Thursday, April 18, 2024

Big Reveal on “The Office”: Comedy Takes a Page from “Real World,” Other Reality Shows


I’m glad I happened to be home and saw “The Office.” To be honest, I’ve missed a lot of the post-Steve Carell era. But “The Office” is coming to an end soon, and tonight they had a big reveal. Remember when I told you a few weeks ago that the fake documentary was going to be seen at last? Tonight, right at the end of the show, “The Office” stole a page from shows like “The Real World” in which a reality show player makes contact with the film crew. Pam burst into tears after a fight with Jim over the phone. And suddenly the camera man who’d been recording Pam (for nine years?) stepped into the frame and comforted her. He told his fellow crew mates to turn off their cameras– for the first time.

The actor was not a nobody. He was Chris Diamantopolous, who most famously played Moe in the remake of “The Three Stooges.” The cameras went off, and the show ended. What does this mean? Is the camera guy going to come between Jim and Pam, the show’s romantic center? (Doubtful.) Also, tonight’s show marked the second (I think) appearance of Ben Silverman, who was the original executive producer of “The Office” and briefly–and badly–ran NBC programming before selling his TV production company to Elisabeth Murdoch. He has a new company, Electus, funded by Barry Diller.

So “The Office” begins it story arc to bring the show to an end. Carell has said he’s not coming back for the finale, which is just fine. The remaining gang is very capable. And the opening bit about Dwight being sent on a goose chase that Jim devised years ago but forget about was pretty funny.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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