Every noise you hear during a new episode of The Office is the sound of a great show being run into the ground. It started when they brought Toby back. Why, after his great departure? Because they had an idea for one semi-funny episode and wanted the occasional easy joke from a familiar character?
The Office‘s magic has always been in how believable the cast and writers made the nonsense: Michael Scott remains to inflict insanity because he’s been around forever and nobody has the heart to fire him. Jim Halpert slacks at his job, but is awesome in every other conceivable way. Pam, likewise. The rest of the characters are quirky weirdos who, like actual people, sometimes say and do utterly ridiculous things.
And now? Charles has been around for a month and has had a single good line (“I am aware of the effect I have on women.”). Watching Jim flail is zero fun. A Pam who quits her job to follow Michael is a dumb, depressing Pam. The Michael Scott Paper Company is a decent joke, but a comletely uninteresting storyline. I’ll keep watching for the funny moments (tonight’s first episode had quite a few), but will no longer expect anything great. Question: if the show’s boring and tired now, what’s next season going to look like?