The Office - Signs of a Declining Sitcom
Jesse Tribble
Why does a TV show get worse over time?

In this video essay, I explore what made The Office so great in the earlier seasons and what makes it so 'blah' in the later seasons. It still remains pretty good, just not as good as it used to be. And I think you can apply these points to any sitcom.
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  • Crex MM
    Crex MM

    Is it just me that hated Pete, Pam, Karen, Devon, and Nelly. Those were the only characters I actually disliked.

  • Linewater

    I think it remained amazing until Michael left, then declined a bit, but it was and is still my favorite show.

  • Anthony Amorelli
    Anthony Amorelli

    “I’ve never climbed onto a roof to avoid a conversation with my boss.” Speak for yourself.

  • Felix Sun
    Felix Sun

    why u hate on dwight

  • Boston Sports Fan 83
    Boston Sports Fan 83

    Best part about the series is Jim and Pam. They made them in my opinion the second best sitcom couple

  • Joseph seewald
    Joseph seewald

    If they wrote it right Andy would have been a great manager

  • Shia Lebeouf: Life Coach
    Shia Lebeouf: Life Coach

    I know there's talk of a reboot going around, but if the new "Micheal scott" isn't Steve Carrel, I don't think it would work. There aren't very many people who could fill that role and do it well, the only other person I could think of who could maybe do it is John C. Riley or Ty Burrell. Either way, I hope they don't try to pick up where they left off with Dwight in charge. I don't think for a second it would work. It would limp across for a couple seasons, mostly due to it's name, then the network would pull the plug.

  • Shia Lebeouf: Life Coach
    Shia Lebeouf: Life Coach

    Personally, I think the series should of ended when Steve left. There wasn't anyone strong enough to fill his void and the show was basically wrote around him and him alone. From what I understand he didn't even want to leave, when his contract was up he tried to get in touch with the network heads to renew it and both kept giving him the run around.

  • Dad-Bod Steve
    Dad-Bod Steve

    Great video, but I personally have to disagree. I liked Dwight's shift, and Andy's as well.

  • Luisa Doe
    Luisa Doe

    Yup yup yup! There's nothing funny about Dwight being a jerk to Michael. He became to be a frustrated, sad, selfish man. Nothing to laugh about It.

  • The Validate Cast
    The Validate Cast

    Am i weird for thinking that at some times..Andy is attractive

  • TheLastDabber

    This guy doesn't know what he 's talking about he's just trying to make content

  • Dan Anderson
    Dan Anderson

    The show should’ve ended when Michael left or when Jim and Pam got married and then cut to the finale

  • Hefty Hugh
    Hefty Hugh

    I agree with a lot of this video, but I tend to disagree about the part with Dwight and women. I realize that the earlier seasons portrayed him as clueless, especially since he asks Toby about the clitoris, but Dwight is aggressive (why he's a good salesman) and confident, both things that work out when trying to attract women. And I don't think that Angela is necessarily unpleasant. Her and Dwight are meant to be together. I actually find their love story to be more satisfying than Jim and Pam's. I only wish they took a little bit more time to flesh it out in the last season. But I really could see Dwight being the type of guy to be a secret playboy. He owns land and he's confident in himself. He's a provider and a fixer.

  • Wesley Robert
    Wesley Robert

    My dad wears the wolf shirt unironically

  • William Harvey
    William Harvey

    Should I just skip season nine and go straight to the finale?

  • Penryn

    How could you, in the same section of your video, criticize the writers for making Dwight change *and* praise them for making Michael change? Did you not read your own script?

  • sugarmochi

    well maybe each character learned something from there opposing desk mate... aka dwight learning people skills and emotions from jim.

  • Joy Hsu
    Joy Hsu

    One of Michael's last(?) lines to Kevin was "don't be a caricature" and guess what the writers did

  • Floppy Velarde
    Floppy Velarde

    Im on board with everything, but the idea i got from Dwigth was, that he started to be better after some big desepsions, and outgrew Michael by finally being what he claimed. What i mean, Dwight's true personality potential was being repressed with his relationship with Michael

  • Jake Aaron
    Jake Aaron

    You follow up talking about how characters can evolve and change and shouldn't be one dimensional complaining about how Dwight evolved and changed and became multi-dimensional?

