February 3, 2013

We Peacock Comedy - The 30 Rock finale, and fourth wall fallout on The Office

Thursday was a big night on NBC. It was the end for 30 Rock, and in a lot of ways, it felt like a new beginning on The Office.

Saying goodbye to 30 Rock is like a Liz Lemon party - Mandatory. And while Thursday's episodes didn't touch me like I thought they might, there were some moments. The cameos - bravo. And the theme song from "Rural Juror" did bring me unexpectedly to the point of tears. My biggest surprise was the fact that Liz's heart-to-heart with Tracy was more precious (although more awkward) than her heart-to-heart with Jack. Mostly "because the human heart is not properly connected to the human brain." 

Now, The Office. At the end of last week's episode, "Customer Loyalty," when the fourth wall (already fragile and cracked thanks to the mockumentary format) shattered, I was floored. Literally, I fell to the floor right off my couch. Because the writers of this unbelievably good show reminded their audience of what The Office really is. And at it's best, it's not a comedy; it's a commentary on life. And now, it's a whole new show. Every episode we've already seen now contains unseen characters and unuttered lines. So here's what I have to say about Brian the Boom Guy:

  • This is the most brilliant story arc the writers have come up with in years. It gives John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer a chance to show us their acting chops like never before. It reminds us what The Office always was - a show about people, not a place.  
  • I want this to be the last we see of Brian the Boom Guy. A continuation of this plot line will only serve to destroy millions of "Jam" fans' belief in true love. And we can't have that. But as much as I hate it, I get it. It's real. Real people, real tensions. And like I said, the fact that this show is relatable is what makes it great. If the Jim and Pam story was smooth sailing ever since their Niagara boat ride wedding, it wouldn't seem real. If they didn't have that phone fight that we all knew too well, they wouldn't seem real. So I want this to be the end of Brian the Boom Guy. But if he needs to stick around a little longer, I get that, too. Just don't break our hearts, ok writers?
  • 9 seasons of The Office were building up to this point. That's the thing about a mockumentary. The folks behind the lens are a character, too. And while we, the audience, were busy forgetting that through the Sabre crisis, Michael's departure, and the chaos that followed, the man behind the camera was waiting for his moment. 

Bottom line: No matter what happens next to our favorite Scranton residents, The Office will not be fizzling out in its final season. It's going out with a bang. Or should I say... a boom?

So what do we have to look forward to next week? The return of Community, of course! And Andy's back for "Couples Discount." Sneak peek: 

Source: nbc.com
Here's to NBC for a good Thursday, and here's hoping that, even without 30 Rock, we can all keep on peacocking comedy.

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