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Without Steve Carell, There Is No Office

Why NBC should pull the plug
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 2, 2011 1:48 PM CST
Steve Carell and The Office: Without Michael Scott, Show Mustn't Go on
Steve Carell is seen in a scene from "The Office" in this YouTube screenshot.   (YouTube)

(Newser) – Sure, sure, The Office is still funny, but it’s becoming increasingly obvious that it’s running out of steam, and should just close up shop when Steve Carell departs. “You can sense a weariness and desperation setting in,” writes Matt Zoller Seitz on Salon. “Are we seeing yet another example of network TV's factory mentality (26 episodes a year, series run extended indefinitely) squeezing the vitality and focus from a once-great show?”

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The show has made a disastrous mistake by spending this season humanizing Michael Scott, making him grow as a person. It inspires, for Zoller Seitz, a “disquieting wonder at how series TV always suckers us into caring for fictional characters over time, even fatuous twits who lord over workplaces like whitebread dictators.” Scott’s impending redemption makes the show feel like one long comic novel drawing to its conclusion. But of course, it can’t actually end: “The corporate bottom line dictates that The Office will stay open no matter what.” (Click to read Zoller Seitz's entire column, which includes critiques of specific episodes from this season.)

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