  • C4st Gump
    C4st Gump

    I have a lot of questions. Number one: How dare you?

  • Peng Wing
    Peng Wing

    Andy's characters switch in season 9 was sick. We wanted to see Dwight as manager at some point but after the bullet incident he proved he couldn't be a really good one. That could have been it. And Andy could have stayed as manager . Or Andy wanted a job in Cornell and he could have persuad that career. They went a long way to bring Aroan and Andy back together. They could have stayed that way. To be honest when Michel Scott left everything went South.

  • Davy van Oss
    Davy van Oss

    "i wish I knew i was in the good old days before Ieft them "

  • Gareth Bevans
    Gareth Bevans

    Do trailer park boys next! Way better than the office imo. Ricky is the most manifested fictional character next to michael scott. (Fuck the netflix seasons doe)

  • Glenn Davey
    Glenn Davey

    After the first season, the writers' MO was "make viewers like Michael Scott". I believe this ethos was so deeply embedded in the show's DNA that it continued after his departure. All the other bosses are designed to make Michael seem more like-able in retrospect. By the finale, Michael Scott is no longer remembered as the boorish attention-seeking lame-ass, he's a fondly remembered and much-preferred manager of the Scranton Branch.

  • kamcha 410
    kamcha 410

    <a href="#" class="seekto" data-time="563">9:23</a> He basically said "Good trip to the my little fiancee" (plus he didn't use the feminin form of 'the'(la), but used the masculin form of 'my'(mon instead of ma). The right sentence would be "bon voyage a ma petite fiancée". So his sentence is wrong on many levels X)

  • Rebecca Xia
    Rebecca Xia

    Seriously though, some relationship development in season 8 and 9 just make me want to scream at writers... Remember Nellie and Dwight in Florida? Remember Erin and Dwight at the pool party?

  • Tom D
    Tom D

    yeah, mass culture, I'd rather be in a mass grave.

  • mc9399

    Only the last season was bad

  • Tubular Groovy
    Tubular Groovy

    <a href="#" class="seekto" data-time="605">10:05</a> ok, but it was kind of funny

  • Tim Stuart
    Tim Stuart

    Andy's promotion fueld dwight's character.

  • Brayday 1130
    Brayday 1130

    I loves and hated this video. And the only hate that i have for it is that its completely right. When someone is able to point the exact flaws in somethung you hold so high it hurts even though you knew that they were there. With the character examinations, and the story running thin, evrything that he said was accurate on and behind the scenes of the show.

  • Rickster

    <a href="#" class="seekto" data-time="1843">30:43</a> “they live in the city they’re born in, they marry the first person who loves them and they double down on their idiosyncratic beliefs.” this clip just gets me every time, I don’t know what it is but something about what he says just makes me feel something

  • polishrocker93

    One of the particular bad moments was that episode where they talk about ED. The whole thing about Pam making Jim lie that he has ED just so he can humiliate himself and to encourage Andy’s stupid behavior seemed very out of character. They never used sex in the show in this manner before and it made me think they ran out of ideas if they thought that episode was good enough.

  • Moshe Osgood
    Moshe Osgood

    I thought Dwight was the main character

  • Sebastian Salazar
    Sebastian Salazar

    I am on the 18th episode of the last season of my first watch of the show, and i cam say that its not that funny, it has some reallly good moments, but like it says in this video the characters changed a lot through its run and at the end it didnt made that much sense...through its first 5 or 6 seasons it was really good, 8 season was really boring, and 9 its really funny, but they killed the Andy character withou any reason, just like the existence Erin, why doues she exist?

  • Alvin Walters
    Alvin Walters

    Just so we're all on board the guy who made this video is a fucking dipshit and doesn't know wtf he's talking about

  • Alvin Walters
    Alvin Walters

    Michael definitely wasn't incompetent he showed us many times he was extremely good at his job

  • Toesheo

    You spent most of the episode talking about dwight 😂 thats okay though. He is pretty great.

  • Taylor Allen
    Taylor Allen

    Andy's character arc was the biggest letdown of the show.

