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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.