In case you missed the love-fest NBC threw for its last big scripted comedy on Thursday night, a tradition of unbroken excellence that goes back to Cheers in the 80s, I thought I’d use this space to throw my own bouquets at the feet of The Office. 

I was lucky enough to be living in London during the winter and spring of 2002, months after Ricky Gervais’ original version made its debut, and thus I consider myself an early adopter of the franchise.  As the show found its way stateside in 2005 I was on board from the get-go, finding the beauty in the awkwardness that was “Diversity Day” in the show’s second episode.    

While admittedly partial to the slightly darker and more subtle English edition, The Office was taking the sitcom formula and turning it on its ear.  Hand-held camera, the concept of a documentary crew following the character’s every move enabling the fourth wall to be broken, the first show to embrace iTunes, these all are things the history books will speak fondly of The Office for. 

More so than for where it broke ground, The Office will be remembered for the institutions it kept alive in our cultural media tapestry.  The show was about a boy who loved a girl that he couldn’t quite get, a boss that induces a slow groan, co-workers that are each weirder than the next.  It was a snapshot of each of our lives to some degree, with everyone hoping that they embodied more of Jim and Pam than they did Michael or Jan. 

For a relatively short run of it’s nine years The Office was the best show on television.  While it will not go down in the pantheon of American television series, what I will remember is the consistent quality week to week for nine straight years.  Much like your mother’s home cooking, it’s not the best food that’s ever been prepared but there’s something about it that makes it taste better to those who grew up with it as there truly is no place like home.  The show was that warm place you could go to every Thursday evening knowing what you’re going to get and looking forward to reconnecting your old friends.  It’s amongst the handful of shows that you can watch with your children, parents, and grandparents and everyone will find a reason to smile.  I can neither confirm or deny that it’s the only show that The Wife and I have a special dance to when the opening credit roll. 

The internet is flush with kind words and glowing reviews of America’s favorite office family tonight, written by people far more skilled than I in this area, but I wanted to take this chance to thank all those involved in bringing The Office into my living room for the past nine years.  It’s been a fantastic run and the void it has left truly feels like a friend who has moved away.  Moving on is never easy.  In fact, it’s downright hard.  That’s what she said…