slasher response, but rather a wickedly proper way to show Erin and Pete that it is easier said than done when it comes to letting go and moving on.
Which brings me to NBC and the cancellation of The Office.
Maybe somebody should tell NBC that the Office has morphed into it's own version of Saturday Night live, in which slowly the cast members change as the seasons wear on, but the popularity of the show still rings through.
Unfortunately, there appears to be an unwritten rule among the major networds, "You don't mess with my reality TV primetime programming by putting real shows with real actors against it, and I don't mess with your reality TV programming either".
Even if the Office has declined in ratings, it could easily improve if it were just put opposite prime time reality television. Apparently, the actors vs Reality TV battle is one duel the major networks are reluctant to parry on.
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by Alessandro Machi at