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Goodbye, Prison Mike

I know that M. Carter @ the Movies is, well, a movie blog, but sometimes non-movie issues crop up that must be addressed. Today, Thursday, April 28, is one of those times. Because today, Thursday, April 28, is none other than a terrible, no-good, very-bad, very-sad day. It marks Steve Carell’s exit from “The Office.”

In the grand scheme of things, this isn’t a big deal. Bosses come and go. But any readers who have invested their whole hearts into a TV show might understand my position. My romance with “The Office” — which has lasted six years — is the longest and most fulfilling relationship I’ve ever had. (Yes, I’m thoroughly aware how pathetic that is.) There have been happy times (Michael’s romance with Holly; Pam and Jim’s wedding; the Superbowl episode heard ’round the world) and times where I wanted to throw up my hands, yell in frustration and walk away (most of season 4 and numerous parts of season 6). I’ve been wildly in love with Michael Scott (sometimes it was more “in like); more often than not I’ve been frustrated with him, and angry at his beef-headed choices and immaturity, and then stunned at his compassion, his vulnerability and his supreme business acumen/negotiating skills. Steve Carell took what could have been a minor character, a complete dolt with no social skills and less maturity, and turned him into the kind of flawed Everyboss we could root for. What he’s done with the role is beyond words. It’s incalculacable.

But now might be the time for a quiet but happy exit. Michael Scott has gone as far as he can at Dunder-Mifflin, and now he will move on into a new life — a life with his goofy soulmate, Holly, a life that signals now he can see beyond his own needs and make compromises, sacrifices. Though I suspect he’ll never lose touch with his inner child (he is, after all, “LittleKidLover”), Michael has become an adult.

But in my heart, he’ll always be Prison Mike. And I’ll miss him sorely.

6 Responses

  1. Perfect way to send Carell out. I loved that episode.

    • Agreed. I did nothing but cry for the last 5 minutes. And for 5 more minutes after that.

  2. Honestly, I’m happy. If nothing else the absence of Mike should be refreshing enough to make the show palatable again, at least temporarily, which it desperately needs. The humor has largely become stagnant, with only a few true laughs sprinkled here and there throughout the last few seasons, and characters previously endearing to us have now just become grating. Honestly, I have a hard time connecting with the show just for a lack of a bridge– Andy’s the closest we have for an audience surrogate of sorts that the show has at this point since Jim and Pam have become intolerable grotesques and everyone else is, well, the same as they’ve ever been, and we don’t spend enough time with most of them.

    So, feeling distant from the show, this is good news to me. And I’m glad to see Carell move on to do other things with his time.

    I also found the finale frustrating. Not because it missed any beats, because I’d say the episode nailed the tone and emotion sought by the writing staff, but because from start to finish it contained more genuine emotion and laughter than almost the entire preceding season combined (pre-Farrell, though). I appreciate that the cast and crew gave us magic for Carell’s swan song, but where was this excellence for the rest of the season? And the season before it? I feel a bit cheated even if the finale delivered, I guess is what I’m saying.

    • In truth? While I can’t say I’m happy, exactly, to see Carell go, I’d agree that the show needs a boost. And Scott’s character has gone about as far as he can. He’s not the same boss he was in season 1.

      I’ve also grown very tired of Jim and Pam, who essentially have become what Bridget Jones would call “Smug Marrieds.” Andy and Erin could fill that whole somewhat, but they don’t have the same chemistry.

  3. I just got caught up on the latest season of The Office, and I watched Michael’s farewell a couple days ago. I thought it was very well done, and an excellent send-off to one of the most likable characters in recent TV history.

    I hope they decide to go in a different direction other than Will Ferrell, though. I like him, but he just isn’t a good fit for the show.

    • Season 6 was not my favorite — I’d say that and season 4 — excepting a few episodes, like “Dinner Party” — were my least favorite. I enjoyed Carell’s last episode quite a bit and thought the writers did a superb job giving fans different versions of Michael. It’s pure curiosity that’s keeping me watching now. Unless the new boss is someone truly awesome like Rhys Darby or Ricky Gervais, etc., I think this is the end of the show for me.

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