Dear NBC, Please DON'T Bring Back 'The Office'

21 December 2017, 11:21

The Office
The Office. Picture: NBC, Universal

By James Wilson-Taylor

Without several key cast members and with no need for new stories, this revival could end up being even worse than Toby.

Comedy fans worldwide have spent the last few days throwing a celebration worthy of the Party Planning Committee as NBC announced plans to revive their classic sitcom The Office in a new series set at Dunder Miflin set to air next year.

Well, it may be the festive season and I hate to be a real Belsnickel but, NBC, I'm afraid we are at Threat Level Midnight and there is only one solution - cancel this revival.


Don't get me wrong, The Office is by far one of the funniest, sweetest, smartest and most endlessly quotable sitcoms of modern times, expanding upon the groundwork of the UK original to create a fully rounded world of strange and lovable characters you came to know as friends. Repeat viewing of all the classic eps, from 'Dinner Party' to 'Beach Games', is practically mandatory in my house, diving in to the adventures of Michael, Jim, Pam, Dwight and the gang on DVD and Netflix almost every night (well, they were removed from UK Netflix recently but that's a whole other essay).

So, if I love it so much, why do I not want any new episodes?

Let me break it down for you:

1) No Steve Carrell, no show.


As you might expect, it has already been confirmed that Steve is far too busy making Oscar nominated movies to return to Scranton anytime soon. And while he was also gone for the final two seasons of the show's original run, not many fans can deny that there was a big piece of the puzzle missing. Ed Helms was always excellent as the preppy, Brooks Brothers attired Andy Bernard but when he was forced into the role of the struggling boss, with plotlines seemingly originally intended for Michael Scott, the quality of the stories took a significant drop. Similarly, any new, imitation boss role will suffer immediately by comparison to Carell's incredible performance in the original.

2) The story is already done.


Jim and Pam are living happily in Austin. Dwight and Angela got married and are running the office. Even Ryan and Kelly ran off together into the sunset. NBC revealed in their announcement that new eps will feature a mix of old and new characters. But why bring back old faves if they have no new story to tell? We don't need some forced plotline of a messy divorce or a sudden case of bankruptcy to coerce the gang into getting back together - you wrapped it up well once already guys, now just leave it be.

3) Who are these "returning" characters anyway?


John Krasinski is an action star now. Ed Helms is a comedy superstar. Mindy Kaling is in blockbuster heist movies with Rihanna. Ellie Kemper is killing it as Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix. Even Phyllis does bloody Pixar movies. If everyone is so busy, who does that leave us with for a new run? Do you really want to see a season of The Office where Creed is the only character you recognise? (I love you Creed but you get what I'm saying).

4) It's only just ended!


The final episode of The Office aired back in 2013 with this new season set to air next year. Is five years really a long enough absence to justify a revival? The original run is still so huge on Netflix and in TV reruns that it really feels as if it never left. The recent NBC rehash of Will & Grace was somewhat justifiable as it not only retained all the core cast but had been off the air for over a decade. How can we be nostalgic about a show that has only been "gone" for half the time it was in production in the first place?

So NBC, while I admire you putting so much value in one of your most beloved sitcoms, please use that love to invest in more great original shows from the team that created the show in the first place (The Good Place, Parks & Recreation) instead of attempting to recapture the glory days like this.

Because, despite your good intentions, this is going to blow hard.