And so it ends. I know a lot of people that jump out of this series shortly after Steve Carell's departure. Some people felt that the show stopped being interesting following Jim & Pam's wedding in 'Niagara'. I'm one that believes the show had a hard time finding it's legs after Carell left, and I wasn't quite sure why - but having thought about it I think now I know. The show's heyday was really it's first four-five seasons because of the focus on the Jim and Pam relationship - it was one of the most interesting and best told sitcom love stories - easily up there with Sam/Diane, and any other - but once they became a solid couple they had very little do what - was was left was the emptiness inside of Michael Scott to play with - that was the heart of the show after Jim & Pam - now the problem was that once Michael rode off with his true love the show had no emotional core left. All of the cast is great, it's solid, but they are all comedic foil and so there was nothing really to ground into emotionally as far as stakes were concerned. When Greg Daniels returned for the final season he fixed that by throwing a big wrench into the Jim & Pam relationship and giving us something to root for. And I loved how simple and real their problems were. It wasn't some new person for either of them to fall for - it was real life stuff - and being similar to their situation where you've got two little kids and your own personal desires - let's just say it hit home pretty deep. My wife and I's lives have coincided with JIm & Pams in an interesting way, so it's been fun to have that and it'll be missed for sure.
So to speak more specifically about this season - it's easily been it's strongest in a long while - although the show never quite knew what to do with Ed Helm's character despite it trying really really hard, I like where they ended up with him. Ellie Kemper was the bright spot of the second half of the Office's life span and she brought a much needed energy to the show, and Clark Duke was a great addition into the final season - I wish he'd been there prior. Alas.
I like the way the show wrapped itself up, I appreciated seeing old friends in the final episode - and people moving on or staying behind felt natural and realistic. There was some great sentiment in the closing minutes, and although I strongly believe that the show needed to end it's run, I can't say that I won't miss checking in on the employees of The Office. It's a bit surreal that it's over - but now I can allow myself to catch up on other sitcoms I've put on the back burner. If you've never check this series out, start from the beginning - or at least from the second season - the first season is a bit rough, if I'm being completely honest… Goodbye Dunder Mifflin - you will be missed!