  • Yuan Luke Tan
    Yuan Luke Tan

    Simpsons: *y e s*

  • Atari Dad
    Atari Dad

    I disagree, Dwight did go through some similar changes to Michael in the final season. His first step was when he takes Nellie's advice and decides to look into medicating himself. The fact that he's decided to start changing shows itself later in the season when he realizes the mistake he's made by letting Angela put out a hit on Oscar and, in that same episode, even calling Oscar his friend, something which Dwight has never said about any of his coworkers up until that point. A few episodes later he ends up losing most of his friends due to that stunt he pulls with that junior salesman position, effectively pushing him into a new phase of his life as he leaves his old friends behind. Sure you can argue that it's not as well done as with Michael's final season, but I do think that Dwight definitely shows some growth as a character in the final season.

  • Mantis Toboggan
    Mantis Toboggan

    Wrong. He's not afraid of anything. Also, I would have accepted: snakes.

  • Seth Rios
    Seth Rios

    Rumor has it, Robert California is actually Reddington in hiding.

  • Seth Rios
    Seth Rios

    We all know who REALLY should've been Regional Manager... Jim Carrey. At least for one season, lol.

  • Ť C
    Ť C

    The problem is America seems to do this bizarre thing of making quantity over quality. They make 20+ episodes a season which in itself is ridiculous and then have 7, 10 or Big Bang 12 seasons! And it had clearly ran out of ideas at least 5 seasons previous. And with the office they took British gold which was amazing not just because of the writing but also because of how little we got of it which made it precious and The American Office they stretched that out further and further till it was nothing

  • Grace Hapke
    Grace Hapke

    See the reason I like the show so much is because it felt so real like the things that happened could happen in real life. They made sense and the emotions they felt were emotions everyone felt. But then in later seasons it didn’t feel that real like some of the things that happened don’t happen to normal people. It’s not like they couldn’t happen it’s just that it’s not often you see those things.

  • Harini Jayasankar
    Harini Jayasankar

    Dwight really wanted to impress Michael. He used to think Michael is a genius and he thought that way because he didn't have the maturity to understand Michael's true character. He used to do everything to make Michael happy with him and didn't care if it backfired. Basically, he didn't take anything to heart with people he really reveres. He wasn't essentially a suck-up or a true friend, he was simply an employee who wanted to be considered impressive by a person who was already experienced. But after a while, somewhere around the beginning of the third season, Dwight gets tired of Michael not seeing his worth. So when Jan, the division manager comes to the branch, Dwight tells her that he is much more capable of leading the branch than Michael. And later that season, Dwight himself quits when he was found covering for Angela's blunders. Then Michael asks Dwight to come back because he understands that Dwight was simply fed up of not being valued enough. Dwight returns too. But nothing is quite the same after that. Michael and Dwight's relationship dynamic changes. Dwight begins to not acknowledge Michael and also gets bitter. At the end of the third season, Angela breaks up with him because Dwight as a farmer, thought it would be better to euthanize Angela's cat as it was severely sick. This makes Angels disgusted at Dwight's thinking and puts and end to their relationship. This sends Dwight over the edge. He becomes too cynical and also begins to understand people better. So your point that the choice of making Dwight mature makes the show less funny, is wrong. This show isn't just about comedy. But also about emotions. Dwight is no longer the guy who doesn't understand people and is often the butt of the joke. He is now a savage guy who can cut people off pretty well. If every character gets to have a character arc, why can't Dwight???? In the end, Michael is acknowledged and loved, Jim becomes spontaneous and goes all out at a job for a change, Pam becomes flexible & doesn't fear change and Dwight finally becomes aware of people and doesn't get manipulated anymore. Viewers don't seem to miss his absurdist comedy. They welcome his savageness. But yes, they could have done without some odd jokes here and there that makes him look absurd once again. But overall, not a bad character arc.

  • Matthew Greig
    Matthew Greig

    Jim radio prank on Dwight-Thats season 9

  • Mohammad Hasib
    Mohammad Hasib


  • Victor Ruiz
    Victor Ruiz

    <a href="#" class="seekto" data-time="1455">24:15</a> that “hmp” he does (:

  • Cyber Diver
    Cyber Diver

    I think Andy is trying to be Michael but have no idea why.

  • Alexander Martin
    Alexander Martin

    I think nelly would have made a great manager.

