The Office is a familiar place. We all know the types of characters who inhabit the Dunder Mifflin paper supply company, the setting for the much acclaimed NBC sitcom. Among them are sweet people, helpful, loyal, smart, silly, overly optimistic, mean, ambitious, irritating, and, of course, the incompetent oafs who make the workday drag on forever. The fans of the show have been following the lives of The Office workers via the on-going workplace documentary filming that has been its clever premise for nine seasons. But sadly the hilarious workday is coming to an end this spring.
Somewhere in the San Fernando Valley is an industrial park that looks a lot like Scranton, Pennsylvania, where the Dunder Mifflin company is set. Recently TV writers from around the country gathered there to tour The Office set, chat with the cast, and bid the much-loved critical-hit a fond farewell.
Big news came from executive producer Greg Daniels who revealed the show is turning the camera around on the documentary crew as the comedy heads towards its series finale.
Talking about the finale, Daniels said, “If you look at how many characters there are here, and you think that it will be our 200th half-hour when we do the finale, I don’t think we’re planning on packing everything into the last episode. I would encourage people if you are waiting for the end of The Office to re-tune in, I would start doing it right away. The Jan. 24 episode is really what I would say is the beginning of the end, where we start to break down what’s going on with this documentary and see behind the scenes and who is involved.”
Thanks to his role on the show Steve Carell became a major television star and went on to be a film star. Although Carell is gone now, the entire talented ensemble deserves a bow for the show’s success, and some are also enjoying film careers including Ed Helms, Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, and Craig Robinson. The show also stars Kate Flannery, Oscar Nunez, Brian Baumgartner, Angela Kinsey, Jake Lacy, Clark Duke, Creed Bratton, Ellie Kemper, and Phyllis Smith, who were on hand, along with star-writer-executive producer Paul Lieberstein and showrunner Greg Daniels.
The entire group is as down-to-earth as they were in the beginning, and Rainn Wilson explained, “John, Jenna, Steve, and I went out to lunch when we were shooting the pilot, and I remember this really intense conversation. We were saying, ‘Could you imagine if the show got picked up, how cool that would be, and what if it went for a season?’ We thought it would be incredible and it would change our lives. For the rest of our lives, these would be the roles that we would be known for. It’s so weird now, nine years later, that lunch coming true.”
Without hesitation, Rainn said he is going to miss his family of castmates. “This is where I’ve been coming for nine years, and I love all these people. We’ve grown up together. We’ve had children. We’ve gotten married. We’ve gotten divorced. We’ve cried together. We’ve fought a little bit, but not like Grey’s Anatomy,” he joked. “We went from some really goofy kids nine years ago, to the giant megalomaniac TV stars you see in front of you today.”
Rainn credits the “brilliant” writers of 200 episodes of the show for “the miracle of keeping it fresh and giving my character Dwight new, interesting, and outlandish stuff to do, never repeating the same kind of thing. This last season has been so much fun to shoot, and some of our very best episodes.”
Some of the guys in the cast put together a great little band called Kevin and the Zits, which exists in the world of the show. With Ed Helms, Craig Robinson, and Brian Baumgartner, they played for the TV writers on the set and they’re all proud of the music that they make “to keep the office entertained, it’s absolutely a cobbled-together situation, a fun little pocket of the Dunder Mifflin world,” said Helms. “Who knows if we’ll continue?”
The Office final episode will have something very important to express to the loyal audience who has followed the show and loved its crazy characters. Jenna said it’s simply “Thank you.”