News broke today that the upcoming ninth season of The Office will be its last, and after having some time to accept the fate of the series, the next stage of grief is speculating on what will happen in the series' final season. Greg Daniels offered some clues today, mentioning a few key plot points that will be addressed in Season 9.
I'll admit, though I consider myself to be an Office fan, I'm not especially disappointed by the news that the series is ending. I continue to count myself among the faithful viewers, but it's difficult to look back at the series' earlier seasons and not see just how fantastic the comedy was in the first half of its run, especially by comparison to where it is now. That said, I've never stopped watching, and I know I'm going to miss the show when it's off the air. But all good things must come to an end, and that includes The Office. The most important thing is that they writers know the series is ending, so they have a whole season to set up and deliver a conclusion that will hopefully live up to the standards set by the comedy series in the prime of its run.
During a conference call today, The Office creator/developer Greg Daniels not only announced that the series was coming to an end after the upcoming ninth season, but he also offered a few bits of information on what will be addressed in the series' last season.
The documentary will be addressed. For close to a decade, a camera crew has been following the Dunder Mifflin staff around, recording their work lives, and occasionally, their personal outings. The series has addressed the format of the show on occasion, but the reason for the camera crew's presence has never been revealed. How will they explain why there's been a camera crew following the DM employees around for nine years? It's difficult to guess. Other than a very long-term documentary being made, perhaps the truth will be something truly bizarre, like that Creed hired them for his own personal use. He's weird enough to do something like that.
If the documentary is something that's going to be viewed by the public or otherwise studied or analyzed (maybe it's all some big psych experiment meant to study the behavior of American office employees?) I hope we get to see a bit of the aftermath of its completion. There's definite potential for something great here.
The Scranton Strangler - The fact that Daniels says the Scranton Strangler will be unmasked has me wondering if my theory about Toby being the Scranton Strangler could actually be true. The Scranton Strangler was supposedly incarcerated, and Toby was on the jury that sent him to prison. Toby seemed very excited about the case, which could be chalked up to the attention he was getting for being on the jury of such a high-profile murder trial. But how twisted (and funny) would it be if Michael was right all along and Toby really was a weirdo (and a murderer)? Gabe seems like the obvious choice for the alternate theory here, given his love of horror movies - assuming the Strangler is actually someone at Dunder Mifflin.
The story is not over for Jim and Pam. Is that bad news? Daniels says this all be a big season for Jim and Pam, which is very vague but sounds crucial. They've already gotten married and had kids. What could be next? Should we go the optimistic route and suggest that one of them will get a big job offer that requires a move? I could see the show ending with the Halpert's moving away. The pessimistic theory is that they're headed for a split. Boo. If that's the case, hopefully they'll find their way back to one another by the end of the series.
Daryl will learn PowerPoint- I have no theories about this, except that maybe Daryl will move further up the office ladder.
The above points are based on what Daniels mentioned to the press. As for my own wish list, I'd love to see Steve Carell return at the end of the series, with a follow-up on Holly and their life together. Maybe they've adopted a bunch of adorable children, because we know Michael Scott always thought he'd be a father someday. Here's hoping.
Finally, I hope the series doesn't end with Dunder Mifflin closing down. Some series seem to need to end at the end, but I'd love to see the series close out with Dunder Mifflin still up and running, perhaps with a new boss and a few new employees who have no idea what they're in for. Then again, there might be something to an ending that has the remaining staff at Dunder Mifflin packing up and moving on to other jobs. That just seems like it'd be a really sad way to close out a comedy. Either way, knowing the series is coming to an end is certainly reason to look forward to its premiere this fall, if only to see how this story ends.