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It’s been quite a few years and even though I’ve had a lot of time invested in it I’m just not sure that I want to continue my relationship with THE OFFICE.

As many of you have heard by now STEVE CARELL is leaving the hit show to pursue whatever it is that he is going to pursue. In many ways I think knowing this information ahead of time has really gotten in my way of trying to passively watch a show that is meant to be passively watched. I spend my time watching plot details unfold and start over-analyzing what is going on. I start to look for the under-current being set-up for the upcoming departure and I begin paying too much attention. THE OFFICE wasn’t meant to be analyzed. It’s mental chewing gum, not Shakespeare.

First and foremost THE OFFICE is a situation comedy. It isn’t meant to be scholarly, it isn’t going to be intellectual. A good sitcom is meant to distract and entertain and allow me to sit there mindlessly taking in the entertainment. This has been taken away from me as I’ve noticed a change in the dynamic of the show this season. When I watch the show I get the impression that we’re seeing far less of MICHAEL SCOTT and a lot more of the other people in THE OFFICE. This shouldn’t be a big deal however it is something that feels contradictory to the formula I’ve grown accustomed to. I’m used to an absurd MICHAEL SCOTT main plot and an office worker sub-plot playing out. This season I’ve felt that dynamic has been flipped and it really takes me out of the moment.

With CARELL’s departure I’ve also been analyzing the show in too deep a fashion trying to see if the writing had any foreshadowing of the reason behind MICHAEL SCOTT’s departure. I know this is a silly type of thinking since this show isn’t written by the team from LOST or by JOSS WHEDON, but the fact that the guy is leaving means that they would have to come up with the scenario why he was going. There wasn’t anything that was obvious in the early episodes but in my opinion the writing has been on the wall since they re-introduced MICHAEL’s former and now once again burning flame HR specialist HOLLY. I now wouldn’t be surprised in the least if the reason why MICHAEL were to leave was to follow HOLLY wherever she was going. I also really hope that this is the reason why MICHAEL SCOTT leaves THE OFFICE because the romantic in me is always rooting for true love.

About mid-way through this television season I discovered that CARELL’s departure wasn’t going to come at the end of the season but would come near the end. There’s going to be a few awkward week’s of people filling in for the departed office manager. I know I’m going to stick around to at least say good-bye to MICHAEL but the weakness in the last few episodes make me wonder if the magic isn’t already gone from this long running show and after MICHAEL SCOTT is gone we will have seen the man behind the curtain and all of the magic will be gone for us from the all-powerful Oz.

Now that I’ve said my piece on THE OFFICE let’s see what else is on tap for the week ending in my 40th birthday, shall we?

MONDAY

ABC - 8:00 PM: Those into THE BACHELOR finally get to see if BRAD actually chooses a girl this time.

NBC - 8:00 PM: Hello ladies. Try to enjoy ISAIAH MUSTAFA tonight on CHUCK as he starts as the super spy your man could smell like.

FX - 8:00 PM: Part of me is a little embarrassed to admit that I really liked the TINA FEY movie BABY MAMA.

TUESDAY

FOX - 8:00 PM: It’s finally time for sectionals on GLEE and the show ventures into unknown territory as they perform original music. The cynic in me thinks this is an attempt at them not having to pay royalties out the nose for the inevitable soundtrack.

NBC - 8:00 PM: The teams on THE BIGGEST LOSER get merged and they compete to see who can make the lowest calorie meal in 30 minutes. This one screams CURTIS STONE appearance.

ABC - 9:00 PM: It’s the season (series?) finale for V tonight as ANNA tries to trick out her daughter to TYLER. Those space lizards really know about good parenting.

FOX - 9:00 PM: Everyone gets down to writing out their will’s and JIMMY has the difficult choice of bestowing guardianship of hope in his absence on RAISING HOPE.

WEDNESDAY

ABC FAMILY - 7:00 PM: Please, no one tell my daughter that there’s an airing of BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA followed by BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA 2 tonight or I guarantee that’s all I’ll be watching. Really, there’s money involved if you don’t let this one out.

CBS - 8:00 PM: It just feels hollow and empty on SURVIVOR: REDEMPTION ISLAND now that RUSSELL is out of the game.

FOX - 8:00 PM: I know you don’t need this column to tell you that there’s a new AMERICAN IDOL on tonight so instead let me warn you that it’s two hours of listening to half-talents scream sing with a few stars shining in the mix.

ABC - 8:30 PM: I can’t put my finger on what exactly it is that I’ve been enjoying about MR. SUNSHINE but it has at least made me not miss COUGAR TOWN so I guess that’s saying something for it, right?

THURSDAY

FOX - 8:00 PM: THE BLACK EYED PEAS continue their “We’re appearing on every show” tour as they perform on tonight’s elimination episode of AMERICAN IDOL.

NBC - 8:00 PM: There’s a baby shower for SHIRLEY tonight on COMMUNITY and I’m sure CHANG won’t do anything to make it uncomfortable. Also the entire NBC lineup tonight is new except for THE OFFICE so now we’ve got that out of the way.

FOX - 9:00 PM: Tonight on BONES there’s a blizzard, a blackout and a viral outbreak. Is the guest star tonight the four horsemen of the apocalypse?

BRAVO - 9:00 PM: KATHY GRIFFIN returns to BRAVO with a new stand-up special 50 & NOT PREGNANT. Catch it now because her stuff is topical so you’ll want to get it while its fresh.

FRIDAY

ABC - 8:00 PM: Tonight is the series finale of SUPERNANNY to which I have to say, “This show was still on the air?”

BRAVO - 8:00 PM: Did you miss last night’s airing of KATHY GRIFFIN: 50 & NOT PREGNANT? Here’s a second chance at it.

FOX - 9:00 PM: If you’ve been wondering where exactly this universe’s LINCOLN LEE is than you have to look no further than this week’s FRINGE to find out. I can’t wait to see how they explain that OLIVIA doesn’t recognize him.

SATURDAY

TNT - 8:00 PM: If you haven’t seen the KILL BILL saga then TNT is giving you a chance to see both volumes back-to-back. I’m not sure if this will be a TV edit of it but if so I hope the watered down version is as entertaining as the uncut.

SCIENCE - 10:00 PM: Repeat or not I just can’t get enough of AN IDIOT ABROAD.

BBCA - 9:00 PM: Even though all of this third season has been good, tonight’s episode of BEING HUMAN is by far one of the most compelling. The return of HERRICK was nothing that I expected and what transpires is just engulfing. I don’t think I blinked the entire time.

NBC - 11:30 PM: I’ve tried so very hard to forget this episode of SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE hosted by JEFF BRIDGES. Why oh why did they have to bring it back?

SUNDAY

FX - 8:00 PM: Following up an airing of IRON MAN with X-MEN: THE LAST STAND is like following up a thing of beauty with X-MEN: THE LAST STAND.

HBO - 9:00 PM: After five seasons we finally see what the future holds for the HENRICKSON’s as the BIG LOVE series finale happens tonight.

A&E - 10:30 PM: Let me tell you something Fish, if you’ve been missing your T-BAG fix than you won’t want to miss this week’s episode of BREAKOUT KINGS since the con that’s gone is none other than Theodore Bagwell of PRISON BREAK fame. Now just take a hold of my pocket…


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