This was originally posted on September 30th
I watched the Office tonight and was kind of weary to do so, because I didn’t want to mess with a good thing, but it was actually pretty good tonight. There was a really touching moment where Jim called Michael a friend. I also didn’t even catch the season premiere. And I just watched a two minute clip of the season premiere, and now i'm inclined to download itunes just to get the season premiere. The last season of the Office was like the best season of any TV show in TV history. From the season’s first episode where Pam saved Michael from an akward moment at the annual Dundie Awards, the show went such a long way since last season towards bringing everyone to life, and keeping Michael hilariously akward but still endearing. I looked forward to Thursday nights last year for The Office and asked to be dropped off from ski practice at my apartment early to catch the show because it was just such a great show and uplifting experience, and hey, it’s 5 dollars cheaper than Highlawn (the local club which has college night on Thursday nights). And the season finale did something that few shows could do. It resolved the long-standing sexual tension between Michael and Pam without making it seem corny or anticlimactic, and if you have anything invested in its characters (secret to a good comedy: make the audience care about the characters) than you absolutely had to tune into the season premiere. I don’t know if this is the best show ever made, but I think that was one of the best seasons of any TV show ever.
It’s funny because every few years someone proclaims a TV show to be the best thing ever. People have said that about Arrested Development (which actually was the best show ever made), The Sopranos, Sienfeld, the Simpsons, etc. I remember that annoying sports show Around the Horn, where people get points for disagreeing with each other even if it violates common sense (it gets tricky in the first round where you have to simultaneously disagree with 3 people), they were debating what was the best show ever made: The Simpsons or Sienfeld. First of all, Simpsons shouldn’t even be in the debate. Just because a show has been on the air for 20 years, doesn’t mean it’s been producing anything remotely original material for 20 years. And does anyone remember how little the Fox network had to offer 20 or even 10 years ago? It wasn’t particularly hard to survive on the Fox network 20 years ago when the next best shows were Parker Lewis Can’t Lose, In Living Color and Married with Children. The Simpsons might be something good to watch at 6 p.m. if you’re not in the mood to watch the news, but the best ever is overstating it. Like movies, I’m sure that TV’s only good shows aren’t limited to the last 10-15 years. I think Cheers is really great. I thought that was better than Sienfeld. I really like the Beverly Hillbillies. It’s pretty much the same plot over and over again: stick 4 hicks in a Beverly Hillbillies and watch cultural disaster ensue, and each time, it’s hillarious. I think the 4 actors were really good, that was part of it. And I’m not even going that far back, we haven’t even covered the ‘50s or ‘60s with I Love Lucy and stuff like that but my point, though, is that most people just have short-term memory and make bodacious claims about shows like Sienfeld and Simpsons without an appreciation of or knowledge of more than the last 15 years.