The Office’s Seventh Season: Where do we go from here? & “Search Committee” Review

Over a year ago in the middle of season 6 I found myself asking “Where do we go from here” when it came to The Office.  It was “Murder” and Jim had just learned that Dunder Mifflin was facing bankruptcy and was being sold. I wondered how they would write themselves out of that corner.

Jo took over with Saber and the folks in the office just kept on trucking. At the end of season 7 we find ourselves at an impasse once again.

Michael Scott has grown up, fallen in love and moved on to Colorado to be with the woman of his dreams, Holly. Through the seven years we’ve spent getting to know Michael some things have been incredibly consistent. He’s always wanted to find a loving partner and have a family. Michael’s arc has completed. He finally someone who loves him back for exactly who he is in Holly. They match each other beautifully and he has grown because of her, learned to become more self aware, thoughtful and considerate of others. I am so thrilled that Michael’s exit was one that felt complete, like he achieved something. He’s moved on to something unknown, but ultimately better.

The season seven finale has posed the exact question I’ve asked before and am asking again, “where do we go from here”, it’s a question explored but not answered, and that’s for next season. I kind of love the tenacity of the writers leaving us at the end of a season filled with uncertainty with such a huge question hanging in the air. I don’t really find it to be much of a cliffhanger, tonight was about the search, not the answer.

This is what Dunder-Mifflin Scranton is without Michael, like any other office they move on. The hanging question of who will take over as manager and how that person will change the office for whether it be for the better, it’s detriment or give The Office an entirely new path and breathe new life into the veteran series.

The Search Committee

After watching “The Search Committee” I have hope for next season. Even in the hour long episode with a parade of big guest stars through the office none of them stuck out like a sore thumb, they all met the tone of the plain Pennsylvania office park spot on. None of these movie stars outshone the fantastic actors that live the office and make up the funny ensemble that we’ve come to love. Since Carrell left the show has relied on the ensemble to make the episodes work, “The Search Committee” was no different. This episode was about The Office moving on, and a sort of soft cliffhanger about how they’ll get there.

The more distance from the episode the more I love the Angela/Senator storyline. At first I couldn’t stand it because it made me cringe each time she opened her mouth to talk about “The Senator”, then I realized that it was that gut reaction that made this such a perfect little plot because that’s the exact same uncomfortable, annoyed feeling the characters were experiencing, and their reactions were so great.

Between their not so subtle conversations about how sure they are that the Senator is in fact gay and having a relationship with his aide (who was weeping at the proposal), and Pam using all of her restraint not to get angry at Angela when she insulted her and Jim’s wedding but wish her a lovely one, to Stanley’s “I don’t give a damn” expression when Angela was loudly musing over her concern that she may not be able to invite all her office mates to the wedding because they’re trying to keep it under 350. It was kind of hilarious. Not the groundbreaking stuff earth-shattering finales are made of. But it was really funny.

Dwight got in on the games as soon as he heard his beloved company being slandered. Not only did he go to Dwightish lengths of dressing up as a French burn victim and swearing to change his name to get an interview after the gun fiasco of last week, he jumped aboard the game of office politics. First he took Jim for a walk in the parking lot attempting to sweet talk him by asking about Jim & Pam’s daughter PeePee (CeeCee), then going in for the bribe of personal favours if he were made boss.

Gabe is tall and weak, Kelly is short and strong, I’ve got an opposites thing going on

When this didn’t work he preyed upon the ambitious and recently scorned Kelly who had attempted to interview for the manager position but was rudely dismissed by Gabe. Kelly of course accepted these terms and fought her way onto the search committee. Everyone in the office must have the memory of a goldfish because when Kelly replied to questions of the search committee’s progress with “Dwight isn’t the manager, yet”, most people in the office, Toby included didn’t seem to think this a terrible idea launching into an office wide discussion of who should take over and the misinformed inclination that this was a decision that could be made by a show of hands.

Other kinda awesome things about this week’s Office:

  • Remember that secret child that Phyllis gave away? She thought it might be Erin… it’s not
  • Another Phyllis gem, she showed up in Bob’s office in nothing but cat ears for 10 days running. Good luck getting that image out of your head.
  • What Ryan wants in a boss is someone who won’t boss him around, but will guide him, lead him, but only when he feels like it
  •  I love ambitious Kelly Kapoor, more than a minority, a dancer, singer, fashion designer…the list goes on
  • Ryan casually grabbing a bunch of cash out of Kelly’s wallet
  • Oscar completely horrified at a gay man marrying Angela, horrified for his friend, but mostly excited because he loves an elegant wedding
  • The Senator “likes” Ryan’s facebook photos at 3 am
  • A rare glimpse of wisdom from Ryan – maybe Jim should take something seriously. It’s when he doesn’t things spin out of control. See what happened when he declined the role of acting manager… all of this.
  • Pam and Jordan seemed to be working really well together, we haven’t seen much of her yet but I think she has a lot of potential to add to the ensemble – she get’s the office vibe
  • The Andy/Erin thing is growing on me, if played right they could be the heart of the show in the way the Jim/Pam romance once was, except totally different
  • More cubicles
  • Oh yeah, and those guest star, good on all of them, Jim Carrey, Warren Buffet, Will Arnett, James Spader, like I said before, were great without detracting from the show itself, it was sort of a fun wink to the audience saying “look, we can pull this off”. Ricky Gervais’ appearance as David Brent was the biggest wink of all. Loved it!

So the episode ends Creed still temporarily at the helm with Pam and Jordan on damage control, an engaged Angela, a potential rekindling of the office romance between Erin and Andy, and what seems like a lot of potential for season 8.

What did you think of “The Search Committee”? Did you find the finale to be satisfying or a painful cliffhanger? Of all the candidates who is your pick for manager? Any write in votes? Let us know in the comments!

Personally, I’m gunning for the return of Catherine Tate. See you in the fall!

–          S


3 thoughts on “The Office’s Seventh Season: Where do we go from here? & “Search Committee” Review

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  3. Pingback: Comedy Quickies – Thurs May 19/ Parks & Recreation, The Office Season Finales | The Viewing Party

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