Networks have been pumping out generic sitcoms for decades, but few really taken hold as well-loved classics in the way that shows like “I Love Lucy”, “Cheers”, “Friends,” or “Seinfeld” have.
One of the great sitcoms of the 21st Century has, undoubtedly, been “The Office”, the mockumentary show about a paper company in Scranton, PN, based on a British series by the same name starring Ricky Gervais.
Comedian Steve Carrel, who became a household name thanks to his hilarious, buffoonish character of office boss Michael, recently made a depressing observation in an interview with Esquire about what made the show successful–and why it’d be likely to be unsuccessful today.
Carrel’s character was painfully awkward, inappropriate, and the perfect picture of political incorrectness. This is why, however, Carrel thinks the show would not fly today.
From Western Journal:
Carell said that “it might be impossible to do that show today and have people accept” the fictional employees of the Pennsylvania-based paper company and their boss, Michael Scott, played by Carell.
“Because ‘The Office’ is on Netflix and replaying, a lot more people have seen it recently,” he told Handy.
“The climate’s different,” he said. “I mean, the whole idea of that character, Michael Scott, so much of it was predicated on inappropriate behavior.
“I mean, he’s certainly not a model boss. A lot of what is depicted on that show is completely wrong-minded. That’s the point, you know?”
Fans of the show have recently fostered hope that NBC might be considering a revival but Carrel, whose character left the series two seasons before its last, says that Michael will definitely not be making an appearance.
The actor addressed the idea of an “Office” revival in his interview, saying, “Apart from the fact that I just don’t think that’s a good idea, it might be impossible to do that show today and have people accept it the way it was accepted 10 years ago.”
Carell said he thinks today’s viewers would find it offensive.
“I just don’t know how that would fly now,” he said. “There’s a very high awareness of offensive things today — which is good, for sure. But at the same time, when you take a character like that too literally, it doesn’t really work.”
What’s ironic, of course, is that political incorrectness and the painful, awkward lack of self-awareness of Michael’s character is just as hilarious today as it was ten years ago, and probably would be even funnier in this current climate of political incorrectness.
But the loudest members of our society seem to be those who can’t take a laugh, so alas, until we stop worrying about what they think, networks are likely to tread lightly. Which, sadly, means a lot of humorless content.
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