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Dunder Mifflin closes its doors for the last time....
Universal / 596 Minutes / 2012-2013/ Unrated / Street Date: September 3, 2013
It was a rocky couple of years. The Office started strong, improved wonderfully, hit a plateau, bottomed out when Steve Carell left the series, then simmered along with mixed results until it came to its ignoble end earlier this year. As a whole, the American version of Ricky Gervais’ smash UK show probably won’t stand the test of time, but as comedy television becomes more and more rare on the air, there’s no denying that when The Office worked, it worked exceptionally well.
Unsurprisingly, the only episode that really demands a viewing on this Season Nine set is the series finale. When it was first on the air, the big question was Will Michael Scott be back?, but now that the blogosphere has had its way with whether that was the case or not, what this last hurrah offers is a chance for all the characters we’ve invested so many years with to take a bow. Participants large and small in the history of The Office get one last send-off here, and while some are more emotionally convincing than others, it’s nice to get an opportunity to formally say goodbye.
But even diehard Office defenders will have a hard time legitimizing Season Nine as among the show’s greater moments. If the finale is a fun popcorn romp, the ocean of episodes that precede it are way less enjoyable than they should be. A broken clock is right twice a day, and it’s often the case that each installment here delivers a chuckle or too, but it’s just not the same as it once was. Sayonara, The Office. You weren’t everything you should have been, but you certainly kept me busy on Thursday nights.
That’s what she said.