  • Isaac H
    Isaac H

    This is the problem with long shows. The show could have ended after Micheal had left if done right. I was to young to keep up with the show when it was live but when I watched the whole show on Netflix recently I found it be get boring and felt like certain characters were just getting boring. Making the show boring. Now that I have finished the show I just feel that it could have ended even around when Pam and Jim get married

    • ashish vaishya
      ashish vaishya

      Shutup...i want more....not evry episode has to be.....same as aowsome

  • withsaltplease

    “Drink some soap”

  • Nikki Shields
    Nikki Shields

    I loved that Dwight turned into a badass. He was my favorite, and wolf shirts are cool.


    You know, being able to actually sit down and analyze the shows flaws (which it had plenty of as it progressed) as opposed to worshipping it as the most perfect piece of media ever made, really opens your eyes to the details. I'm not saying the show was bad, but whether it was inside influences like actors/characters leaving, or outside stuff like writers who were integral to the shows core leaving, mad the show really move away from made it so good in the first place.

  • uh yeh
    uh yeh

    there is no protagonist in this show. it's a mockumentary of the office to document the happenings regardless of the focus. All of them are the focus of the story.

  • Ray

    I have never seen an episode whiteout Steve Carell.


    i had an "epiphary" -M. scott-

  • chiclesdeadospesos

    What ruined the show for me was giving the camera crew an explanation and a face. At that point I think everyone had accepted the cameras are there and the reazon doesnt matter or doesnt exist. The fact that they supposedly followed them arround for nine years, recorded them commiting crimes, having sex, followed them to other states after they quited, went to their weddings, followed them to parties or to the hospital, to the bathroom, all for a documentary, its so universe shattering, at that point the show went from being somewhat grounded in reality to being completely in the realm of fantasy, I just couldnt recover from that.

  • mashuganah vinny
    mashuganah vinny

    I don't know anything that happened after Steve Carell left the show. It should have ended then.

  • Kanav Gupta
    Kanav Gupta

    First half of the show: Sitcom in an office Second half: Office in a sitcom

  • Mr. Gary
    Mr. Gary

    Robert California ruined it

  • Coco

    <a href="#" class="seekto" data-time="1914">31:54</a> 10/10 CGI

  • Laura Lee
    Laura Lee

    I feel like the writers attempted to replicate Michaels irrational hatred towards Toby in the relationship between Andy and Nellie, but because Michaels character was based on his need to be liked and have fun, his dislike of the HR rep made sense. Andy didn’t really have any reason to hate Nellie which is why it came off as cruel and random.


    I think what a lot of people are missing is the fact that the office doesn't really have one specific main character. Just like in real life, like the show writers intended. You get to see life from the direct standpoint of so many people, which is part of why the show is found so raw feeling and intriguing.

  • Aarushi Guin
    Aarushi Guin

    u forgot Carol in the love dodecahedron. ik i didnt spell that right dont come at me.

  • Syd Thebiguy
    Syd Thebiguy

    love deangelo vickers

  • fiselled

    creed and kevin are still the best characters

  • bruh moment
    bruh moment


  • vipex

    i really like this vidéo it has amazing points and great editing keep up the good work

  • YowieWowie

    What I find disgusting is the fact that Office marks keep kissing MIchael's ass when it's pretty clear that every intelligent human being would despise his character (not only in real life, but in other sitcoms as well). He is a manchild with worse table manners than Jim (slurping noises and talking with a mouthful drive me crazy), he is narcissistic, homophobic, racist, sexist, full of anger and hatred especially when things do not go their way. I find it disgusting that people cheer for such a character. Stupid people. The only season worth watching was the one when Michael was gone. I was so happy to see Spyder. I hope you get a MIchael Scott in real life because you deserve it.

    • mashuganah vinny
      mashuganah vinny

      You know it's just a show, right? You SJW's really take things too seriously.

  • djembelife

    We're watching the first few seasons again. I agree with this guy: it is even funnier the second time around.

  • Rambi

    Does michael actually have a crush on ryan? Or was I just entirely missing that when I watched it

  • zeoberlerb

    this vid never gets old. just watched all of it again.

  • Bro moment
    Bro moment

    You forgot donna

  • Gavin D
    Gavin D

    I do not agree with this video. I think the show was great the entire show the writers just had to be more careful for what they say because of how the world has changed and what they were aloud to say. I don't know that's just my opinion

  • PosyLubelak

    This show is unique. Everting ends somewhere I guess ! Damn The office is just great

Filming The Office
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