Friday, May 17, 2013

The Office: The Moral Subtext

The Office ended yesterday and while there were wonderful moments throughout "No Place like the Office," the closing sequence was surprisingly moving, from Andy's lament: I wish there was a way to know you're in the "good old days" before you've actually left them, to Creed's philosophic: No matter how you get there or where you end up, human beings have this miraculous gift to make their place home.

The best, however, was saved for last and (appropriately) for Pam: There's a lot of beauty in ordinary things. Isn't that kind of the point? Could this be the reason why The Office struck such a chord in a decade so racked by political polarization and anomie? Far from being larger than life, the characters of The Office were all too human. For all their foibles and flaws, ordinary people living humdrum lives showed a degree of loyalty and commitment to fellow members of their community that compared favorably with the world at large.

The undoubted humor of The Office frequently obscured its moral subtext, yet in "No Place like the Office" the viewer was reminded of its importance.

Well worth watching in its entirety, the final sequence appears below.

NBC no longer provides a link, but there is a Youtube version here.

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