1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

When did "The Office" jump the shark?

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Dick Whitman, Apr 25, 2012.

  1. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    We have a running "Office" thread, but that seems devoted to new episodes.

    I pose this question separately.

    Some moments that leap to mind for me:

    1. Michael and Jan get together
    2. The Pam and Jim wedding line dance
    3. Michael and Dwight kidnap the pizza boy
    4. Phyllis's wedding (widely considered the first really bad episode and a moment when they started to lose control of Michael's character)

  2. Big Circus

    Big Circus Well-Known Member

    Dick, I think it's useful to mention the season each of those things happened:

    Michael/Jan: mid-Season 3 or early Season 4
    Pam/Jim dance: early Season 6
    Pizza boy (CROSSOVER ALERT! Artie from "Glee"): early season 4
    Phyllis's wedding: late Season 3

    I'll put it out there that I very much enjoyed the Phyllis wedding episode. I think the Pam/Jim wedding dance is probably the best point for me on your list above. I think my tipping point was probably Holly's hiring, or maybe Erin's, at least regarding where the decline started. (Although I've grown to enjoy Erin.) Or possibly the Sabre acquisition.

    I look at it more in terms of seasons at this point. In my opinion:

    Seasons 2-3: Pantheon-level television
    Seasons 1 and 4: Very good television
    Season 5: Still pretty good
    Seasons 6-7: Flawed, but still good TV for the most part
    Season 8: Didn't happen

    Looking at that list, obviously it's all relative, but for me, the true decline into what it's become started with Michael leaving. It had been slipping incrementally before, but the stuff after he left is when it went well and truly off the rails.
  3. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Good post.

    Couple other thoughts I have that may not be THE moment, but certainly were indicative of the decline:

    * The Michael Scott Paper Company
    * Ryan rehired
  4. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    The first bad episodes of The Office were "Health Care" and "Hot Girl." Season 1, aside from "Diversity Day," has not aged well, though I love "Basketball."

    That said, the decline clearly began when Jim and Pam got together. Season 4 is just not as good as Seasons 2 and 3. "Phyllis' Wedding" is a good jump-the-shark point, though Michael Scott Paper Company is a competitor.
  5. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Is "Hot Girl" the one with Amy Adams?
  6. Flying Headbutt

    Flying Headbutt Moderator Staff Member

    Jim should have stuck with Karen. Yeah, I said it.
  7. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    Yes. It's a terribly boring episode, even though Amy Adams is hot.
  8. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    When it comes down to it, I see The Office as having two great seasons and a few other great episodes. Maybe 60 great episodes total. I don't think it ranks among my 20 favorite shows, even though I've seen every episode and will watch until the end. I'd take Community, Parks and Recreation and 30 Rock ahead of The Office both right now (obviously) and in regards to the overall body of work.
  9. JakeandElwood

    JakeandElwood Well-Known Member

    The wedding line dance is the last possible moment for me. If anything, it was the final blow.

    I think Jim and Pam being together worked fine for a while, but I think when Pam gave up design school it started to go downhill in that regard.
  10. For me, the decline started toward the end of Season 4. Jan went crazy and that relationship with Michael kind of soured things for me. The Jim-Pam dynamic was also starting to fade at that point. Still watchable, but never the kind of home run episodes we got in Seasons 2 and 3.
  11. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    That time they introduced a character, spent two episodes establishing traits, and then proceeded to redefine the character every two episodes thereafter.
  12. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    I will, and have already, defended the wedding several times here. I will do so again on this thread if it becomes necessary. I think "Niagara" is actually a great Office episode. Now, it can still be the moment when everything that came after it was going to have diminishing returns. But for me, the true end begins with the Sabre stuff. I remain completely unenthused about the Michael Scott Paper Company stuff. It really bothered me, at the time, that Sepinwall adored it so much and felt that it was "classic Office" and that it saved Season 5.

    But I've never found a single element of the Sabre stuff funny, clever, or even mildly interesting.

    However, just for fun...

    Favorite episodes of all time:

    1. Office Olympics (Season 2)
    2. Booze Cruise (Season 2
    3. Casino Night (Season 2)
    4. Benihana Christmas (Season 3)
    5. The Deposition (Season 4)
    6. Niagara (Season 6)
    7. Dinner Party (Season 4)
    8. Goodbye Toby (Season 4)
    9. The Dundies (Season 2)
    10. Goodbye Michael (Season 7)
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page