‘The Office’ Season 8 Review: A Mostly Uneven Mess Leaving Little Hope For the Future

Photo Credit: http://www.amazon.com/Get-the-Girl/dp/B007KXJW9K

This used to be a fantastic show and while it is still better than a lot of other comedies on television, The Office has fallen and shows no signs of getting back up.

Using the calculator on my wonderful iPhone, I just took an average of all the scores I gave to all 24 episodes this season. That average actually came out to be a little higher than expected (6.1/10). That is not the score I will be giving the season, but it might be close.

Season eight of The Office actually started off pretty well. The first four episodes did a nice job of setting up Andy as the new boss. The List was a pretty good season premiere and Garden Party was the best episode of the season. There was hope after those four episodes. Andy was a worthy successor to Michael Scott. Robert California was not feeling too intrusive yet. How the times have changed.

Starting with Spooked and all the way through Jury Duty, one of the worst episodes of the show ever, The Office started its collapse into mediocrity bordering on absolute crap. The first truly bad episode was Gettysburg as Andy started to become truly annoying. Another big disappointment was Christmas Wishes, which ruined the tradition of fantastic Office Christmas specials.

The problem with these episodes was that they almost completely lacked humor. Watching the show became like going to work. But another, more serious problem was that the show would just bring up random plot lines then forget about them. There was no sense of development or direction, something the show had done so well in the past. At this point there are far too many stray plot points to be solved by the series’ end.

Some of this was fixed with the start of the Florida storyline, which was easily one of the highlights of the season. When Nellie was first introduced she was not nearly as annoying as she would eventually become. The time spent in Florida also allowed for easily the best Jim and Dwight interactions all year. Sure, this plot wouldn’t end as well as it started but it was a nice way to shake things up for part of the season.

However, immediately following this plot, we got the worst episode of The Office yet, Get the Girl. This episode involved Andy getting Erin back from Florida while Nellie took over as manager for absolutely no reason. It is bad knowing that the writers can go this low.

The plot with Nellie taking over would carry over for the rest of the season sadly. But the last couple episodes cleverly brought back some old plot points from a long time ago. In the span of two episodes we saw Andy’s anger, a nice Kelly and Ryan story, and the return of David Wallace. The finale finalized the return of David Wallace, a character whose departure was when this show really started to go south (aside from most of season seven which was fantastic). Sabre is no more and Robert California is gone. Now we are back to good old Dunder Mifflin with David Wallace as CEO.

The question becomes is this show still worth watching in the fall? Probably not. Unless NBC announces that season nine will be the last, you will likely not be seeing reviews anymore from The Filtered Lens. There are too many other shows out there that are worth our time more than The Office (like Parks and Recreation which we plan to review in the fall). The writers just don’t seem as excited about the show anymore, and a few decent storylines were not enough to save this dismal season. I miss when this was the show I looked forward to the most. I miss when it gave me a pleasure like no other. That’s what she…no it’s not worth it. I miss Michael Scott. (5/10)




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