Why The 'Office' Revival Should Really Be A Spin-off
If the news of NBC possibly doing a revival of The Office made you go MichaelScottNooooo.gif, you're not alone. Although the revival is exciting for some, for others, it looms large as a bad, bad, bad idea. If NBC is so set on jumping on the revival train (it’s rumored that they’re bringing back 30 Rock, too), then a spin-off of The Office is a much better idea than a revival. Because there ain’t nothing like the real thing, why try to recapture it?
On December 18, TV Line reported that NBC is possibly reviving the beloved mockumentary series for the 2018-2019 season with “a mix of old and new cast members.” Steve Carell aka Michael Gary Scott (aka Date Mike, aka Prison Mike, aka Michael Scarn) will reportedly not be returning to Scranton, PA. As for the other employees of Dunder Mifflin, it’s still a mystery who might be back for more conference room meetings and pretzel days, as no casting announcements have been made.
The Hollywood Reporter did some thorough speculation about who might return, suggesting that main characters like Jim Halpert, played by John Krasinski, and Pam Beasley Halpert, played by Jenna Fischer, wouldn’t be coming back. At the end of Season 9, most of the employees at Scranton had moved on: Jim and Pam decided to move to Austin, Andy got a job at Cornell, Kevin bought a bar, Toby moved to New York, and Ryan and Kelly ran off into the sunset (Ryan abandoning his baby in the process). And most of these cast members are unlikely to return, as they’ve all moved on in their careers, as well.
Since everyone went their separate ways, a spin-off would make a lot more sense than a straight revival. In 2013, there was a spin-off planned for Dwight called The Farm, and an episode of the same name was a backdoor pilot when the show was in its ninth and final season. The assistant to the regional manager inherited his aunt’s farm, and the premise was that beet-farming Dwight and his siblings would run it. The pilot didn’t work out, though, but a spin-off might work better five years on from the show’s finale. It would certainly make more sense and avoid all the explanations of why main characters were missing, and also avoid having to shoehorn guest appearances.
A spin-off could work for other auxiliary characters, too. Even though Carell has said he definitely wouldn’t be coming back, it could be fun to see what Dwight and Angela are up to (if Rainn Wilson were open to coming back), or even crazy, kooky Creed, who had some of the best lines in the original series. (An all-time classic: “The Taliban’s the worst. Great heroin, though.”)
But the biggest reason a spin-off would be better is simply that The Office should remain as is. Though the show was panned in its eighth season after Michael Scott left, the ninth season picked up steam and ended in a near-perfect finale. Why try to tarnish what’s so good already? There’s no way to recapture that magic. Carell said it best when he told Junkee back in May:
"You know, it goes back to talking about that lightning in a bottle, because, and nothing against any revivals that happen, but these are never the same. You never get the same kind of energy. It would have to be exactly the same as it was to work. And it never could be. So my inclination, and I think the inclination of most people who had worked on it, would be to just leave it the way it is, and not desecrate whatever it was. Because I think it was special, and everybody who was involved with it thought it was special."
Megafans of The Office that congregate on the Dunder Mifflin subreddit agree: a revival would tarnish the legacy of the show. Better to try a spin-off if anything at all, for something fresher and newer that wouldn’t ruin just how special the original is. As the saying goes, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take’ - Wayne Gretzky - Michael Scott,” so why not take a shot at a spin-off? If it fails, it wouldn't take away from just how much the original series means to fans, and if it succeeds, fans would be over the moon. It's a golden ticket idea.