The Office made cringeworthy cool

The New York Times has an amazing article detailing The Office’s early days when it was still trying to find an audience, Executive Producer’s Greg Daniels original idea for the finale (back in Season 3!), and how the show paved the way for cringeworthiness.

As the anchor of NBC’s once-heralded Thursday-night lineup, it played a role in pioneering alternative entertainment forms like TV offerings on iTunes and Webisodes on the Internet. It helped executives recognize the value of delayed viewing. Equally important, it opened broadcast television to a new concept in humor: the sitcom that makes you uncomfortable.

(A warning that there are spoilerish details at the beginning of the article.)

Link: One Last Cringe for ‘The Office’ Finale


  1. Steve Carell left after Season 5?!?!?! Who was that guy playing Michael in S6 and 7? Overall a good article.

    [ from tanster: yeah, i noticed that, too. clearly not a hardcore fan. ;) ]

  2. They noticed the idea that there’s still the idea that Carell may have a cameo, and they noted that there’s a scene in the finale that “would probably call for his presence.” I feel very strongly that he will have at least a cameo!

  3. Major spoilers in those pics!! Dwight has a wedding ring on and Angela is in a white dress!!

  4. Steve will be back…It’s gonna happen.

    I started watching The Office on iTunes and Hulu. I think it was already Season 4 when I actually started to watch on NBC, but even then it was mostly on the DVR. I still have all of my favorite episodes on my phone.:)

    I found out about Officetally after Jenna mentioned it on a commentary on the DVD set for Season 1? Maybe 2? But, Jenna’s how I found you, Tanster!

    I love how Jenna’s in her Uggs in the cast photo. Lol I wonder if she and John would ever be willing to work together outside of The Office…

  5. What a great article!I fairly wept while reading it — I so love The Office.

  6. I had a dream about being on location for the final episode and getting to say goodbye, hug all the characters and tell them how important the show was to me. I was crying! It was the best dream I’ve had since I was a kid!

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